NMBE U FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is NBME U?

    NBME U is an evidence-based, online tool that helps health professions educators create reliable, high-quality assessments to evaluate student knowledge, skills, and competencies. The first digital offering in the health professions educational assessment arena, NBME U was created specifically for educators who have extensive clinical expertise, but lack resources and guidance in assessing students in a classroom environment.

  • What is the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME)?

    The not-for-profit National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) is one of the leading assessors of health professionals in the world. Established in 1915, the NBME is an independent, objective organization that evaluates physicians, physical therapists, medical assistants, veterinarians, health coaches, and clinical research professionals through customized, state-of-the-art exams. The NBME’s most widely recognized exam is the three-step United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE®), which provides a common evaluation system and established minimum standards for all doctors of medicine seeking an initial license to practice medicine in the United States.

  • Why did the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) create NBME U?

    One of the most pressing challenges facing educators today is how to effectively assess the competencies of their students. Many educators struggle to get the customized tools and training needed to evaluate students. With the explosion of information online, it’s also difficult to accurately gauge whether students have all the knowledge required to be successful in the field.

  • What topics does NBME U address?

    NBME U includes 28 lessons that cover test design, scoring, and assessment. Each lesson can be completed in 15-20 minutes – anytime, anywhere and on any device. Educators will have continued access to the lessons so they can go back and review them at any time.

  • How does NBME U work?

    Upon purchasing a lesson, an educator will answer a pre-lesson quiz to assess his or her knowledge of the topic. After completing the lesson, the educator will return to the quiz and retake the questions. Participants will have three chances to pass the lesson.

  • Are NBME U lessons peer-reviewed?

    Current NBME U lessons are not peer-reviewed for content, but we have set up an advocacy committee to start the review process.

  • What differentiates NBME U from similar courses?

    NBME U has several advantages:

    • Each NBME U lesson is evidence-based and is prepared by experts in the assessment and medical education fields, including Dr. Peter Katsufrakis, Dr. John Norcini, and Dr. David Swanson.
    • The short, self-guided lessons in NBME U can be accessed anywhere, anytime and on any mobile device.
    • NBME U offers a flexible learning environment so educators can work at their own pace and focus on the topics that are most relevant to their professional development.

  • Why should educators choose NBME U over other offerings?

    There aren’t many resources or CME conferences focused on the topic of developing assessments. In fact, NBME U is the first digital offering for health professions educators in the medical assessment field.

  • What is the benefit to enrolling in NBME U?

    Each successfully completed course earns 0.25 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM for physicians, or a certificate of participation for other health care professionals. More importantly, educators who enroll in NBME U will gain confidence in their assessments that their students are equipped to progress to their next stage of professional training.

  • How many people have enrolled in NBME U so far and who are they?

    We are excited about the interest we’ve received in NBME U to date. We currently have 50 educators enrolled and are in conversation with several medical schools and academic institutions to provide NBME U lessons to multiple members of their faculties.

  • Are health professions faculty required to enroll in NBME U?

    There is no requirement to enroll in NBME U, however we believe that educators who take these lessons will have the tools they need to better measure the performance and readiness of their students, who will eventually be on the front lines of patient care.

  • Does an NBME U enrollee have to complete all courses in the lesson plan?

    No. NBME U was designed specifically for busy faculty. Educators can pick and choose which lessons are most relevant to their professional development.

  • Is there a cost associated with NBME U?

    The cost of each lesson is $15. There is discounted pricing available for bulk purchases made by institutions. Contact Amber Montañano at amontanano@nbme.org for details.

    Individual learners can use credit cards (Visa or MasterCard) or vouchers received from their institutions. Institutions can make payments using credit card (Visa or MasterCard), check, or money wire.

  • Why is there a cost associated with NBME U when the lessons were previously offered for free?

    We’re passionate about helping educators become better educators. That’s why we’ve invested time and resources in creating NBME U. The cost of the lessons is reinvested back into the NBME U program so that we can create new content, enhance existing lessons and develop a shared learning platform where educators can gather insights and best practices from their peers.

  • Does NBME U offer discounts for purchases of multiple lessons?

    At this time, NBME U does not offer a subscription or discounts for purchases of multiple lessons for individuals. However, there is discounted pricing available for bulk purchases made by institutions. Contact Amber Montañano at amontanano@nbme.org for details.

  • Does NBME U offer refunds?

    NBME does not offer refunds for NBME U lessons.

  • Is NBME U only accessible to educators or can institutions enroll too?

    Institutions can absolutely enroll. In fact, we offer special incentives deals for institutions looking to purchase lessons in bulk. Contact Amber Montañano at amontanano@nbme.org for details.

  • How can educators start using NBME U?

    Educators can visit www.my.nbme.org to create an account and enroll in a lesson.

  • Who created the NBME U lessons?

    NBME U lessons were developed by experts in the assessment and medical education fields, including Dr. Peter Katsufrakis, Dr. John Norcini, and Dr. David Swanson. You can read more about the authors here.

  • When will the lessons become available?

    NBME U currently offers 28 lessons, and we expect to add new lessons each year. You can read more about the lessons here.

  • What medical schools are currently using NBME U?

    We have received preliminary interest from several medical schools. We continue to reach out to other schools we think may be interested in using these lessons to train their staff.

  • Can I speak with an educator currently enrolled in NBME U?

    We’ve just launched NBME U and are in the preliminary stages of enrolling individuals and institutions. Once educators have had more time with the lessons, we’d be happy to put you in touch with someone.


NBME U is not an educational institution, and the information and services provided through the NBME U website are not part of an accredited or state-approved educational program.


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