Vaught Eye Associates Optometrist Announces New GI Bill to Fund American Board of Optometry Certification Exam

CONWAY, S.C., March 8, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Optometrist James M. Vaught, the founder of Vaught Eye Associates and member of the American Board of Optometry, announced that eligible optometrists with U.S. Armed Forces service will now be able to receive G.I. Bill reimbursement for the American Board of Optometry's (ABO) Board Certification examination fee. Currently, the ABO examination fee is $1500. Under a new provision in the GI Bill, eligible service members will be reimbursed in full for this fee after taking the examination. Reimbursement will be offered through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Local optometrist James M. Vaught is working to make it easier for enlisted men and women who wish to become certified optometrists to do so. Dr. Vaught, who is the chairman of the American Board of Optometry, announced in January that the ABO's exam certification fee will be refunded in full to eligible service members who take the test. His announcement was featured on Vision Monday, an online publication.

"In the interest of high-quality patient care, the American Board of Optometry strives to make its voluntary board certification program as relevant and accessible as possible for qualified optometrists," said ABO board chairman, James Vaught OD, in a statement published on Vision Monday. "We are very pleased to inform ODs who've served our country that they now can apply for this valuable reimbursement benefit under the G.I. Bill. We think it will provide an important additional incentive for them to consider the American Board of Optometry Board Certification."

Currently, the ABO certification examination costs $1500. While this certification is not mandatory in order to practice optometry, it is an important skill assessment. Patients often feel more confident selecting an optometrist that is ABO certified, says Dr. Vaught. Consequently, the optometrist felt it was important that service men and women who wished to be ABO certified be able to take the test, regardless of its costs.

"We do not want the test's cost to discourage qualified men and women who served our country from going on to receive their official certification from ABO," said Dr. Vaught. "The GI Bill, first passed in 1944, was created to make higher education affordable to the men and women who bravely risk their lives for our great country. I am honored to have played a small part in extending the Bill's benefits."

Dr. Vaught graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry. Currently, Dr. Vaught runs a private practice in Conway, South Carolina. Dr. Vaught served as president of the South Carolina Optometric Physicians Association from 2009 to 2010. He also served for eight years on the South Carolina Board of Examiners in Optometry.

To learn more about the G.I. Bill benefits for optometrists, visit For information on Dr. Vaught's practice, Vaught Eye Associates, visit

CONTACT: Vaught Eye Associates, 1-888-667-5235Source:Vaught Eye Associates