Contact Us: 866.479.6828

The NBOME Announces 2023 Exam Contributor Award Winners

January 2, 2024

PHILADELPHIA, PA—The National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME), an independent, nonprofit organization that provides competency assessments for osteopathic medical licensure and related health care professions, is pleased to recognize the 2023 Item Writer and Case Author of the Year award winners from its distinguished National Faculty.

Throughout the year, this group of individuals graciously volunteered their time and expertise to contribute to the COMLEX-USA and COMAT examination programs.

Each year, the NBOME selects the best-in-class item writers and case authors from a large group of contributors whose work supports our mission to protect the public through osteopathic competency assessment.

Congratulations to these esteemed awardees for their exemplary commitment to producing valid and high-quality exam content:


COMLEX-USA Level 1 Item Writer of the Year

Sarah A. McCarthy, PhD

McCarthy is the assistant director of the Teaching and Leadership Academy at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Erie, PA. She has been a member of the National Faculty since 2014 and has contributed her time and expertise to the COMLEX-USA Level 1 examination. In her item-writing, which focuses on anatomy, she has incorporated high-needs multimedia exhibits into realistic clinical scenarios throughout.

COMLEX-USA Level 2-CE Item Writer of the Year

Joel L. Dickerman, DO

Dickerman is the chief medical officer at St Mary-Corwin Hospital in Pueblo, Colo., and the regional director for clinical education at Rocky University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Parker, Colo. He has been part of the National Faculty since 2015. His items are consistently high quality, and he is able to easily address both competency domain and clinical presentation needs for the exam. Dickerman is a member of the Clinical Decision-Making Subcommittee and was a participant in the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Video Task Force this summer.

COMLEX-USA Level 3 Item Writer of the Year

John B. Bishara, DO

Bishara is the attending physician at the West Virginia University Physicians of Charleston in Charleston, W.Va. He has been part of the National Faculty since 2017, and he consistently writes detailed, well-developed clinical scenarios on high-need topics in pediatrics.

Clinical Decision-Making (CDM) Case Writer of the Year

Alesia J. Wagner, DO

Wagner is the associate dean of academic affairs at Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Vallejo, Calif. She has been a member of the National Faculty since 2015 and is thorough and precise when crafting CDM material. She has proven to be a wonderful collaborator, helping colleagues become familiar with CDM through many meetings and workshops.

COMLEX-USA Osteopathic Principles and Practice (OPP) Item Writer of the Year

Donald L. Allison, DO

Allison is the first-year course director for OPP and an associate professor at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Philadelphia. He has been a member of the National Faculty team since 2014 and has contributed his time and expertise to the COMLEX-USA Level 1 and 2 examination. He has written numerous items, including many higher-order questions for Level 2-CE. Several of his questions were selected for pretesting in the upcoming Level 1 and Level 2-CE examination cycles.

Preventive Medicine and Health Promotion Item Writer of the Year

Sandie U. Ha, PhD, MPH

Ha is an assistant professor of public health at the School of Social Sciences, Humanities & Arts at University of California, Merced. She has written numerous items focused on preventive medicine and health promotion between COMLEX-USA Levels 1 and 3. She has been a member of our National Faculty since 2018.

COMAT Clinical Subjects Item Writer of the Year

Khavir A. Sharieff, DO, MBA

Sharieff is the assistant professor of surgery at Nova Southeastern University Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. His items are consistently clear and well-written, and those submitted during the current item development cycle had a 100 percent acceptance rate. In addition to his item writing efforts, he has participated in several new item writing and review workshops for COMLEX-USA and COMAT exams.


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