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Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by incrediblexman, Sep 2, 1999.

  1. incrediblexman

    incrediblexman Junior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Aug 30, 1999
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    I've tried to find an answer to this but no luck. I know that MD students take USMLE Step 1, 2 and 3. And DO students take COMLEX exams (right?). Under what circumstances would a DO take USMLE exams?

    Or more generally, what are all the exams for exactly? Thanks.
  2. drusso

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Verified Account 10+ Year Member

    Nov 21, 1998
    Likes Received:
    Attending Physician
    DO's can take the USMLE under any circumstances they want!

    Most DO students take the USMLE for one of the following three reasons: 1) They're already studying for the COMLEX and would like to see how they compare to a larger allopathic reference group; 2) They're going to practice in beautiful Louisiana which will only recognize DO's who are licensed under the USMLE; 3)(the most common) A DO student wishes to compete for a competitive ACGME-approved residency or do a residency in a geographic area where DO's are relatively under-represented. In this case, it is all about covering one's bases: Some residency directors want DO's to have the USMLE so that they can compare "apples to apples." Other program directors, who are familiar with the COMLEX and its scoring, don't really care which set of board exams a DO student took and passed.

    Both the COMLEX and the USMLE are medical licensing exams that states require physicians to pass before they can hang a shingle. Only DO's (being the distinctive profession that we are [​IMG]) are allowed to sit for the COMLEX, while both MD's and DO's can take the USMLE. Both exams cover the same content areas--albeit in a little different format--and, of course, the COMLEX has osteopathic-specific questions on it.

    [This message has been edited by drusso (edited September 03, 1999).]

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