Osteopathic licensing

Changes coming to COMLEX-USA exams

NBOME is using evidence-based research to redesign the COMLEX-USA.


To assure it is meeting the needs of patients and accurately reflecting the continual changes of the osteopathic profession, the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME) is using evidence-based research to redesign the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination-USA (COMLEX-USA).

Enhancements to the examination series will be released in 2018 with COMLEX-USA Level 3, according to a study published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (JAOA).

An NBOME panel was tasked with establishing an up-to-date evidence base to support the contents the exam. The panel reviewed current research related to the osteopathic profession and conducted new research, including surveying over 15,000 members of the profession to determine the measurable competency skills of its future physicians.

While the intended purpose of COMLEX-USA is for osteopathic licensure, test results also affect residency program applications, graduation requirements, and overall evaluation of osteopathic medical colleges and residency programs.

New test specifications for each level of COMLEX-USA are not yet available to the public, but updated format specifications can be found on the NBOME website, and the NBOME has already begun sharing updates with educators.

Read more about the redesign in April’s collaborative article from the JAOA and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine.

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