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Partnering for Progress: CU Anschutz

NBOME continues efforts to educate and advocate for DOs and their credentials

As the NBOME continues to partner with other osteopathic organizations to identify and address biases towards DOs and their licensing credentials, we often find that institutional leaders are open to having a conversation about why prohibitive policies exist and what they can do to improve for students and programs alike.

Earlier this year, we heard concerns about the clinical rotation requirements for USMLE (Step 1) at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus (CU Anschutz).

In June, the NBOME and AACOM reached out to CU Anschutz Senior Dean for Education, Shanta Zimmer, MD who explained they would be happy to accept COMLEX-USA scores for visiting osteopathic students and  implemented the change immediately.

While there continue to be concerns around higher clinical rotation fees for osteopathic students, CU Anschutz indicated they are willing to engage in a discussion over alternative funding structures.

“We thank CU Anschutz for their responsiveness and strong support for osteopathic medical students and all medical students. They are indeed the future of our two profession’s abilities to rise to the challenges of providing just, equitable and high quality health care to all patients in all communities,” said John Gimpel, DO MEd, NBOME President and CEO.

Like residency programs, clinical rotations that state a preference or requirement for USMLE scores over COMLEX cause more stress and additional financial burdens for osteopathic applicants who are trying to remain competitive. What’s more, exclusionary language can also make some osteopathic students feel as though they are unwelcome in a program—even if that is not the case. Sometimes, all this requires is reaching out to clear up a misunderstanding or misstatement.

The NBOME will continue its efforts to advocate for reduced bias against osteopathic students and residents, and to engage leaders in academic healthcare to create institutional change.

We can best do that through collaboration with student groups and other interested parties. If you are aware of any residency programs that appear to dismiss COMLEX scores as part of the application process, please reach out to us at advocacy@nbome.org.