COMLEX COMLEX Prep for the Struggling DO Student

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FarmerToDoctor

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Full Disclosure: I have failed anatomy and OPP, made it through remediation a few times, and had to repeat my 2nd year after failing an OPP remediation exam. I understand if that is enough for you to stop reading right now and not take my advice. I can't blame you.

I wanted to write the thread for those that barely made it through the didactic years and are now wondering how in the world do I prepare for COMLEX Level 1. Beginning your 1st semester of 2nd year DO NOT BOARD PREP. Focus on your coursework and do everything you can to pass those courses so that you can enjoy your Christmas Break. Understand that the board exam is a game of points. You don't have to know everything, you just have to know enough to pass.

Over Christmas Break
  • OMM
    • Make flashcards (anki or hand-written) of OMM Counterstrain/treatment position, Chapman points, and Viscerosomatics. Osmosis was a great resource for this, but use what you feel is best. Review the basic principles of MFR, BLT, Still, ME, HVLA, Articulatory, FPR, scoliosis, and biomechanics
    • OMM makes up 11%+ of the exam and this will help you score some easy points
  • Sketchy Micro
    • If you don't have a subscription that is completely fine. Unlock 1 or 2 topics every day from the Anking deck and keep these cards going until your exam
  • Read Pathoma chapters 1-3

January-COMSAE Date
  • