COMLEX-USA is a series of four medical board examination components, taken at multiple points in an osteopathic medical student's career. All osteopathic medical schools in the United States require passage of COMLEX Level 1, Level 2-CE (computer-based exam) and Level 2-PE (performance-based exam) before graduation. Successful achievement of the final component, Level 3 (taken after graduation, during residency), qualifies the candidate for licensure as an osteopathic physician in all 50 states.

The COMLEX-USA sequence is administered by the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners, http://www.nbome.org/ .

Because students must pass licensing examinations to become physicians, WVSOM created "WVSOM's Office of National Boards," an internal administrative unit which provides leadership for WVSOM's activities in this area (see http://www.wvsom.edu/Programs/NBO/nbome-examcenter ).

WVSOM's policy regarding licensing examinations, Institutional Policy E-23 (available at http://www.wvsom.edu/AboutWVSOM/admin-policies ) is designed to maximize student success while providing minimal disruption to learning in other curricular components.

As detailed in Institutional Policy E-23, students are allowed more than one attempt to pass the examination, but if the exams are not passed by the deadlines outlined in the policy, penalties are imposed, such as being removed from clinical rotations to concentrate on studying for the exam. Too many failures results in dismissal (see policy).

WVSOM pays very close attention to performance. Recent pass rates for students who have used all attempts are shown in the following Tables.

National Board (COMLEX) Pass Rates

  2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
L1 1st Attempt 82.18% 81.21% 92.55% 78.21% 91.84%
L1 All Attempts 100% 100% 99.50% 100% --

L2 CE 1st Attempt 87.37% 81.87% 86.84% 79.77% 85.41%
L2 CE All Attempts 100% 100% 100% 98% 98%

L2 PE 1st Attempt 96% 97% 96% 95% 90%
L2 PE All Attempts 100% 100% 100% 100% 98.5%

L3 1st Attempt 90.82% 95.20% 96.59% 94.44% --**
L3 All Attempts 100% 100% 99% 99% --

* In progress

** Exam taken post graduation