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Original Contribution  |   January 2001
Testing osteopathic medical school graduates for licensure: is COMLEX-USA the most appropriate examination?
Article Information
Medical Education / COMLEX-USA
Original Contribution   |   January 2001
Testing osteopathic medical school graduates for licensure: is COMLEX-USA the most appropriate examination?
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, January 2001, Vol. 101, 26-32. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2001.101.1.26
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, January 2001, Vol. 101, 26-32. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2001.101.1.26
Abstract

Osteopathic and allopathic physicians receive authority to practice medicine through the licensing boards of the states in which they practice. Each state has the responsibility to operate a licensing board for physicians and other medical professionals. These boards choose which examinations are acceptable to establish that a physician is licensable to practice medicine. The National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME) administers the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA). To determine the views of the educational leaders of the osteopathic profession regarding licensure testing, a survey was mailed to leaders in the profession. Of the 799 surveys mailed, 341 (43%) were returned. Respondents were asked 19 questions, using a Likert scale to record responses (strongly disagree, 1; strongly agree, 5). Eighty-eight percent of respondents believed that osteopathic medicine is a distinct profession. Seventy percent of respondents felt that COMLEX-USA is the standard for testing osteopathic trainees, while 70% believed trainees should continue to be tested by a unique process. According to 72% of the respondents, the NBOME, through its testing procedures, continues to be the organization best suited to test the knowledge of osteopathic students and graduates. These results indicate that among the practicing leadership of the osteopathic profession, overwhelming support exists for the profession to retain the ability and the right to examine its own trainees from within.