From our training in physics, we know that momentum equals mass times velocity, and the theme of “Momentum” aptly captures 2022 for the NBOME and our profession.
Our profession has grown in mass: more DOs (141,759), more colleges of osteopathic medicine (37 schools at 60 campuses) and more osteopathic medical students (36,500). That means many more patients cared for by DOs, and now nearly 800 subject matter experts participating in NBOME’s National Faculty.
Our profession has also increased its velocity, with an 81 percent growth over the last decade, and the efficiencies in aligning and collaborating on the important work enhanced by technologies and accelerated by the speed of trust. Mass times velocity equals the undeniable momentum of 2022.
For the NBOME, this momentum propels us forward from a time, perhaps, where professional self-regulation was taken a bit for granted. Not unusual for an established profession, however, the recognition that standing up to set standards for those who are able to enter it, and assuring the public trust, is in fact a defining characteristic, a right, and a privilege of any profession.
In 2022, the NBOME Board of Directors committed to a new 3-year strategic plan for the NBOME focusing on four main themes:
Test what matters;
Innovate to enhance value for test-takers and other stakeholders;
Prioritize well-being and promote inclusion, diversity and equity; and
Enrich mission-aligned partnerships.
The plan had an unprecedented amount of input from stakeholders that included educators, state licensure, DO students and residents, National Faculty members, professional organizations and the clinical practice communities, and patient advocate/public representatives. The information in this Annual Report provides a snapshot of the ways the NBOME worked to achieve goals related to these themes in 2022.
Momentum was powered by international recognition of the NBOME, COMLEX-USA, and DOs. In addition, our numerous advocacy wins in the United States for residency and fellowship training programs have grown their understanding of DO applicants and their distinctive educational pathways, competencies, and credentials. These efforts were bolstered in 2022 by those across the profession who stood up for who we are and what patients need from us.
Extensive work in transitioning the numeric score reporting for COMLEX-USA Level 1 to pass/fail, to move administration of COMLEX-USA examinations to Pearson VUE Professional Test Centers (which began in in early 2023), and to upgrade our outfacing data/information and technology platforms (e.g., NBOME Portal) were highlights of this momentum.
Enhancements to the COMAT program and support of numerous testing clients including the American Osteopathic Association with longitudinal assessments for their Osteopathic Continuous Certification program, highlight NBOME’s contributions across the continuum.
Momentum continued through the acclaimed work of the Special Commission on Osteopathic Medical Licensure Assessment which culminated in the approval of interim solutions for the assessment of clinical skills competencies for current students during the ongoing pandemic. This work also outlined a look to the future with plans to continue to enhance COMLEX-USA and to pilot capstone clinical skills competency assessments that align to a national standard in 2023.
This is further evidence of a profession that is standing up for strong professional self-regulation and the patients we have the privilege to serve. Thank you for being a part of the momentum that defined our 2022.
We are excited to see what 2023 brings and we count on your continued engagement!
For nearly nine decades, the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME) has been dedicated to protecting the public by providing high-quality valid, reliable, and fair assessments for osteopathic physicians and related health care professions.
Learn more about our mission, vision, and history, and our values, which include a newly enhanced focus on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).
Our Executive Committee and Board of Directors comprise some of the foremost thinkers in osteopathic medicine, medical education, clinical training programs, and licensure.
In 2022, the NBOME Board welcomed two new members: David A. Forstein, DO, and Sherri L. Wise, CPA, and also acknowledged the service of outgoing board members and committee leaders who completed their terms: James M. Andriole, DO, Anthony L. Cossetti, CPA, Terri Donlin-Huesman, MBA, and Mollie M. James, DO, MPH.
Learn more in the “Executive Committee and Board of Directors” video at left.
Each year, we honor a select group of individuals for their tireless commitment to the NBOME, to patient care, and to the osteopathic profession.
View the “Annual Gala Award Winners 2022” video at left to learn more about this year’s winners of the Santucci awards (June, December); the Thornburg awards (June, December); the Clark Award; and our Meritorious Service awards (June, December).
Our National Faculty is crucial to the development and evolution of NBOME assessment tools such as COMLEX-USA and COMAT. This group of more than 750 has expertise in myriad areas including osteopathic health professions and specialties, osteopathic medical education and assessment, and osteopathic physician licensure and regulation.
Click the button at left to learn more about the NBOME National Faculty.
