WVSOM students achieve top scores on national board exam.
Article Type: Report
Subject: Medical students (Rankings)
Professional examinations (Rankings)
Osteopathy (Study and teaching)
Pub Date: 11/01/2008
Publication: Name: West Virginia Medical Journal Publisher: West Virginia State Medical Association Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2008 West Virginia State Medical Association ISSN: 0043-3284
Issue: Date: Nov-Dec, 2008 Source Volume: 104 Source Issue: 6
Geographic: Geographic Scope: West Virginia Geographic Code: 1U5WV West Virginia
Accession Number: 201087175
Full Text: The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine has been notified by the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners that its students ranked first in the nation on a section of their national board exam.

According to the report, WVSOM students turned in the top scores among all osteopathic medical students on the "humanistic domain" section of the COMLEX-USA Level 2 Performance Examination. The test is scored by direct observation of students in a clinical setting for a seven-hour, nationally-standardized practical examination. The report summarized performance of students completing the examination for the first time between July 2007 and May 2008.

"I couldn't be prouder of our students and our faculty," said WVSOM president Olen Jones, Ph.D. "Yet again, WVSOM is dominating the national rankings."

All 107 WVSOM students passed the humanistic domain, which measures physician-patient communication, interpersonal skills, and professionalism. WVSOM students also ranked seventh on the other part of the exam (the biomedical/biomechanical domain), and third for total pass rate when the two sections were combined.

All osteopathic medical students must receive passing scores on the total exam before they can become licensed osteopathic physicians. WVSOM also requires students to pass the exam before they can graduate.

Robert Foster, D.O., associate dean for predoctoral clinical education, said "We are delighted, but not surprised, by the outstanding performance of our students on the exam." Dr. Foster explained that WVSOM's program relies on about 70 members of the Lewisburg community who serve as "standardized patients" in communication laboratories and performance examinations.

Standardized patients are taught by WVSOM faculty to provide a standardized medical history and to portray symptoms of assigned medical problems. In many of these labs, the standardized patients provide feedback directly to the students regarding doctor-patient communication and professionalism.

According to Craig Boisvert, D.O., chairperson of the clinical sciences division, "WVSOM has always stressed communication skills with our students, but practice with standardized patients makes this much more exciting and realistic."

Gretchen Lovett, Ph.D., faculty coordinator for the first year communication component, added, "We are delighted that 'bedside manner' has risen to this important place in the medical curriculum, where it needs to be.

At WVSOM, our faculty, staff, standardized patients, preceptors, and students have all embraced this challenge. We are extremely proud of these accomplishments."
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.