Foundational research advances the field of assessment science and forms the cornerstone for NBME’s products and services, ensuring that they meet the highest standard and are continuously improved to better serve our audience.

bookshelf of NBME publications

About Foundational Research

Our foundational research has two primary goals:

  1. To advance the broader field of assessment science, so educators can more accurately evaluate future and current health care professionals
  2. To support NBME® products and services, so we can improve the quality of our current offerings to better serve the medical education community

Advancing Assessment Science

Members of the NBME research team often pursue topics that are not specific to USMLE® or NBME’s offerings, but instead contribute to the wider pool of assessment-related scholarship.

View some examples of these publications below and discover more in the Research Library.



Gender Comparison in Milestone Trajectories and Medical Knowledge Examination Scores Among Internal Medicine Residents

View Publication >


Using Eye-Tracking Data as Part of the Validity Argument for Multiple-Choice Questions

View Publication >


A Novel Workplace-Based Assessment for Competency-Based Decisions and Learner Feedback

View Publication >

Advancing Our Products and Services

The work of our research team is also critical to the development and advancement of our products, services and licensure exams, while ensuring that they continue to meet our standard of quality. View some examples of these publications below and discover more in the Research Library.



Enhancement of Assessment of Physician-Patient Communication Skills in the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE)

View Publication >


Effects of Moving the United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1 After Core Clerkships on Step 2 Clinical Knowledge Performance

View Publication >


Assessment for Learning: Investigating the Utility of the Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine Self-Assessments for Subject Examination Preparation

View Publication >