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Joint statement from AACOM, AOA, NBOME: Support of suspension of COMLEX-USA Level 2-PE and continued osteopathic assessment

By AOA, COCA, NBOME, AACOM

02.17.21

PHILADELPHIA, PA —The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM), American Osteopathic Association (AOA) with support from the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA), and the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME) have been working together on numerous challenges presented by the COVID-19 crisis. One such challenge is balancing the importance of appropriate testing and assessment of students with the safety of testing and travel to testing centers, including the COMLEX-USA examination series that is administered by the NBOME.

Today, our organizations stand together in support of NBOME’s decision to suspend COMLEX-USA Level 2-PE administrations indefinitely given the COVID-19 pandemic. We also stand united in the need for assessment of the unique aspects of osteopathic medical practice within the undergraduate medical education curriculum leading to the DO degree, as an important part of the eventual pathway leading to licensure.

The decision to suspend the COMLEX-USA Level 2-PE will help to address some of the undue burdens and multiple stressors placed upon our osteopathic medical students during the pandemic. We support the use of temporary alternative pathways to ensure that DO students and residents are not uniquely impacted on their progression to residency, or their ability to eventually seek licensure.

In addition, we support and look forward to participation in the Special Commission on Osteopathic Medical Licensure, as it will engage multiple and varied voices throughout the osteopathic medical community to assure that COMLEX-USA evolves in a manner that reflects the changing practice of osteopathic medicine and its physicians.

Together, our organizations remain committed to developing innovative ways to assess clinical skills and other fundamental competencies for the public good and to prepare osteopathic physicians of the future.

About AACOM

The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) was founded in 1898 to lend support and assistance to the nation’s osteopathic medical schools, and to serve as a unifying voice for osteopathic medical education. The organization represents the administration, faculty, and students of all osteopathic medical colleges in the United States and is actively involved in all areas of osteopathic medical education, including graduate medical education. Visit AACOM.org for more information or ChooseDO.org for information about applying to osteopathic medical school.

About AOA

The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) represents more than 151,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs) and osteopathic medical students, promotes public health, encourages scientific research, and serves as the primary certifying body (specialty board certification) for DOs. To learn more about DOs and the osteopathic philosophy of medicine, visit Osteopathic.org.

About COCA

The AOA Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the accreditor of colleges of osteopathic medicine. COCA accreditation signifies that a college has met or exceeded the Commission’s standards for educational quality. COCA is a division of the AOA, but operates independently to serve its role of accrediting colleges of osteopathic medicine.

About NBOME

The National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME) is an independent, nongovernmental, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to protect the public by providing the means to assess competencies for osteopathic medicine and related health care professions. The NBOME develops and administers a number of osteopathically distinct examinations, most notably the COMLEX-USA (Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination of the United States), which is accepted for medical licensure in all 50 of the United States and other licensing jurisdictions. Visit NBOME.org for more information.