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SPEX Overview

Special Purpose Examination


The SPEX ® is a computerized, multiple-choice examination of current knowledge requisite for the general, undifferentiated practice of medicine. The examination is used to re-examine a physician's ongoing level of basic medical knowledge and is intended for physicians who currently hold, or who have previously held, a valid, unrestricted license to practice medicine in the US or Canada.

State boards may require SPEX for endorsement of licensure, reinstatement, or reactivation of a license after a period of inactivity. If the board has or is aware of concerns and/or questions about a physician's fitness to practice, SPEX results should be evaluated in conjunction with other available evidence to determine a physician's competence and fitness to practice.

Content Description

SPEX focuses on a core of clinical knowledge and relevant underlying basic science principles deemed necessary to form a reasonable foundation for the safe and effective practice of medicine. It is intended to reflect the knowledge and cognitive abilities of all practicing physicians, regardless of specialty practiced.

SPEX Licensure Disclaimer

Eligibility to sit for the SPEX does not signify eligibility for licensure. SPEX scores are reported to state medical boards for use in granting a medical license. The boards may impose additional requirements for licensure, over and beyond the requirements for eligibility to sit for the SPEX.

To obtain complete licensure information, contact the board(s) from which you are seeking licensure.