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COMLEX not valid?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by prefontaine, Apr 28, 1999.

  1. prefontaine

    prefontaine Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    393
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    Nov 27, 1998
    Northern Liberties
    Apparently the NBOME failed to get the COMLEX validated (USMLE has been 12x) and this is (part of) the reason LA will not accept it. State boards have been notified and the possibility exists that some of the states will not accept the COMLEX results.

    The AOA must be too busy with their 'unity' program to notice. The fallout from this should be interesting. Welcome to the nutty world of osteopathy!

     
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  3. Hskermdic

    Hskermdic Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Nov 17, 1998
    Kansas
    Prefontaine,
    Please tell us more about it or where you might have read about it.
     
  4. jdaasbo

    jdaasbo Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Jan 7, 1999
    Blah Blah,

    I have seen this at other sites-no one ever backs this up with a citation of source.

    Don't get all hot and bothered.
     
  5. MB

    MB Junior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Dec 30, 1998
    jdaasbo - our dean just sent all of us here at UOMHS an e-mail stating that the validity of the COMLEX was under question. Apparently he got word of it from a meeting of the osteopathic student councils in Washington D.C. He did add, however, that it was nothing to be worried about. Maybe I'll take the USMLE next year after all....
     
  6. Gregory Gulick

    Gregory Gulick Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Nov 9, 1998
    Largo, Florida (USA)
    I learned of this about 36 hours ago. I suppose if you really wanted to verify it yourself you might contact:

    Linda Mascheri ( [email protected] )
    Associate Director, State Government Affairs
    American Osteopathic Association

    [​IMG]


    [This message has been edited by Gregory Gulick (edited April 29, 1999).]
     
  7. prefontaine

    prefontaine Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Nov 27, 1998
    Northern Liberties
    Hot and bothered? No.
    Amused? Yes.

    This is status quo for the osteopathic world.
    I have almost come to expect this from the profession.

    The Federation of State Medical Boards of the US considers the USMLE to be the SINGLE pathway to licensure for MD & DO physicians even though state medical boards in 49 states and DC accept COMLEX-USA (at this time).

    Vol. 40, #4, The DO, pp 31-33.

    Nil carborundum illegitimi!
     
  8. Gregory Gulick

    Gregory Gulick Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Nov 9, 1998
    Largo, Florida (USA)
    > Nil carborundum illegitimi!

    My latin is pretty shaky, but I'm going to take a stab here... Roughly translated, "Don't let the b******* get you down?"

    [​IMG]

     
  9. mevannorden

    mevannorden Member 10+ Year Member

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    Mar 20, 1999
    Des Moines, IA USA
    I don't think the questioned validity of the COMLEX is going to be a problem. The AOA, according to the Dean of COMS at UOMHS,is currently conducting studies to assess the validity of the COMLEX. One state, Kansas, has already accepted it without seeing any validation studies. Prefontaine, how could the test be validated prior to being administered? I ask because I don't know, not to antagonize you. Just curious
     
  10. VM

    VM Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Mar 8, 1999
    I am not sure what you all are talking about? Please fill me in.
     
  11. wallawalla

    wallawalla Junior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Apr 5, 1999
    Liberty, MO, USA
    Just curious...How many of you out there are in favor of a unified MD/DO exam with a OMT/OMM supplement for the DOs? If you really want to 'prove' your equality to the MD students, it shouldn't scare you.
     
  12. MB

    MB Junior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Dec 30, 1998
    wallawalla - I think it's a great idea. Maybe we should all just take the USMLE plus an additional OMM written/practical exam. Any objections???
     
  13. drusso

    drusso Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    6,197
    1,589
    Nov 21, 1998
    Over the rainbow
    Wallawalla,

    It's never been a question of "proving" anything. It's been about retaining autonomy and self-governance. That's the hallmark of a profession as opposed to a trade: Professions self-govern. Sometimes the osteopathic profession recieves low marks for that. The AOA was approached with the USMLE plus OMM idea years ago and rejected it. I think both the NBOME and NBME should collaborate on writing one test. Demonstrating written and practical proficiency in OMM should be something that the osteopathic profession does "in-house."
     
  14. Test Boy

    Test Boy Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Mar 30, 1999
    I'm for the idea of a unified exam plus OMM. I don't want to take 2 exams. One is bad enough.
     
