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NBPME Licensure Examinations

The National Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners (NBPME) licensure examinations are designed to measure the important knowledge necessary to perform at the level of minimal competence as a newly licensed podiatric medical practitioner. The validity of the NBPME examinations is based on the evidence drawn from a national job analysis survey of practicing podiatrists who told the NBPME what activities they performed that were important for public protection, and what knowledge and skills they needed to perform those activities at a level that would protect the health, safety and welfare of the public. The content domain covered by the NBPME examinations measures that important knowledge necessary for performance at the level of minimal competence as stipulated by the nationwide job analysis of podiatrists.

In 2000 and 2006, the NBPME conducted nationwide job analyses of practicing podiatric physicians determining by those studies the important tasks that practitioners perform and the important knowledge and skills they need to perform those tasks at the level of minimal competence. The study results were then used to develop the content to be tested and the percentage of questions (items) per content area. The 2006 data led to changes in the Part II exam in the areas of surgery, pediatric orthopedics, pain management and research design. Minor changes in the Parts I and II content outlines updated these areas.

NBPME periodically conducts such studies to obtain input from the profession regarding current and appropriate examination content.

In addition, the items for Part I are written by basic science faculty and for Parts II and III by a mix of clinical faculty, residency directors and practitioners. Each major content area in the Part I test has a chairperson who is an expert in the field. Practitioners review all test items employed in any NBPME licensure examination. In addition to the items being reviewed by practitioners for appropriateness and accuracy, each chairperson reviews the items in his or her area of expertise to ensure that the items are current. Textbook references are provided justifying the correct responses to each items in the NBPME examinations. Extensive reviews, both by content experts before each administration and through statistical analyses and content expert review after each examination administration ensure that the items are keyed correctly.

The results from NBPME examinations are valid in that they measure the important knowledge necessary for licensure based on evidence gathered through a nationwide job analysis of practicing podiatrists. Based on this evidence the NBPME is justified in using the scores for licensure purposes for podiatric medical practice.

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