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NBME Appeals Massachusetts Judge's Reversal of Lower Court in Suit for Extra Break Time During Medical Licensing Exam

Friday, October 5, 2007 General News J E 4
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PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 26 The National Board of MedicalExaminers is appealing the decision of Justice Gary Katzmann of theMassachusetts Appeals Court, which granted the petition of breastfeedingmother Sophie Currier for extra break time to express milk.

"Our overriding concerns are fairness to all examinees and the integrityof the exam, which serves as an important gateway to medical practice," saidJoseph F. Savage, Jr., attorney for the National Board of Medical Examiners(NBME), which co-sponsors the exam. "Our position remains that the exam'ssponsors have in no way violated Ms. Currier's rights."

"Our first responsibility is to the American public," said Dr. Ruth Hoppe,spokesperson for the National Board of Medical Examiners. "The high stakesinvolved in assessing competence of aspiring physicians to practice medicinerequire that we maintain rigorous and consistent standards that are fair toeveryone taking the test."

Ms. Currier is currently scheduled to take Step 2 Clinical Knowledge ofthe US Medical Licensing Examination on October 4 and 5. If the injunction isin effect at that time, the NBME will comply with its terms.

Step 2 Clinical Knowledge, the portion of the USMLE at issue in Ms.Currier's suit, was taken by more than 33,000 examinees in the 2005-2006academic year.

The USMLE is sponsored by two nonprofit organizations, the National Boardof Medical Examiners and the Federation of State Medical Boards. Policiesgoverning its administration are established by the USMLE Composite Committee,which includes representatives from the two sponsoring organizations, thepublic, and the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates.

SOURCE The National Board of Medical Examiners
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