The term COMLEX refers to a three-level examination that assesses the applicant's knowledge and clinical skills in osteopathic medicine. The Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination, or COMLEX, is sponsored by the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners. The purpose of the test is to ensure physicians are able to provide unsupervised osteopathic care to patients.
In the United States, state-level medical boards have the authority to grant an individual a license to practice medicine. The Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination, or COMLEX, provides a common system to use as part of the state's qualifications assessment and subsequent licensure.
The COMLEX tests the applicant's abilities along two dimensions: clinical presentation (health issues encountered in practice) and physician tasks (steps taken to solve problems). The total examination consists of a three-level process that assesses:
Raw scores are converted to a three-digit scale and a two-digit scale based on historical performance, with a score of 500 representing the examination mean. A three-digit score of 400 (Levels 1 and 2) or 350 (Level 3) is required to pass the examination. There is no limit to the number of times a candidate may retake an exam; however, they are limited to four tests in a 12-month period. Level 2-PE can only be taken three times in a 12-month period.
Scores are typically available in four to six weeks after the date of the examination (eight to ten weeks for the Level 2-PE exam). Candidates and Deans are notified by email that scores are available, which can be accessed online or through the mail by writing the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners.