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

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Board of Medical Examiners is appealing the decision of Justice Gary Katzmann of the Massachusetts Appeals Court, which granted the petition of breastfeeding mother Sophie Currier for extra break time to express milk.

"Our overriding concerns are fairness to all examinees and the integrity of the exam, which serves as an important gateway to medical practice," said Joseph F. Savage, Jr., attorney for the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME), which co-sponsors the exam. "Our position remains that the exam's sponsors 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 stakes involved in assessing competence of aspiring physicians to practice medicine require that we maintain rigorous and consistent standards that are fair to everyone taking the test."

Ms. Currier is currently scheduled to take Step 2 Clinical Knowledge of the US Medical Licensing Examination on October 4 and 5. If the injunction is in 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 2005-2006 academic year.

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

SOURCE The National Board of Medical Examiners
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