Comlex 3 question

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.


Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
May 26, 2004
Reaction score
2 opinions are being passed around about when you have to take this, so which is true?
Some have said it doesn't matter when you tak it as long as you pass it by residency end (there is an R2 in our program that hasn't even taken it yet)
Some have said that starting this year you have to pass it by end of internship (but I haven't found anything actually stating this, so if anyone knows like something from AOA please say)
What's the real poop?

Members don't see this ad.
I believe it depends on state licensure issues and individual program policies.

At my program we have to pass it before internship ends (not just take it, have a passing score) or we can't go on to our PGY-2 year. This is because in this state, interns work without an independent license, but after that we have to be licensed to work. Not all states have that requirement in training programs, so there can be different policies at different places. I haven't heard of any AOA policy, but who knows.

That said, I personally think it is best to get the darn thing over with and be done with the NBOME.
I actually think it is hospital dependent. At DrMom's facility, I think it is a hospital issue that they wont allow the PGY-2's and beyond to work on the hospital license, but maybe its something else.

Here (in Tennessee) we dont have to take it until before we graduate.
I would only add that it may be better to take it early on during residency, rather than later as most of the information will still be sort of fresh. If you take it later, you may have focused solely into your specialty and may need to spend more time reviewing the stuff from med school.

Our hospital contracts don't address the issue of when it has to be taken or passed. However in this weird state you can't get a full license (or moonlight) until after your second year. But none of the state regs mention the taking of comlex except to say that you have to have passed all of it before getting your full license. Who can make heads or tails of this!