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Applying to allo. heme/onc. programs as a DO without taking the USMLE

Discussion in 'Hematology/Oncology' started by drexel7-7, Mar 15, 2012.

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  1. drexel7-7

    drexel7-7

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    Hey guys,

    I was wondering if anyone has had experience or know someone who has applied to allopathic heme./onc. programs without having taken the USMLE. I'm currently a third year student and I was told that for internal medicine I don't need to take the USMLE. I was never told that for allopathic fellowships you need to take the USMLE. So I'm kind of stuck right now without one. I was thinking of possibly taking USMLE step 2 soon alongside my COMLEX step 2 and then take step 1 USMLE later in my fourth year. Do DO students need to take all 3 steps? Could I just take step 2 or do I also need to take step 1? Thanks.
  2. gutonc

    gutonc No Meat, No Treat Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    I will say up front that I don't know the actual answer to your question and I suspect that it varies widely from program to program.

    Step scores, while still important for fellowship aren't nearly as big of a deal as they are in residency where they're used to thin the herd. That said, fellowship PDs also aren't as facile with COMLEX scores as most residency PDs are, so it's nice to have at least one score that they're familiar with. Since USMLE 2CK is infinitely easier than Step 1 I would vote for taking that one to go along with your COMLEX scores, that way they have some numerical thing to use to evaluate you. If a PD has no experience with COMLEX and all you have is COMLEX, they may just pass over your app without giving it a 2nd look. If you have at least one Step score for them to see, I think you're more likely to get some traction.
  3. drexel7-7

    drexel7-7

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    Thanks for your response. It definitely varies from program to program. On the website for MD Anderson they mention that COMLEX scores are accepted. I emailed Temple/Fox Chase and they said that for medicine they accept COMLEX but for their fellowships they only accept USMLE. I was thinking that taking step 2 now and maybe step 1 later on if I need so may be my best option. Thanks for the advice.
  4. DrVanNostran

    DrVanNostran

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    Is it possible for you to take just step 2 and 3? Step one a couple years removed might be risky .
  5. drexel7-7

    drexel7-7

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    You can take step 2 without taking step 1 but in order to take step 3 you need to take both step 2 ck and ce. I think that's how it works. I talked to an advisor from school and he suggested on just sticking with the comlex and doing well on that. He said as long as you get a good residency, letters or rec. and research I should be ok.
  6. dozitgetchahi

    dozitgetchahi

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    What exactly did Temple/Fox Chase mean by this? Do they want potential DO fellowship applicants to have USMLE step 1 + step 2 ck/pe?
  7. drexel7-7

    drexel7-7

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    So I contacted Fox Chase again and they said that they do accept COMLEX scores in lieu of USMLE scores but that most DO applicants have taken the USMLE. She didn't specificy which steps most of them complete.
  8. dozitgetchahi

    dozitgetchahi

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    Ok thanks. I was curious because I'm hearing that some fellowships are demanding USMLE step 1 + both step 2s for DOs...obviously like most DOs going allo I did step 1/step 2 ck but step 2 pe would be a real pisser financially...
  9. drexel7-7

    drexel7-7

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    I was never told by people from my school that if I wanted to do an allo. fellowship that I needed to take the USMLE. I was just told that I needed to do a good allo. internal med. residency. And they said most internal med. residencies accept COMLEX. It was not only until 3rd year that students mentioned the need for USMLE for fellowship. We'll see, there's nothing I can do now.

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