SPECIAL PURPOSE EXAMINATION (SPEX ®)
The SPEX ® is a computerized, multiple-choice examination of current knowledge requisite for the general, undifferentiated practice of medicine. The examination is intended for physicians who currently hold, or who have previously held, a valid, unrestricted license to practice medicine in a U.S. or Canadian jurisdiction.
The SPEX is used by state medical boards to re-examine a physician's ongoing level of basic medical knowledge. Situations in which a medical board may require a physician to take SPEX include endorsement of licensure, reinstatement or reactivation of a license after a period of inactivity. In instances where the state board has or is aware of concerns and/or questions about a physician's fitness to practice, the results of the SPEX exam should be evaluated in conjunction with other available evidence to determine a physician's competence and fitness to practice.
Content of the 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. In the United States and its territories, a license to practice medicine is a privilege granted only by the state medical boards. Results of the SPEX are reported to state medical boards for use in granting licensure to practice medicine. State medical boards may impose additional requirements for licensure, over and beyond the requirements for eligibility to sit for the SPEX.
To obtain complete licensure information, examinees should contact the board(s) from which they are seeking licensure.