The demonstration involved a graduate of Western States College of Chiropractic who had recently passed the exam. She conducted a case history on a standardized patient (one trained to simulate a condition) "suffering" from an acute migraine headache. The scenario assessed the examiner's ability to take a history, determine symptoms, and assess such elements as frequency and severity of the condition and lifestyle factors.
"It's really exciting to see the widespread interest of other professions in objective testing and to showcase how chiropractic is on the leading edge of testing with this exam," said Dr. David Brown, president of the Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards.
The testing is called objective structured clinical examination (OSCE). According to Dr. Paul Townsend, NBCE's director of practical testing, trained evaluators have a predefined list of expected skills for each of the 25 test stations used in the Part IV exam. Candidates must then demonstrate the ability to apply those skills on a patient.
NBCE chair Dr. Frank Hideg explained how the Part IV exam offers greater flexibility and practice mobility for chiropractors. "Prior to this exam, gaining licensure required taking state practical exams," he said. "As a result, mobility among chiropractors from state to state was highly limited. New graduates found themselves taking numerous state exams in order to ensure a choice of future practice locations. With Part IV, however, new practitioners can satisfy requirements for numerous states with the NBCE exams."
The NBCE Part IV exam is administered to about 4,000 candidates each year at 16 test sites in the U.S. It is accepted by 37 jurisdictions and is under legislative review for acceptance in several others. For more information, visit the NBCE website (www.nbce.org ) or call (970) 356-9100.