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Dean's Office Communication on COVID-19 - 2021-01-27

Dear MSUCOM faculty, staff and students,

Yesterday, we received word that the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) has reached a decision to discontinue the USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills examination. More on their decision may be found here.

As you likely know, both the UMSLE Step 2-CS and the COMLEX-USA Level 2 Performance Evaluation (PE) examinations were suspended in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent communications from the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME) has indicated an intent to resume the Level 2-PE in April 2021. As of yet, there is no word from NBOME on whether the announcement from NBME will alter these plans.

We recognize that the Level 2-PE examination has been part of the licensure pathway for osteopathic physicians since its initial administration in 2004 and is in place to promote public trust in the competency of osteopathic physicians. That said, the college also acknowledges that the fees and travel costs associated with this examination are not trivial, and that equity between osteopathic and allopathic student experiences is an important consideration.

We are therefore engaging in immediate discussion on this topic, so that we may offer an informed opinion from the college to the NBOME and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM).  We believe that demonstration of competency in the domains assessed by the COMLEX-USA Level 2-PE can be measured and verified by the college, and we will be prepared to provide that assurance to our graduates and their future patients if and when the NBOME examination is discontinued.

We also have heard directly from our students about the many questions this announcement has raised, and we will seek to ensure those questions are adequately answered at the national level.

To make sure we represent our student body effectively, we invite you to share your thoughts through this survey.

We look forward to follow-up communications as the college develops its response to these events.

Sincerely,

Dean Amalfitano