United States Medical Licensing Unified Examination
On February 26, 2014, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and the American Osteopathic Association
(AOA) agreed to a unified accredication system for physician graduate
medical education (residency match). This would allow Osteopathic
physicians (D.O) and Allopathic physicians (M.D.) to be universally
ACGME-accredited by the year 2020. In addition, to preserve the
distinctiveness of the Osteopathic profession, there will be
Osteopathically-focused residencies. Due to this unification, the
existence of a single match system is more than probable after all
residencies attain ACGME-accreditation.
In response to the merger of United States residency program and the possibility of a single match, we, the signers of this petition, would like to request for a unified pathway for the licensing examinations of medical students and medical interns.
1. This would allow a more standardized approach for the testing of both DO and MD students, since currently the USMLE and COMLEX exams contain different styles of questions.
2. This would allow Osteopathic students to focus on a single exam, without the pressure of taking two examinations, in lieu of ACGME residency programs that would continue to strongly encourage all applicants to submit a USMLE score.
3. This would allow Allopathic medical students interested in Osteopathically-focused residencies to focus on a single exam, as well, if they have elected to take OMT classes, designed for MD students at Osteopathic medical schools (a proposed idea).
3. This would assist residency program directors in comparing all medical graduates in a more standardized fashion.
We further propose that if this USMLUE exam can be considered, we can preserve all tested topics, and simply add an additional section that tests Osteopathic Manipulative Techniques, for examinees that indicate they are Osteopathic medical students or Allopathic students that have taken OMT electives.
Perhaps, we can keep the USMLE scoring scale, with a separate score for the additional OMT exam section (analogous to how the old version of the MCAT was scored with a separate score for their Writing Section).
We do hope that this petition can be considered for discussion among both the ACGME and AOA board members that have efficiently represented medical students across the nation, and continue to make decisions in the interests of medical education, and most importantly, patient care.