The NBME is an independent, not-for-profit organization that provides high-quality examinations for the health professions. Protection of the health of the public through state-of-the-art assessment of health professionals is the mission of the NBME, along with a major commitment to research and development in evaluation and measurement. The NBME was founded in 1915 because of the need for a voluntary, nationwide examination that medical licensing authorities could accept as the standard by which to judge candidates for medical licensure. Since that time, it has continued without interruption to provide high-quality examinations for this purpose and has become a model and a resource of international stature in testing methodologies and evaluation in medicine. Although the NBME's mission is centered on assessment of physicians, it encompasses the spectrum of health professionals along the continuum of education, training, and practice and includes research in evaluation as well as development of assessment instruments.
The NBME has nearly 500 employees and is located in Philadelphia's University City neighborhood, home to some of the country's most esteemed universities, nonprofit research institutes, and research and teaching hospitals.