  15. Phil E.

    Phil E. Junior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Apr 22, 1999
    Philadelphia, PA
    Drusso makes an excellent point. Autonomy is important in distinguishing the Osteopathic profession. Also, OMM is NOT the only thing that distinguishes DOs from MDs. I don't understand why DO students would want to be lumped together with the MDs. Insecurity? Hopefully not, there's nothing to be insecure about. For those people that must continually compare their social staus with other's, you'd be much happier at an MD school.
    As far as validation of the COMLEX, it hasn't ever been a problem in the past, nor will it be a problem in the future. This country needs DOs!
    For those of you who feel the need to take both tests... Most of the people I know who have done allopathic residencies never took the USMLE, including DOs who are on the faculty at allopathic schools!

    ------------------
    Phil E. COM 02
     
  16. Newdoc2002

    Newdoc2002 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Apr 18, 1999
    Waco
    Although the idea of combined tests might have advantages, remember that the USMLE is not without its serious faults.

    What about the fact that it often test on rare diseases and flashy new science. I'm not against updating, of course, but some of their trends seem to be on what's hot and not so much on what's solid. Remember, these tests are supposed to be testing core competency not trends.

    If the test were to be combined I think you would see the osteopathic leadership crushed in a political struggle for control of test content.

    If anything, the COMLEX has taken the osteo boards far forward in keeping up with accurate testing of future physician abilities. I think you will see similar passing rates on both boards at the better osteo schools.
     
  17. drusso

    drusso Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    Nov 21, 1998
    Over the rainbow
    The underlying politics behind this whole COMLEX vs USMLE are the professional and socioeconomic implications of recognizing two distinct pathways to physician licensure. If two, then why not three, or four? The chiropractors are aching to be "primary care doctors", the naturopaths believe they too have a "distinct" approach to patient care. You see where this is going??

    Don't get me wrong, I understand why the osteopathic medical profession wants to keep its autonomy and control by maintaining two pathways to licensure. Still, with the market pressures being what they are I also understand the political drive toward a single pathway to licensure. Chiro students at the school in Hayward already have available, on an elective basis, the opportunity to do a hospital based rotations in orthopedics. So what? It's a baby step toward getting the foot in the door to all hospitals. Remember, lots of people want to play doctor without going to medical school. Importantly, in recent history, practice privileges have been won legislatively, not through true educational reform.

    The unfortunate validation oversight of COMLEX by NBOME is being used by NBME (which does not recognize osteopathic medicine as a distinct medical profession) and FSMB to advance a political agenda for single pathway licensure. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, especially if FSMB makes good on rumored threats to take issue of MD's not being allowed to sit for the COMLEX (and being excluded from osteopathic GME) to court on constitutional grounds. It will take the question, "Is osteopathic medicine fundamentally unique from allopathic medicine?" out of the philosophical arena and into the legal/constitutional one...Lawyers will argue about whether it is fair to deny MD's career opportunities by prohibiting them from taking the COMLEX? Is it just to deny them the opportunites to gain the requisite knowledge (of OMM) to qualify them to take the COMLEX? After all, DO's can take the USMLE and pursue allopathic residencies...

    Osteopathic medicine won its own legal battles arguing THE SAME POINT. How's that for "turn about is fair play..."

    --dave
     
  18. NickCVM

    NickCVM Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Dec 27, 1998
    Nashville, TN
    Excellent point. I think that all allopathic schools should adopt OMT into their programs and start granting the DO degree - ASAP.
    That way we could have only one test - COMPLEX - and the allopaths won't complain about failing it bc/ they never took OMT.
    --Nicolas--
    WesternU'03
     
  19. edgar

    edgar Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Nov 1, 1998
    Pomona, CA
    drusso,

    I share you concern about non-physicians trying to get full practice rights. I recently talked to a chiropractor student (a friend of mine) who goes to a D.C. school in California. He tells me that the chiros are trying to get legislation passed that will enable them to prescribe medication. This does not bode well for D.O.s if this happens, since this will further confuse the public as to whether or not osteopathic physicians are COMPLETE doctors. It is especially disturbing to me that chiropractors are legislating to be primary care physicians, what next, will they try to change the laws so they can become surgeons as well?

    EDGAR
     
  20. spunkydoc

    spunkydoc Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    May 2, 1999
    chicago, IL usa
    i learned today that kcom students are being advised to sit for the usmle. i am waiting for their dean to call me back, however, i did speak with linda at the AOA and she explained the following which may help to clear up the panic:

    1. an examination cannot be validated before it is administered b/c validation requires a statistical analysis. the usmle makers accomplish validation prior to administration by testing the test on volunteers. i guess comlex did not/does not do this?

