Case: In re The National Board of Medical Examiners

DJ# 202-16-181 | No Court

Filed Date: 2011

Closed Date: Feb. 23, 2014

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

A medical student with dyslexia filed a complaint with the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice alleging that the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) violated Title III the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act (ADAA) and its implementing regulation in NBME's administration of United States Medical Licensing Examine (USMLE). Specifically, the student alleged that the USME improperly found that he did not prove that he had a disability within the meaning of the ADA…

A medical student with dyslexia filed a complaint with the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice alleging that the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) violated Title III the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act (ADAA) and its implementing regulation in NBME's administration of United States Medical Licensing Examine (USMLE). Specifically, the student alleged that the USME improperly found that he did not prove that he had a disability within the meaning of the ADAA and improperly refused to provide him with his requested accommodations on the 2008 and 2010 administrations of the USMLE.

On February 23, 2011, the United States Department of Justice and NBME entered into a settlement agreement. The settlement agreement, which lasted for three years, required:

  • NBME to provide reasonable accommodations as required by the ADAA, 42 U.S.C. § 12189 and its implementing regulation, 28 C.F.R. §36.309.
  • NBME would only request documentation that would be required to prove that an individual applying for accommodations did in fact have a disability under the ADAA and how that disability would effect the individual's ability to take the USMLE.
  • NBME was required to "carefully consider" the opinion of medical professionals who have diagnosed individuals with reading disabilities and to consider supported, bona fide reasons for late diagnosis.
  • NBME was required to determine whether an individuals ability to read was substantially limited compared to the reading ability of "most people."
  • NBME was allowed to make a timely request for supplemental documentation and to have an applicant tested by its own medical professionals at its own expense to test the accuracy of the applicant's diagnosis of a disability.
  • NBME was not required to provide accommodations that would fundamentally alter the test or endanger the security of the test.
  • NBME was required to give "considerable weight" to accommodations given on similar tests as well as accommodations received through Individualized Education Plans created pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or individualized plans under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (know as 504 Plans).
  • NBME was required to give the complaining medical student double the allotted time on the USMLE and to give him a separate testing room.
  • NMBE was allowed to report the complain medical student's score in the same manner as it reported other scores of individuals who received testing accommodations.
  • The United States was empowered to enforce the agreement and ensure NMBE complaince with the terms of the settlement.
  • NMBE agreed not to retaliate or discriminate against any individual with a disability.

The settlement agreement expired on February 23, 2014 thereby closing the case.

Summary Authors

Brian Kempfer (6/8/2014)

People


Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bagenstos, Samuel R. (District of Columbia)

Delaney, Sheila K. (District of Columbia)

Perez, Thomas E. (District of Columbia)

Wolfe, Kathleen P. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Wohlenhaus, Renee M. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bagenstos, Samuel R. (District of Columbia)

Delaney, Sheila K. (District of Columbia)

Perez, Thomas E. (District of Columbia)

Wolfe, Kathleen P. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Wohlenhaus, Renee M. (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

02-16181

Justice Department Settles with National Board of Medical Examiners Over Refusal to Provide Testing Accommodations to Yale Medical School Student

Settlement Agreement Between the United States of America and The National Board of Medical Examiners

Feb. 22, 2011

Feb. 22, 2011

Press Release

02-16181

Settlement Agreement Between United States of America and National Board of Medical Examiners

Settlement Agreement Between United States of America and National Board of Medical Examiners

Feb. 23, 2011

Feb. 23, 2011

Settlement Agreement

Docket

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Connecticut

Case Type(s):

Disability Rights

Key Dates

Filing Date: 2011

Closing Date: Feb. 23, 2014

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice on behalf of a medical student with dyslexia

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Unknown

Class Action Outcome: Unknown

Defendants

National Board of Medical Examiners, Private Entity/Person

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.

Special Case Type(s):

Out-of-court

Availably Documents:

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Private Settlement Agreement

Amount Defendant Pays: 0

Order Duration: 2011 - 2014

Content of Injunction:

Discrimination Prohibition

Monitoring

Reasonable Accommodation

Recordkeeping

Reporting

Retaliation Prohibition

Issues

General:

Access to public accommodations - privately owned

Reasonable Accommodations

Reasonable Modifications

Retaliation

Testing

Test or device

Discrimination-area:

Accommodation / Leave

Testing

Discrimination-basis:

Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)

Disability:

disability, unspecified

Mental impairment

Mental Disability:

Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified

Learning disability

Type of Facility:

Non-government non-profit