Academic Leaders in Pediatrics Stand Up for Equity in Residency Applications, Recommend COMLEX-USA as Part of Holistic Application Review for DO Students
May 30, 2023
The leadership of the Association of Pediatric Program Directors, Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics, Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs, FuturePedsRes, and NextGenPediatricians, have issued a series of comprehensive recommendations designed to optimize the residency recruitment process and improve equity in applications to pediatric residency programs.
These statements align with the recommendations of the Coalition for Physician Accountability’s Undergraduate Medical Education to Graduate Medical Education Transition Review Committee (UGRC) —which focus on improvements to the transition from medical school into residency. The NBOME is a member of the UGRC.
The recommendations of pediatric leaders support of a holistic application review process, recognizing that applicants from all different backgrounds bring with them different clinical, research, and extracurricular experiences.
With respect to DO applicants of pediatric residency programs, their recommendations include:
- Avoid overreliance on a single examination program when selecting candidates for residency, regardless of whether they are on allopathic or osteopathic licensing pathway.
- Do not require osteopathic applicants – nor make them feel like they are required – to undergo licensing examinations other than the osteopathic (COMLEX-USA) licensure exam.
- Implement processes that fairly consider osteopathic applicants within the context of the osteopathic (COMLEX-USA) licensure process.
Specified goals of these recommendations are twofold: 1) Helping learners find programs that support their career goals while providing an atmosphere conducive to how they learn best, and 2). Creating a fair and equitable application and selection process for both learners and programs.
Read the full set of recommendations here.
“This comprehensive set of recommendations demonstrates an admirable commitment to equity and inclusion in the pediatrics community, clarifying for DO applicants that they are valued and welcomed to apply to pediatrics residency programs,” said John R. Gimpel, DO, MEd, president and CEO of the NBOME. “Clarifying that DO applicants are welcomed and can apply with their valid COMLEX-USA licensing exam qualifications is a major advance for Pediatrics and will positively impact the pediatric workforce needs and residency training programs nationwide.”
This group of recommendations from pediatric leadership is just the latest in a flurry of support from residency specialty organizations and other leaders across the house of medicine that seek to eliminate systemic bias in the residency application system.
Other champions of holistic review and inclusion for DO applicants and COMLEX-USA include the Association of Anesthesiology Core Program Directors, the American Association of Directors of Psychiatry Residency Training, the Council of Academic Family Medicine, and most recently, a group comprising the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, the Association of Academic Physiatrists, and the American Osteopathic College of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
About the NBOME:
The NBOME is an independent, non-governmental, nonprofit assessment organization committed to protecting the public by providing the means to assess competencies for osteopathic medicine and related health care professions. NBOME’s COMLEX-USA examination series is a requirement for graduation from colleges of osteopathic medicine and provides the pathway to licensure for osteopathic physicians in the United States and numerous international jurisdictions.
Renee Cree, MA
Director for Communications