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Horrible Predicament Regarding Submitting Applications to DO Residencies

Discussion in 'ERAS and the NRMP Match' started by lotus1777, 08.14.11.

  1. lotus1777

    lotus1777

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    Hi Everyone,

    I am hoping for some insight from SDN users on how to handle the situation I am in.

    I released my COMLEX Step 1 scores to ERAS on 7/1/2011. I decided to wait to submit my applications to DO residencies because I was certain that I would improve my score for Step 2. I took my Step 2 on 7/7/2011, and 4 weeks later I found out that I failed. I am already a nervous test-taker, and to top it off, the computer I was using crashed in the middle of my exam. The load time between questions was long, and some times it wouldn't let me select an answer. As the exam progressed, my momentum was thrown off, and my ability to think clearly became obscured by frustration. I was given the choice of either having the exam scored or retaking it, and since I felt I had prepared sufficiently, I opted to have them score it. Big mistake!

    The tragedy of this is that the rest of my application is stellar- with apparently great letters (I haven't seen them, but this is going off of what the dean told me), a scholarship, some awards, and a great class rank. I just have a mediocre step 1 score, and now a failed first attempt at step 2.

    Since it is the middle of August, I am getting antsy about submitting my applications for DO programs- they are all ready, I just need a passing step 2 score for them to be complete.

    ERAS states that, "Transcript requests are not processed until you apply to programs and pay the transcript fee. Every time that you assign your COMLEX transcript to programs, the NBOME will process your request and upload the most recent transcript that they have on file for you at that time." So based on that, I am aware that although I released my Step 1 before I found out my Step 2, they will still release both scores to residencies if I apply now.

    Should I send in all of my materials to residencies except my COMLEX, or should I wait until I have a new Step 2 score to apply? I don't think any program will offer me an interview with a failed step 2 on record. I wish I submitted my applications before I received my Step 2 score because then I think I would have avoided applying so late. If I wait until I receive my score for my new step 2, I will be submitting my applications in early october- many applicants will have received interview invites by this time. I feel like this incident with my exam will cost me my ability to match :( Any thoughts or advice is much appreciated.
  2. MJB

    MJB Senior Member Moderator Emeritus

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    1. What are you applying to?

    2. Have you called anyone at your school to discuss options?
  3. Doctor4Life1769

    Doctor4Life1769 **tr0llin, ridin dirty**

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    Yikes.

    I personally wouldn't have had it scored. But, that's done now. I know some who delayed taking their COMLEX 2's (either CE or PE, or both) due to them feeling they'd fail it, but they had good COMLEX 1's. Honestly, your best bet is to re-take and hope that you knock it out... and then you can attempt to use the failed COMLEX 2 as a fluke incident due to the computer malfunctioning (which, I would think should've been reported? Not sure how that works..)

    I highly doubt the school will be much more helpful. I'm sure they're aware of your school and if they've not approached you then that means they won't be all that helpful. Still, worth going to them and seeing your options, but I don't see much that can be done outside of what I mentioned above. If you're applying FP, IM, Peds, Psych you're still in okay shape. You won't land a great program but you'll get what you want. If you are attempting surgery, anesthesia, ortho, radiology, EM, etc... your goose may be cooked. I don't know how OB is in the DO world.
  4. lotus1777

    lotus1777

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    I am applying to FP/OMT and Integrated FM/NMM programs. I have already completed one FP/OMT audition rotation which went very well and I have 3 Integrated FM/NMM programs lined up for Sub-I's this year.

    I talked to my dean, who suggested that I retake my exam soon (since failing was likely a product of what happened on test day), and then apply after I get that score back. Just wondering if people agree, or if some would submit everything else in their application besides the COMLEX scores?
  5. lotus1777

    lotus1777

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    I definitely wish I hadn't decided to have them score it. I did report the computer difficulties and it was also written up by the prometric employee. They got back to me 48 hours before the test was supposed to be reported to ask me whether I would like it scored, so after waiting so long and with only 2 days to go, I was feeling more optimistic about my score than I should have. I am wondering how competitive the Integrated FM/NMM programs are. I am thinking that doing 3 sub-I's will help since there aren't many of these programs to begin with.
  6. Doctor4Life1769

    Doctor4Life1769 **tr0llin, ridin dirty**

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    I was right. They'd only advise you to re-take and knock it out ASAP.

    At any rate, you're in luck. FP/OMM residencies aren't hard to land. I know someone who failed COMLEX 1 a few times and still matched at their top choice. This shouldn't hurt you, but I don't know which programs you're looking at and if those programs are considered "top" programs and hence more competitive than they normally should be.
  7. MJB

    MJB Senior Member Moderator Emeritus

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    If you truly believe you only failed due to the difficulties with the computers (lord knows I understand those frustrations...for what the tests cost, they should seriously upgrade the damned things), I would re-schedule asap and reflect that in your apps, and go ahead and submit.

    It's not likely to hurt you for interviews as much as you may think. Just be ready to discuss it if they want to interview you before your new scores are back.

    Especially because this is the only "blemish", I'd not be too overly worried about it, and FP...especially DO only FP is not real hard to get a spot in. A very few FM programs get a little on the competitive side.

    I guess my gut feeling (and what I would do if in your shoes) is to go ahead and submit cause they are actively scheduling interviews now or will be in the near future.
  8. lotus1777

    lotus1777

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    Thank you for your input :) I just wanted to check back in here in case anyone else ends up in my situation. I decided to apply to a 6 programs right away and I waited to apply to the rest until I received my new score.

    I have received one interview invite thus far.

    I retook the exam on 9/6 and just found out that I passed! I think two things really helped in particular:

    1) Using a DIFFERENT test center :) This one was run much more professionally with stellar, fast computers and nice staff.

    2) Questions, questions, questions. I just did many more practice questions- which is not much different than what I did the first time around. But, the extra time studying and the chance to do more questions was really what helped. If I could redo anything from third year, I would have done at least 20 board practice questions per night instead of only focus on my reading and end of rotation exams.

    I have re-released my COMLEX transcript which will transfer to ERAS in the next two days and I'll go ahead and submit my application to the rest of my chosen programs by the weekend. I hope to receive more interview invites soon. Still feeling nervous about it since I am submitting so late. I'll try to keep this thread updated.
  9. lotus1777

    lotus1777

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    I have posted this in another thread, but incase anyone finds this one in a search looking for help, I matched into my top choice for residency. Yes, you can fail COMLEX once and still get into your top choice!

    I believe what got me in ultimately was my audition rotation and my interview. I probably moved up on the list above people with higher scores than me due to these things alone. If you would like more details, feel free to PM me :)

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