In 2022, the NBOME undertook several initiatives under this pillar, including:
The Special Commission on Osteopathic Medical Licensure Assessment completed its work in the spring of 2022, publishing 10 recommendations focused on four key themes and a strengthened focus on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and representation of those with disabilities.
The NBOME Board of Directors accepted these recommendations in June 2022, and the Special Commission published its final results shortly after.
Learn more in the “Special Commission” video at left with Special Commission Chair Richard J. LaBaere II, DO, MPH.
As part of the Special Commission final recommendations, the NBOME Board approved the development of a COM-based, COMLEX-USA national standardized assessment to include an in-person and hands-on evaluation of fundamental osteopathic clinical skills. The NBOME has committed funds and resources to the development and pilot testing of a core competency capstone for osteopathic medical students (C3DO).
Learn more in the “C3DO” video at left with C3DO Consulting Coordinator Dennis J. Dowling, DO, MA.
In 2022, the NBOME published five papers and gave more than 66 presentations to various stakeholder groups on the validity, reliability, and fairness of the COMLEX-USA series. Major research projects included a concordance study on COMLEX-USA and USMLE scores, and an article which expands on the recommendations of the Coalition for Physician Accountability’s Undergraduate Medical Education to Graduate Medical Education Transition Review Committee, of which the NBOME is a member.
Learn more in the “Research” video at left with Senior Research Consultant Jack R. Boulet, PhD, MA.
Click each button at left for statistics for COMLEX-USA; COMSAE/WelCOM; and COMAT/COMVEX.
For a student’s perspective on the elimination of scoring for COMLEX-USA Level 1, view the
“Pass/Fail” video at left with Student Experience Panel member Devanshi Patel, OMS-III.
The NBOME began offering the COMAT Foundational Biomedical Sciences Targeted (FBS-T) exams at no cost to COMs on November 1, 2022. The goal is to demonstrate responsiveness to COM feedback on the changes to COMLEX-USA Level 1 score reporting by providing additional feedback to COMs and learners via the 14 COMAT FBS-T assessments, by basic science discipline and/or organ body system organization.
Learn more about how one COM uses COMAT exams in the “Benefits of COMAT” video at left with UNTHSC-TCOM Director of Testing and Evaluation Services Rebel Jones.
In 2022, the NBOME Learning Center migrated to a new, updated platform, featuring new ecommerce with greater security; a more modern, adjustable user interface; a mobile app; and more.
The CATALYST longitudinal assessment platform is used by students in undergraduate medical education (WelCOM), graduate medical education (the ACOFP CORTEx assessment), and continuing medical education (Component 3 of the American Osteopathic Association’s [AOA] Osteopathic Continuous Certification [OCC]). In 2022, 3,767 practicing physicians used CATALYST through the AOA’s OCC, accounting for more than 56 percent of CATALYST’s total 6,718 delivered assessments.
Learn more about CATALYST in the “CATALYST” video at left with AOA Director of Project Management, Certification Products, and Processes Jon Yelton, PMP.
The NBOME continues to carefully steward resources directed to its mission and to benefit our many stakeholders.
Click the “Finance” button at left to learn more about the NBOME’s fiscal activities in 2022.
The NBOME increased its wellness offerings by roughly 15 percent this year. New initiatives included a comprehensive Wellness Challenge addressing all aspects of health maintenance, and a Vaccination Campaign to help protect employees and their families. The Human Resource Department also selected a new third-party benefits administration manager whose values, client base, and wellness strategy is more closely aligned with those of the NBOME.
The NBOME is also committed to being a resource and a partner for candidates on their Road to DO Licensure, through offerings such as the Candidate Wellness and Stories from the Road series of blogs, and a new Mental Health Wellness toolkit, which puts mental health resources right at a candidate’s fingertips.
Learn about the student experience with Candidate Wellness in the “Stories from the Road” video at left with Merwan Faraj, OMS-IV.
In 2022, the NBOME solidified its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) by adding DEI to its list of Core Values. The NBOME also formed DEI Task Force, which helps identify opportunities, further develop programs, and outline specific deliverables. Other Task Force activities included providing guidance on a new Employee Handbook, which eliminated gender-specific language and updated holiday references. The Task Force is also working to incorporate DEI-related goals into the current Strategic Plan.
Also in 2022, Vice President for Human Resources Maya Johnson was named the NBOME’s first Chief Diversity Officer.
