A survey of ophthalmology and otolaryngology residency program directors was conducted to determine the extent to which National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) Part I scores are used in selection of residents in these highly competitive specialty fields. Results from 218 completed questionnaires representing nearly 90% of all US ophthalmology and otolaryngology/head and neck surgery programs were analyzed. More than three fourths indicated that Part I NBME scores were used in selecting residents; more than half of the programs used these scores as a means to determine whom to interview. The direct use of NBME scores in the residency application process is widespread; however, such use of NBME scores is not consistent with the purposes of the National Board. The preeminent role of the faculty in the evaluation of medical students and in the assessment of their clinical competence needs emphasis.
McCollister RJ. The Use of Part I National Board Scores in the Selection of Residents in Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology. JAMA. 1988;259(2):240–242. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03720020042034