The Exam

About The Exam

Part II CSPE Exam information is now available. Learn more by clicking here.

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The Part II Clinical Skills Patient Encounter (Part II CSPE) assesses proficiency in podiatric clinical tasks needed to enter residency. Candidates will be expected to perform a focused physical examination, including podiatric and general medicine physical exam maneuvers appropriate for each patient presentation. Podiatric and general medical knowledge, verbal and written communication, and interpersonal skills will be assessed in each exam form.

Beginning with the Class of 2015, and excluding the Classes of 2016, 2021, 2022, 2023, and 2024, there are two components to the Part II examination: the Part II written and the Part II CSPE. Persons from earlier classes are neither required nor eligible to take the CSPE.

CSPE Task Force

The NBPME has convened a group to consider options for the future of the patient encounter examination. The members include a variety of parties with a direct interest in the issue including deans from two of the schools, the APMSA, state licensing boards and the Federation of Podiatric Medical Boards, CPME, COTH, college faculty, a physician currently in a residency program who has taken CSPE, a public member and a psychometrician.

The Task Force will begin its deliberations by reviewing the results of the broad-based survey commissioned by NBPME in November 2021. Key findings from that survey of 40 representatives of organizations and 683 individuals are shown below.

  1. The four skill sets remain important to assess; i.e.,
    1. Physician-patient communication and interpersonal skills
    2. Data gathering and history taking
    3. Documentation of the patient encounter
    4. Clinical problem-solving and decision-making
  2. The two best methods for verification of the four skill sets are:
    1. College of podiatric medicine or teaching hospital-based examination
    2. Evaluation by preceptors
  3. Formative assessment (i.e., evaluations given during the learning process) would be acceptable
  4. The greatest limitations of these assessments are bias of evaluators and assuring accuracy of evaluators
  5. The majority of Organizational Stakeholders support a national standardized clinical skills examination
  6. Cost is an overriding concern by all respondents, especially among students
  7. Preferences for evaluation by patients on clinical rotations is low because of concerns about potential bias and a lack of inter-rater reliability


The task force will begin meeting in April and is expected to present a report to the board at its annual meeting in August 2022.

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