The COMLEX-USA Examination Sequence
Candidates for COMLEX-USA must meet the following requirements as well as the requirements of their college of osteopathic medicine. Examinations must be taken in sequence and each level passed before the candidate is eligible to take the next level.
|COMLEX-USA Level 3
- Pass COMLEX-USA Level 2-CE
- Pass Level 2-PE or meet attestation requirements as outlined in the COMLEX-USA Bulletin of Information
- Graduation from an accredited college of osteopathic medicine (COM)
- Earned a DO degree
- Attestation by a residency program director that the candidate is in good academic and professional standing
Eligibility will require an attestation from an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited graduate medical education program director that the Level 3 resident/exam candidate is in “good academic and professional standing” meeting the professional requirements of the residency program and is eligible to continue as a resident in the program. In addition, as a recommendation but not a requirement, the NBOME recommends that Level 3 candidates have completed a minimum of six months of residency training prior to testing.
Alternate Pathways for Attestation for COMLEX-USA Level 3
For those candidates who have never participated in any residency program and are therefore unable to attain residency program director attestation, NBOME has created the following alternate pathway.
Temporary Alternate Pathway Attestation for COMLEX-USA Level 3
The NBOME has created a temporary alternate pathway attestation for candidates who have never participated in a residency program and are therefore unable to attain residency program director attestation. The following conditions must be met in order to obtain attestation via an alternate pathway:
- The candidate has met the COM graduation requirements and has been awarded a graduation diploma.
- The candidate has never participated in an accredited graduate medical education program where the candidate could receive attestation from a residency program director.
- The candidate agrees to supply additional information to the NBOME after the examination in order to complete a comprehensive study of the alternate pathway.
- The candidate will comply with all requirements, terms, and conditions as listed in the COMLEX-USA Bulletin of Information.
Guidelines and Petition for Temporary Alternate Pathway
Temporary Alternate Pathway Attestation (Dean’s Level 2-PE Verification)
For candidates who failed the COMLEX-USA Level 2-PE examination and did not have the opportunity to retake it and pass, their deans will need to provide a Dean’s Verification attestation to confirm they have the fundamental osteopathic clinical skills necessary to graduate. With this verification attestation we would no longer require six months of GME training prior to taking the Level 3 examination. All other conditions noted above for the original temporary alternate pathway attestation will apply to this new attestation and the petition guidelines will include the additional criteria used by the dean to provide this Dean’s Level 2-PE Verification.
Guidelines and Petition for Dean’s Level 2-PE Verification
For candidates who graduated in 2017 or earlier the NBOME has created a “grandfathered” attestation for Level 3 eligibility. Candidates must have been previously eligible to take the COMLEX-USA Level 3 examination, request to waive the residency program director attestation, and did or did not participate in a residency program. This grandfathered eligibility attestation includes all requirements for other attestations such as multiple attempts up to our six-attempt limit and a limit of four attempts in any 12-month period.