The National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners, Inc. (NBOME) is a nonprofit
corporation, organized under the laws of the state of Indiana. The NBOME was established in
July 1934 as the National Board of Examiners for Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons. The
first examinations were given in February 1935. In 1987, the name of the organization was
changed to the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners, Inc.
The mission of the NBOME is to protect the public by providing the means to assess
competencies of osteopathic medicine and related health care professions.
NBOME initiated the current three-level Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing
Examination (COMLEX-USA) program in 1995 to replace the former three-part NBOME
licensure examination series. The NBOME COMLEX-USA examination program is the primary
pathway to licensure for osteopathic physicians seeking to practice osteopathic medicine and
surgery. The primary purpose for the COMLEX-USA examination program is for osteopathic
physician licensure. A passing score on these examinations indicates that the candidate’s
osteopathic medical knowledge and clinical skills have met an acceptable national standard
for entry-level competency. The COMLEX-USA examination sequence is accepted for
physician licensure in all 50 states and some international jurisdictions.
To maintain the validity and broad acceptance of the COMLEX-USA examination program,
NBOME continually engages in research to ensure the examinations include currently
accepted medical principles, concepts, and practices of osteopathic medicine. Testing
methodology and testing procedures are studied to confirm the examination scores continue
to reflect accurately the knowledge and skills of those who seek to practice osteopathic
The COMLEX-USA examination sequence uses a primary care approach to patients with the
distinctiveness of osteopathic medicine fully integrated throughout the examination program.
Please refer to the pertinent sections of this Bulletin of Information for detailed information regarding the examinations.