Lewis First, M.D., M.S.
For more than 20 years, Larner College of Medicine Chair of Pediatrics and University of Vermont Children’s Hospital Chief Lewis First, M.D., M.S., has dedicated his time, knowledge, and passion to volunteering with the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). At the March 2019 NBME Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, he was elected as an honorary member for life and chair emeritus.
Since 1996, First has shared his skills in a variety of positions, from item writer on a test material development committee for the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) to chair of the NBME. Medical school faculty from across the United States dedicate their time and expertise to write test items, advancing the mission of NBME through state-of-the-art assessment. He began his tenure writing items for pediatrics and just two years later, he had his first NBME leadership experience as chair of that committee.
Since that time, First was appointed to nearly 30 committees, holding various leadership roles. Throughout his time with NBME, he also served as treasurer, chaired various committees for both NBME and USMLE, and served as a member of numerous committees and special task forces. First was elected chair of the NBME in 2011 and served in that role for two full terms.
“I began to recognize, in the people at the Board, the care and concern they had for medical students. Particularly, at the time that USMLE was coming into its own…and the work that went into every individual question and every overall assessment, blew my mind,” said First at the annual meeting. NBME has been honored to work with someone as passionate as First for over two decades and looks forward to continued collaboration with him.
First graduated from Harvard College, received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, and received an M.S. in epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health.
The USMLE provides high-caliber evidence that an applicant has demonstrated the core competencies to practice medicine and as a result healthcare consumers throughout the nation enjoy a strong degree of confidence that their doctors have met a common standard. First’s contributions will reverberate through the NBME and USMLE for many years to come.
About National Board of Medical Examiners® (NBME®)
The NBME is an independent, mission-driven organization that provides high-quality assessments for the health professions. We serve the health of the public through state-of-the-art assessment of health professionals, and we are committed to research and development in evaluation and measurement.
The NBME delivers valid information about health care knowledge and skills to score recipients to support important inferences and decisions. We develop the three-step United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®), which provides a common evaluation system and established minimum standards for all doctors of medicine seeking an initial license to practice medicine in the United States. USMLE is a joint program of the NBME and the Federation of State Medical Boards. Results of USMLE are reported to all licensing authorities in the United States and its territories for use in granting the initial license to practice medicine.
With over 100 years of expertise in assessment for medical licensing, NBME continues its pursuit of new and reliable approaches to advance the standard of care. Our global offerings encompass the spectrum of health professionals along the continuum of education, training, certification, and practice. Learn more at www.NBME.org
(This article was adapted from a press release produced by Barbara Del Duke, communications director for the National Board of Medical Examiners.)