National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) Latin America Grants Program

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The National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) has announced the continuation of its Latin America Grants Program. The NBME is currently seeking proposals to develop regional medical school consortia that will have a broad, sustainable impact on the quality of medical student assessment and program evaluation in Latin America. Each award will provide up to $50,000 over a two-year period. Proposals are due by January 15, 2018.

Detailed information on eligibility and the application process can be found here.

FAIMER President and CEO John Norcini Receives Hubbard Award

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FAIMER President and CEO John Norcini, Ph.D., is the 2009 recipient of the prestigious National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) John P. Hubbard Award. Established in 1983, in honor of the late John P. Hubbard, M.D., long-time esteemed CEO of the NBME, the award is presented to individuals who have made distinguished contributions to the field of evaluation in medicine. The Hubbard award recognizes Dr. Norcini’s commitment to excellence in medical education, his rigorous pursuit of high standards in scholarship, his broad and prolific publications and presentations history, and his tireless work on behalf of FAIMER. Dr. Norcini’s accomplishments in the field of assessment are considered both wide-ranging and pioneering.

The award was announced on March 26, 2009 at the Annual Meeting of the NBME Membership. For more information, please visit

Fundamentals of Assessment in Medical Education (FAME)

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Fundamentals of Assessment in Medical Education (FAME) is a joint project of the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER) and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME), which debuted at the 2007 Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) meeting in Trondheim, Norway, August 23-29. FAME is a collaborative activity following from FAIMER and NBME’s Memorandum of Understanding, signed in July 2006, to develop a framework for working together to improve global health professions education.

FAME is a basic-level course on educational assessment geared toward medical school faculty who are new to teaching and assessment and individuals who have assumed new responsibilities for assessment. In this first year, 22 registrants from 12 countries participated in FAME.

FAME is designed around two complementary dimensions of assessment themes (Test Design; Test Material Development; Standard Setting; and Scoring, Analysis, and Reporting) and assessment frames (Assessment of Knowledge and Reasoning, Assessment of Clinical Skills, Assessment of Workplace Performance, and Assessment of Programs).The course schedule includes one and one-half pre-conference days consisting of plenary and small group sessions. Small group work was organized around the four frames, culminating with each participant, together with faculty facilitators, preparing a conference itinerary to guide their attendance at AMEE conference sessions in a way that would supplement and extend their assessment knowledge and skills. During the conference, faculty and participants met daily over lunch to review sessions attended. At the conclusion of the AMEE conference, faculty and participants met again to sum up the course experience, address remaining questions, and discuss possible future study.

Course faculty are internationally-recognized experts drawn from the sponsoring organizations and from around the world. The Course Director is Tony LaDuca, Ph.D., formerly Principal Assessment Scientist at NBME. Other faculty included John (Jack) R. Boulet, Ph.D., Associate Vice President for Research, FAIMER; W. Dale Dauphinee, M.D., F.R.C.P.C.; Carol Morrison, Ph.D., Associate Vice President, Scoring Services, NBME; David B. Swanson, Ph.D., Deputy Vice President of Professional Services, NBME; Helena Davies, M.B.Ch.B. (Hons), M.D., F.R.C.P.C.H., clinical academic in Medical Education/Late Effects (of Cancer therapy), University of Sheffield (Honorary Consultant, Sheffield Children’s Hospital); Ann King, M.A., Assessment Scientist in Measurement Consulting Services, NBME; Marina R. Mrouga. M.D., Ph.D., Deputy Director of Testing Board of Professional Competence Assessment, Ukraine; Ingrid Philibert, M.H.A., M.B.A., Senior Vice President, Department of Field Activities, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME); and Professor Dame Lesley Southgate, D.B.E., D.Sc., F.R.C.S., F.R.C.G.P., Professor of Medical Education, St. George’s Hospital Medical School. Leading the FAME faculty team are John Norcini, Ph.D., President of FAIMER, and Donald Melnick, M.D., President of NBME.

Evaluations have been received from 19 of the 22 participants. For the most part, these were very positive, but, as expected, several weaknesses were identified. Follow-up discussions with course faculty have confirmed several suggestions for improvements and these are being devised for a subsequent offering in 2008.

NBME® Evaluation Fellowship Program

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This fall, FAIMER® and the National Board of Medical Examiners® (NBME) continue their collaboration to expand the NBME’s Evaluation Fellowship Program. The NBME is an independent, not-for-profit organization that provides high-quality examinations for the health professions, including the United States Medical Licensing Examination™ (USMLE™). The NBME’s Evaluation Fellowship Program, with funding provided by FAIMER, allows international participants to study aspects of NBME’s operations, such as test administration, medical school services, psychometrics and scoring, test design and development, test construction, and information technology. The goal of the program is to enable Fellows to serve as resident experts in such topics at their home country institutions.

The NBME recently welcomed to Philadelphia its second Evaluation Fellow from the National Medical Examination Center in Beijing, People’s Republic of China. Mr. Chen Shengyu arrived approximately one month ago and will remain in residence until mid-December 2006. Mr. Chen is a colleague of Ms. He Ju (Julia), the first Evaluation Fellow hosted by the NBME, who completed her own residency in 2005. Upon arriving in Philadelphia, Mr. Chen completed an orientation period, during which he met with staff of NBME, the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), and the Clinical Skills Evaluation Collaboration (CSEC). In addition, he attended a faculty development workshop on clinical skills, led by Ann King and Ruth Hoppe. In the coming months, Mr. Chen will be embedded among CSEC teams, where he will become familiar with case development procedures and quality assurance processes. Mr. Chen will complete a project during his residence as well. He is being supervised by Ann King and Anthony LaDuca from NBME’s Measurement Consulting Services.