    2. the validity of the comlex was questioned by the FMSB--some board which oversees the usmle, etc. the bottom line is that it was a political move -- as the great einstein said, change always meets with resistance from mediocre minds.

    3. so, basically, as stated by the executive director of the aoa (you can read this on the aoa website), the aoa has hired a private company to do the psychometrics..there are some 7 studies going on, 3 or so are complete and have validated the exam..the aoa officially therefore DOES NOT EXPECT THAT COMLEX WILL BE INVALIDATED...after all, step 2 and 3 have been validated now for years. EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE O.K. there really is not much reason to panic..this all just seems like another example of d.o. disorganization--nothin' new..

    4. should i take the usmle? linda herself--an aoa rep-- said she encourages d.o. students wishing to go into a competative speciality field such as neurosurgery, ent, etc. to take the usmle. louisianna does not recognize d.o.s so if you want to live there, you gotta do usmle...also, 5 states, west virginia, michigan, pennsylvania, florida, and i think nj?, require the comlex for d.o. licensure..otherwise, basically, all you need to do is take the comlex and you will still have acess to the allopathic match..call the residency programs in which you are most interested in order to find out what they individually require..

    5. the bottom line: decide what you wanna be..a doctor pure and simple, a D.O. or an M.D...it does not appear that there is really anything to worry about on this issue..i will post if the dean of kcom tells me anything alarming...

    --
     
  21. rugbydoc

    rugbydoc Junior Member

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    Apr 27, 1999
    Kansas city, MO USA
    The president of our school (UHSCOM) spoke to our class last week about the COMLEX/USMLE situation. Appartently her source is ACOM (some organization which osteopathic school presidents and deans belong to) which met a couple of weeks ago. This is the information that we received from her. There was a joint commission formed to explore the possibility of having a single examination which both DOs and MDs would take for licensure purposes. When the subject of validation of the existing exams came up, NBME showed evidence that the USMLE has been validated for the last 12 years. When asked about COMLEX, NBOME had to admit that not only was the COMLEX unvalidated, but had never bothered to valid the old NBOME exams over the years either. She related to us that the NBOME got pissed off and walked away from the meeting, then sent a letter saying that they were withdrawing from the discussion. She said the joint committee "had no choice" but to recommend the USMLE as the sole valid test for state licensure in all 50 states because NBOME left in a huff. Apparently a letter was subsequently sent to the licensure agencies of every state with this recommendation. Now the NBOME has been persuaded to rejoin the discussion and has hired a group from the University of Chicago to validate the COMLEX. This is still pending. I'm waiting to see what happens with the validation process before I take the plunge on the USMLE. I'm going home to Michigan to practice (I hope) and I don't think they will require the USMLE in the foreseeable future.
     
  22. 2003

    2003 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Nov 10, 1998
    If anybody cares, Einstein said "Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
     
  23. spunkydoc

    spunkydoc Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    May 2, 1999
    chicago, IL usa
    just in case anyone is wondering--the dean of kcom is advising his students to take the usmle "just in case comlex is not validated" so that no one will have to go back and take it in 3rd and 4th yr--far far away from basic sciences..
     
  24. PB DO

    PB DO New Member

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    May 12, 1999
    NY,NY,USA
    Although I am sure that COMLEX will pass the tests it is undergoing, the fact that the Federation of State Medical Boards is recommending to state medical boards that USMLE is the only recognized exam, I am sure will have bearing on allopathic residency directors' decisions of ranking DOs who have only presented COMLEX. As it is, they do not have a way of comparing DO grads with MD grads on paper. I wish there would be one national exam for all of us, yes, with an OMM component for DOs. It would make life alot easier for everyone. Everyone knows our education is parallel, if there is an osteopathic difference aside from OMM, it cannot be tested on a board exam, but rather, will manifest in practice. Cardiology, is cardiology, we all manage it using the same protocols. We all use USMLE prep books anyway! And as a matter of fact, some are written by faculty at osteopathic med schools. One test, one fee, one license. Let the difference be seen in practice.
     
  25. VM

    VM Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Mar 8, 1999
    I think the whole point of having the COMLEX is to maintain independence, separate but equal.
     
