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Mass. Judge Denies Request by Breastfeeding Mother for More Break Time on Medical Licensing Exam
Date:9/19/2007

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Judge Patrick Brady of Norfolk County, Massachusetts Superior Court has denied a motion by a breastfeeding mother for a preliminary injunction that would have given her additional break time for her to pump breast milk during the national medical licensing examination.

According to the Memorandum and Order, Judge Brady did not agree that refusal to permit additional break time during the test burdens the mother's alleged constitutional right to breastfeed. The order states, "Even assuming the constitutional right which the plaintiff is asserting, it is unlikely that she will prevail on the argument that the conditions under which she is required to take the test unfairly burdens her right."

"We are pleased by the opinion of the judge," said Joseph F. Savage, Jr., attorney for the National Board of Medical Examiners, which co-sponsors the exam. "The order listed the measures we have offered Ms. Currier to address her needs and noted that she can choose to take the test or delay until she has finished breastfeeding, if she prefers."

At the time of the hearing, Ms. Currier was scheduled to take the exam later this month at a testing center in Brookline, MA. She has two days of testing time, rather than the one day usually available, to take her exam because the NBME granted accommodations she requested on the basis of dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

"We wish Ms. Currier well," said Dr. Ruth Hoppe, spokesperson for the National Board. "We know all examinees invest enormous time and energy in preparing for medical careers. A passing score on the USMLE is accepted by virtually all US licensing boards for use in granting the initial license to practice medicine. We recognize that the stakes are very high for examinees and the public."

The three Steps of the US Medical Licensing Examination are given more than 100,000 times annually. The Step 2 Clinical Knowledge ex
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SOURCE National Board of Medical Examiners
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