NBOME Reproductive Health Task Force Releases Recommendations
October 25, 2023
In December 2022, the NBOME established a Reproductive Health Task Force (RHTF) to determine the impact of the Dobbs v. Jackson ruling on its national examinations. Members comprise osteopathic physicians from across the country and across multiple disciplines and are led by OB-GYN specialist Anita Showalter, DO, MA.
Since then, the RHTF has met regularly to develop guidelines that support currency, fairness, and validity in our examinations regarding reproductive health topics.
The NBOME Board recently approved the RHTF’s recommendations, which include the following:
- Recognize that reproductive health care, including the knowledge of abortion procedures and complications, is an essential part of providing care as a generalist DO and protecting the patient.
- Affirm the inclusion of reproductive health care topics as presented in COMLEX-USA and COMAT OBGYN blueprints. Please refer to specific examination blueprints.
- Include legal and accessible options for test questions that may be impacted by state law variation depending on where the patient is receiving care.
- Continue to monitor how reproductive health topics are being taught and any shifts in related laws.
While the recent Supreme Court ruling in may affect future osteopathic physicians in some states more than others, the NBOME requires that its national licensure and other standardized assessments remain fair, accurate, and valid for all exam candidates across the U.S.
These guidelines will help ensure this requirement continues to be met, while also addressing a key pillar of the NBOME’s Strategic Plan: a commitment to updating and innovating assessment examinations in order for DOs to meet a national standard to provide safe, quality, and effective patient care.
“I’m very proud of the work accomplished by this fine team,” said Showalter. “This diverse group of physicians has worked diligently, using their expertise to design a set of recommendations that assure a fair and relevant examination, even as the field of healthcare continues to change rapidly.”
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