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Date Updated: November 10, 2011

Practicing Physicians

Post-Licensure Assessment System

The Post-Licensure Assessment System (PLAS) is a joint activity of the NBME and the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB). The PLAS was developed to assist medical licensing authorities in assessing physicians who have already been licensed. The PLAS provides:

Resources for Clinical Competence Assessment

The PLAS provides comprehensive objective and personalized assessments of physicians for whom there is a question regarding clinical competence. These assessments are provided through a network of national assessment programs that provide comprehensive assessment and educational services to physicians.

The assessment provided by these programs evaluates the physician's medical knowledge, clinical judgment, and patient management skills through a combination of standardized and personalized assessment tools. Physicians can participate in an assessment in one of two ways:

  • Self-referred:
    Physicians who are interested in self-assessment of their clinical knowledge and skills.
  • Third-Party Referral:
    Participants referred by a state medical board or territorial licensing authority, physician practice, hospital or other healthcare entity.

Special Purpose Examination (SPEX®)

The SPEX, administered by computer, is an objective and standardized, cognitive examination of current knowledge requisite for the general, undifferentiated practice of medicine.

Together, the PLAS programs have assessed hundreds of physicians over the past several years for reasons that range from endorsement of licensure to license reactivation after disciplinary action.


Contact Information

Post-Licensure Assessment System
National Board of Medical Examiners
3750 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104



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