  26. For those of you so rah-rah about separate but equal status you go right on thinking this and only take the comlex while it is readily apparent that it is moving to the point where allopathic residency directors are going to require or at least prefer the USMLE for all students and this includes the primary care fields. What's the big deal about separate bt equal. Do you guys want to give yourself all the opportunities you deserve or are you content to think you are equal but have many think you are not because you don't want to sit and take another exam for a few days? Take the USMLE and make people see that you are indeed equal and not just claim it without any validation
     
  27. OldManDave

    OldManDave Fossil Bouncer Emeritus Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Feb 26, 1999
    Lafayette, IN
    Thanks for you input DOGBOY...I think you have made a good point.



    ------------------
    'Old Man Dave'
    KCOM, Class of '03
     
  28. Henry

    Henry Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Dec 30, 1998
    Hey Dogboy,

    You said it well, man.
     
  29. VM

    VM Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Mar 8, 1999
    DOGBOY,
    You are making the assumption that I prefer only taking the COMLEX over the USMLE. I never said that. If you read my post it just makes a statement. That being that the reason the AOA has the COMLEX and fights for it is because of the separate, but equal issue. The osteopathic medical profession has maintained its independence for around 100 years. There have been many attempted mergers in the past by the AMA and one in California. Now there is an air of cooperation between the AOA and AMA. DOs are now recognized and accepted in the AMA and ACGME residencies. These have been hard fought battles by the osteopathic physicians and organizations before us. Relinquishing control over licensing tests is giving up some of the independence. I remain very open-minded about the whole issue since I am new to it. Many of us pre-meds don't know what we are talking about since we don't know all of the facts, and the history. So I believe we must maintain an open mind. I have no problem taking the USMLE, and I probably will take it anyway in addition to the COMLEX (or not if its gone someday). If D.O. students will indeed be required to take the USMLE, then I would only hope that the one of the goals of every D.O. school is to make sure we are prepared adequately to do very well on it. I believe that for the most part the curriculum mirrors the allopathic programs so much that will not be a problem anyway, and many use USMLE books to study for the COMLEX now also.
    Side note: DOGBOY, there is no doubt in my mind that you are an MD wannabe. If you were accepted off of the waitlist at the MD school, you would jump on it. This is fine by me, but be honest about it. I on the the other hand had an opportunity to attend an M.D. school, but have chosen to attend a D.O. school for various reasons. I just want to be a physician so whatever test I need to take is fine by me. Also, DOGBOY, when I first came on this forum I respected your right to an opinion and agreed with you on occasion. But, now I see that you just try to shake things up, and you are deceptive about your true opinions (such as studying in one of my previous posts). You have lied so many times about things now, that no one ever believes you about anything or takes you seriously at all. Unlike, OldManDave, and Henry, I have grown tired of your antics.
     
  30. VM

    VM Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Mar 8, 1999
    DOGBOY,
    You are making the assumption that I prefer only taking the COMLEX over the USMLE. (I assume you were referring to my post) I never said that. If you read my post it just makes a statement. That being that the reason the AOA has the COMLEX and fights for it is because of the separate, but equal issue. The osteopathic medical profession has maintained its independence for around 100 years. There have been many attempted mergers in the past by the AMA and one in California. Now there is an air of cooperation between the AOA and AMA. DOs are now recognized and accepted in the AMA and ACGME residencies. These have been hard fought battles by the osteopathic physicians and organizations before us. Relinquishing control over licensing tests is giving up some of the independence. I remain very open-minded about the whole issue since I am new to it. Many of us pre-meds don't know what we are talking about since we don't know all of the facts, and the history. So I believe we must maintain an open mind. I have no problem taking the USMLE, and I probably will take it anyway in addition to the COMLEX (or not if its gone someday). If D.O. students will indeed be required to take the USMLE, then I would only hope that the one of the goals of every D.O. school is to make sure we are prepared adequately to do very well on it. I believe that for the most part the curriculum mirrors the allopathic programs so much that will not be a problem anyway, and many use USMLE books to study for the COMLEX now also. So whatever test I need to take in the future, I will gladly take.
     
  31. OH NO, you have hurt my feelings so so much VM. [​IMG] I don't know if I can go on.

    By the way, I am a "give myself the most opportunities wanna be." which means taking the USMLE. Period.
     
  32. VM

    VM Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Mar 8, 1999
    DOGBOY,
    I could care less whether your feelings are hurt or not, it wasn't my intention anyway.
     
  33. spunkydoc

    spunkydoc Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    May 2, 1999
    chicago, IL usa
    i have done a little research and have not found any residency programs so far that have said that they would not accept comlex..for the most part, it does not seem as though boards are the most important thing(unless you are doing something ultra competative like ortho, neurosurg, etc.)...what counts are your evals on rotations..
     

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