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Education and Advocacy

The NBOME works tirelessly to identify biases, clarify information, and educate on osteopathic distinctiveness and the COMLEX-USA credential. We join efforts with our fellow osteopathic organizations to increase awareness and acceptance of DO credentials for all students, residents, and physicians. The DO seniors who set the record match rate of 91.6 percent during the 2023 NRMP Match are a testament to the value that osteopathic distinction brings to healthcare.

We conduct our advocacy efforts through engagement, outreach, and connection. By extending our hand to programs, institutions, and organizations, we have forged new partnerships under the common goal of supporting our profession. These strategies have resulted in a high success rate for our advocacy efforts. Read more by clicking our Program Outreach button at right.

Removing Roadblocks to Residency

The NBOME advocates for a holistic review of residency applicants, and encourages program directors and other GME personnel to evaluate applicants based on their unique experiences, attributes, and competencies.

However, if licensure examinations continue to be used as part of that holistic review process, then COMLEX-USA should be what is looked at to evaluate DOs, as it is the only examination aligned with the education and practice of osteopathic medicine. We will continue to advocate on student’s behalf to alleviate the undue barriers placed on them as they travel the Road to DO Licensure.


  • Felt excluded from a program for being an osteopathic student
  • Been required to pay a significantly higher tuition or fee rate than MD students
  • Had your COMLEX-USA scores rejected for application
  • Been required to submit USMLE scores to apply for a program

We invite you to submit this form so that we may pursue this matter directly with the appropriate program, institution, and/or specialty leadership. Your name and email will only be used for communication between you and the NBOME. Unless you specify otherwise, our outreach on your behalf will be confidential.

We are currently improving our advocacy form. Please submit any requests to advocacy@nbome.org

“THANK YOU SO MUCH! Thank you all so much for the work you do and for keeping me updated. I so appreciate it. I also appreciate these two programs making those changes, because these things I’m finding on FREIDA really do impact me (and I’m sure many others). As someone with a lot of debt and a limited amount of financial resources, us students have to ensure our money is being spent applying to places we feel like we have a shot at, and the things I see in FREIDA actually DID deter me from applying to these programs, until now.” – OMS-IV

Program Outreach

Highlighted Advocacy Wins

Continuing Support from Specialty Residency Leaders
More support for the holistic residency application process, and the COMLEX-USA’s role in that process for DOs. Most recently, academic leaders in Pediatrics and PM&R have gone on record with their support.
Support from Professional Organizations
The NBOME is pleased to report that support for DO residency applicants and COMLEX-USA continues to grow among residency program directors, including the Association of Anesthesiology Core Program Directors, the American Association of Directors of Psychiatry Residency Training, and the Council of Academic Family Medicine.
CU Anschutz
After hearing concerns about the program’s clinical rotation requirements for USMLE Step 1, the NBOME and AACOM reached out to CU Anschutz personnel who explained they would be happy to accept COMLEX-USA scores for visiting osteopathic students and updated their guidelines accordingly. Read More.
OHSU | Adult Psychiatry Program
After learning that the website for the OHSU Department of Psychiatry’s Adult Psychiatry residency program seemed to indicate a preference for USMLE scores over COMLEX scores, we spoke with the program director. The program’s website was then updated to make it clearer that the program does accept COMLEX-USA scores as part of its application process. Read More.

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...

PM&R Leaders Promote Equality for DO Applicants and Equivalent Use of COMLEX-USA

May 25, 2023
The NBOME is pleased to announce that leadership organizations in another specialty field have come out in support...

Anesthesiology Program Directors Join in Support of DO Residency Applicants, COMLEX-USA and Holistic Review

May 16, 2023
The NBOME is pleased to report that support for DO residency applicants and COMLEX-USA continues to grow among...

Psychiatry residency directors show support for COMLEX-USA

April 20, 2023
Following the Council of Academic Family Medicine’s statement in support of parity between DO and MD candidates...

CAFM Recommends COMLEX as part of holistic residency selection for DOs

October 13, 2022
Recognizing change leaders who work to educate and advocate for DOs and their credentials. While the NBOME has...

AOA’s House of Delegates Reaffirms Support of Osteopathic Competency Assessment for Licensure

September 20, 2022
At the American Osteopathic Association’s (AOA) Annual House of Delegates (HOD) meeting in July, delegates from...

Partnering for Progress: Doximity

How the NBOME works to educate and advocate for DOs and their credentials As part of its advocacy outreach, the...

Partnering for Progress: CU Anschutz

NBOME continues efforts to educate and advocate for DOs and their credentials As the NBOME continues to partner...

Partnering for Progress: OHSU

How the NBOME works to educate and advocate for DOs and their credentials The NBOME regularly works in...

Defining the Distinctive Practice of Osteopathic Medicine

Without defining ourselves, we run the risk of being defined by others, and the status of distinction we enjoy will...

The Importance of Osteopathically Distinctive Assessment

Why osteopathic assessment is important throughout the career of an osteopathic physician and to our...

Myths and Misconceptions: The Value of the COMLEX-USA Credential

The NBOME’s vision is to be the global leader in assessment of osteopathic medicine and related health care...

GME Professional’s Day – Interview with Brenda Hoffman

Aug 20, 2021
In celebration of GME Professionals Day, we recognize the GME coordinators, managers, and administrators who work...

Advocacy to Improve Access to Training Opportunities for DO Students

July 06, 2021
We have been a tireless advocate for reducing unnecessary barriers and increasing awareness of osteopathic students...

A Conversation on Single GME for Residency Program Directors

Medical College of Wisconsin’s DIO, Kenneth B. Simons, MD discusses how residency program directors can utilize...

A Conversation on Single GME for Students

March 24, 2020
Kenneth B. Simons, MD , Senior Associate Dean for GME and Accreditation at the Medical College of Wisconsin...