NBME Response to Coalition for Physician Accountability’s UME-to-GME Review Committee (UGRC) Report and Recommendations

Posted September 22, 2021

We appreciate the thoughtfulness of the Coalition for Physician Accountability’s UME to GME Review Committee and support the recommended steps to improve the transition to residency. We agree with the UGRC that innovation in assessment is needed to drive necessary systems change. As an essential part of our strategic plan and our commitment to supporting learners, health care providers and patients, we are prepared to collaborate and partner with our colleagues across academic medicine to address the UGRC recommendations. 

NBME is committed to supporting solutions that advance and improve the measurement and evaluation of the health care community in furtherance of our vision to improve the quality of care for patients around the world through state-of-the-art assessment. We believe:

  • Patients are best served by health care providers who consistently demonstrate patient-centric behaviors and are dedicated to continuous growth of their knowledge and skills.  
    • Longitudinal and formative assessment-for-learning are critical in this process 
  • Learners benefit from the systems, tools and data that enable self-reflection and informed decisions on their progression towards competence and mastery. 

NBME agrees with the need for more robust assessment strategies. To accelerate innovation in medical education assessment, we established a Competency-based Assessment Unit. The Unit’s dedicated focus allows us to: 

  • Serve as an ally to health professionals’ continuous competency development, 
  • Work with medical educators and practitioners to develop, deliver and continuously improve meaningful assessments, and 
  • Explore new and novel ways to measure and encourage life-long learning. 

We are ready to engage the medical education community to both improve existing assessment tools and develop new assessment tools.  Our current activities include: 

  • Participating in and supporting the AAMC Group on Educational Affairs CLASS project, 
  • Exploring opportunities to support and improve the OSCE assessments in medical schools, and 
  • Establishing funds to support collaborations with medical educators and other innovators to investigate, develop and deliver novel assessment practices and data solutions.  

NBME concurs with the Committee’s recommendation that a common framework and set of outcomes (competencies) is necessary to optimize assessment strategies and is prepared to participate in and support these efforts. 

NBME also agrees that the entire medical education continuum must be dedicated to anti-racism, avoiding bias, and ensuring equity. We remain committed to these priorities in all our work, including eliminating and avoiding bias in our current assessments. We will continue to do our part to ensure our tests are free from bias and strive to keep access and bias issues as key factors in the evolution of NBME offerings as we develop new assessments and examine our current ones. 

As an organization identified as an assessment leader, we remain committed to developing and delivering both formative and summative assessments of the many competencies expected of health professionals. We remain committed to the key principles of diversity, equity and inclusion and continue to work towards systemic change. We look forward to working with the medical education community to improve the UME-GME transition. 

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