What do you think about the proposed SPE that may be implemented for the graduating class of 2005? Here's AMSA's description (http://www.amsa.org/meded/nbme_spe.cfm): 1. The examination will consist of a minimum of 10 scored cases. Each encounter will last ? hour, with the overall duration of the exam being 5 to 6 hours. 2. The NBME is examining several different delivery models, but the one that will most likely be selected is 5-7 test centers located strategically throughout the country, operating continuously throughout the year. This model is the most effective, reliable, and affordable of the ones NBME has been looking at. The feasibility of supplemental test sites at medical schools is being evaluated, but this is unlikely to occur at first and may add to the overall cost. 3. The cost of the examination is estimated to be around $975. The major components of the cost are salaries for standardized patients and staff, and the cost of building and operating the electronic infrastructure for test sites. 4. Field trials will be conducted in 2002 and the NBME is planning to start live testing in the second or third quarter of 2004, with the requirement that the graduating class of 2005 complete the examination as a part of the licensure sequence. The standardized patient exam may become a prerequisite for Step 3.