The NBOME COMLEX: Information and Resources

The COMLEX-USA program, administered by the NBOME (National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners), is designed to assess the osteopathic medical knowledge considered essential for osteopathic generalist physicians to practice medicine without supervision. Its M.D. equivalent is the USMLE exam.

The NBOME's COMLEX assessment program is administered in three parts, or Levels. Level 1 is taken upon completion of the second year of medical school, Level 2 is taken during the fourth year of medical school, and Level 3 is usually taken after beginning residency. The content of each examination is based on the COMLEX-USA Examination Blueprint. Each examination, to varying degrees depending on the expected level of competency, covers the following content areas:

  • Asymptomatic & General Symptoms
  • Symptoms & Disorders of Digestion & Metabolism
  • Symptoms & Disorders of Sensory Alternations
  • Symptoms & Disorders of Motor Alternations
  • Symptoms & Disorders Related to Human Sexuality & Urination
  • Symptoms & Disorders of Respiration & Circulation
  • Symptoms & Disorders of Thermoregulation
  • Symptoms & Disorders of the Tissues and Trauma
  • Symptoms & Disorders of Human Development

These content areas are integrated into the following categories of questions:

  • Health Promotion & Disease Prevention
  • History & Physical
  • Diagnostic Technologies
  • Management
  • Scientific Understanding of Mechanisms
  • Health Care Delivery

COMLEX Level 1

Questions on the Level 1 exam focus on the student's ability to solve clinical medical problems through knowledge of scientific principles in the following areas:

  • mechanisms of health
  • medical problems
  • disease processes

The examination draws on the student's knowledge of anatomy, behavioral science, biochemistry, microbiology, osteopathic principles, pathology, pharmacology and physiology.

COMLEX Level 1 is an eight-hour exam broken into two, four-hour segments. Both segments are administered on the same day, with a 40-minute break in between. Additionally, there is a ten-minute break within each segment.

COMLEX Level 2

COMLEX Level 2 consists of two parts: the original Level 2-CE exam and the Level 2-PE exam which was introduced in 2005.

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