Learn about the NBOME’s employee/staff wellness and DEI initiatives in the “DEI & Wellness” video at left with Johnson and Associate Director for Human Resources Felecia Boyd.
In addition, the National Faculty began recruiting for a new DEI Competency Chair. The NBOME also completed the creation of a mindful language guide and training materials for item writers, and helped reduce the time to process a test accommodations request by more than 35 percent, from 62 days to 40 days.
The NBOME’s National Faculty promotes professional wellness through opportunities for professional development, networking, and fellowship.
Learn more in the “National Faculty” video at left with National Faculty Level 1 Examination Chair Joyce A. Brown, DO.
The NBOME visited 40 COMs in calendar year 2022–55 percent more than in 2021. Each of these visits provides an important opportunity to give updates on important issues and hear direct feedback from students, faculty, and leadership about the NBOME’s products and services.
Learn more in the “COM Visits” video at left with OSUCOM at Cherokee Nation Dean Natasha N. Bray, DO, MSEd.
Click on the “COM Visits” button at left to see data related to the NBOME’s COM visits.
The NBOME regularly works with student groups such as COSGP and SOMA to answer questions and gather important feedback on NBOME’s assessment tools and resources.
In addition, our Student Experience Panel (SEP), comprised of a diverse group of osteopathic students, meets once a month to share their thoughts about COMLEX-USA and more.
The NBOME attended or presented at approximately 10 state licensing board meetings in 2022, as well as meetings of the American Association of Osteopathic Examiners (AAOE) and the Federation of State Medical Boards’ Annual Meeting.
These efforts help ensure continued communication and collaboration between NBOME and state medical/osteopathic medical boards, and facilitate input directly from the licensure community about COMLEX-USA and COMVEX programs to the NBOME.
Learn more in the “NBOME/AAOE Partnership” video at left with AAOE President Alexios G. Caryannopoulos, DO, MPH.
For more than a decade, the NBOME has connected with residency programs and medical training institutions to advocate for osteopathic applicants and their credentials and end biased policies against those applicants.
In 2022, the NBOME reached out to 84 residency and visiting student programs in 10 specialties. Many changed their application requirements to accept COMLEX-USA scores and/or DO applicants. This translated to a 45 percent success rate.
The NBOME also supported the 2022 recommendations of the Council of Academic Family Medicine to include COMLEX-USA as part of a holistic application process; partnered with the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine to include information on COMAT in their Internal Medicine Structured Evaluation Letter; and continued its participation in the Coalition for Physician Accountability’s Undergraduate Medical Education to Graduate Medical Education Transition Review Committee.
In June, the NBOME worked with the American Osteopathic Association and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine to release a joint statement in response to the American Medical Association’s call for a single licensing exam for both MD and DO students.
In addition, the NBOME partners with state osteopathic associations to provide information and education to residency program directors in an effort to gain parity for osteopathic applicants and the COMLEX-USA credential.
Learn more in the “Advocacy” video at left with Virginia Osteopathic Medical Association Executive Director Maria Harris.
View our new Advocacy and Education page, which includes a form for candidates to make the NBOME aware of any residency programs that don’t appear to accept COMLEX scores or DO applicants.
In addition to its work with the AOA on the AOA’s Osteopathic Continuous Certification, the NBOME provided important updates on its work to the AOA and COCA throughout the year.
During its tenure, the NBOME Special Commission for Osteopathic Medical Licensure also included members of COCA: Susan I. Belanger, PhD, MA, RN; David A. Forstein, DO; and Janice A. Knebl, DO, MBA.
In addition, the NBOME promoted the AOA House of Delegate’s Resolutions in support of osteopathically distinctive licensure assessment and a holistic review of all residency applicants.
The NBOME regularly provides reports on its activities and developments to the AACOM Board of Deans and staff; the Educational Council on Osteopathic Principles; and the Accreditation Council for Medical Education. In 2022, the NBOME was proud to serve as the platinum sponsor of the AACOM Educating Leaders conference–one of the osteopathic profession’s largest for osteopathic medical education.
In addition, the NBOME supported AACOM in its promotion of the FAIR Act, which seeks parity for DO students in federally funded residency programs.
The NBOME partners with numerous osteopathic and related healthcare organizations to develop, administer, and manage assessments that ensure the competency of osteopathic physicians and other healthcare professionals.
Click the “Assessment Partners” button at left to learn more about our 2022 client partner organizations.