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Emergency Medicine Residency Leaders Call for COMLEX-USA Acceptance among Program Directors

October 25, 2023

The Council of Residency Directors in Emergency Medicine (CORD) recently published a statement calling for emergency medicine program directors to accept COMLEX-USA as equivalent to the USMLE when evaluating osteopathic applicants.

Their statement reads, in part:

“CORD values osteopathic education, and osteopathic students merit equal opportunity as they apply for residency. In your evaluation of resident applicants, CORD encourages all programs to accept COMLEX-USA results as equivalent to the USMLE, ensuring equitable consideration for osteopathic applicants alongside their allopathic peers.”

CORD is in the process of updating its resources for DO applicants to reflect this position. Read the full statement here.

“We are pleased that CORD has joined the growing number of residency leadership organizations who have come forward in support of DO applicants and equitable COMLEX-USA acceptance,” said John R. Gimpel, DO, MEd, president and CEO of the NBOME. “This support is invaluable in helping DO applicants to know they are welcomed to apply to residency programs in Emergency Medicine, and valued with their valid and reliable COMLEX-USA credentials.”

“For quite some time the ‘holistic’ review has been the norm in emergency medicine, and we recognize the significant of percentage of osteopathic graduates in our applicant pool, Core Faculty, program directors, and assistant program directors,” said Boyd D. Burns, DO, MBA, MHA, president-elect of CORD.  “Within CORD you will see several of our committee chairs, conference chairs, task force leaders and even board members who are DOs.”

CORD is the latest specialty organization to publicly assert its support of DO applicants and COMLEX-USA. Most recently, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists iterated the value and equivalence of osteopathic medical training and licensing examinations.

These statements are the result of the continuous advocacy efforts of many stakeholders in the graduate medical education community and of the NBOME, calling on all programs to incorporate holistic review of residency applicants with equitable, fair, and inclusive processes that include COMLEX-USA for DO candidates.

For more on the collective efforts supporting holistic review for all applicants, visit nbome.org/rtdol/navigating-gme/advocacy/.

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