The National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners has implemented updates to COMLEX. September 2018 marked the initial launch of the enhanced two-day Level 3 exam.
NBOME assesses the competencies of students, residents and physicians in osteopathic medicine via several examinations and assessments, including the COMLEX, COMSAE and COMAT.
The Level 3 rollout for COMLEX is the start of a transition to a two-decision point, competency-based Master Blueprint. The new test design is based on survey research from DOs in practice and expert consensus. After 10 years of research and planning with experts and leaders, updates to Level 2-PE, Level 2-CE and Level 1 are expected to launch in spring 2019.
New COMLEX passing standards
A new minimum passing standard for COMLEX Level 1 was implemented for 2018-2019. With the transition to the Master Blueprint, each COMLEX exam is slated to get a new passing standard.
Temporary alternate attestation pathway for COMLEX Level 3
Starting in the 2018-2019 exam cycle, candidates who take COMLEX Level 3 need attestation from an AOA- or ACGME-accredited residency program director. Previously, DO residents received an attestation from deans of colleges of osteopathic medicine.
Program directors will confirm DO residents are in good academic and professional standing, satisfy the professional requirements of the program and are able to continue in the program.
More than 4,000 DO residents requested or received an attestation from their residency program directors for the 2018-2019 test cycle.
A few graduates may be unable to receive an attestation from a residency program director because of not matching. For them, NBOME has created a temporary alternate pathway that allows deans of colleges of osteopathic medicine to attest to the academic and professional standing of graduates who are not in residency training.
The petition is available through 2020, when the temporary pathway will be further examined.
For more information regarding the updates to COMLEX or the temporary alternate attestation pathway for Level 3, contact NBOME.
Please note that COMLEX is not an AOA property; policies and procedures for the exam are set by NBOME.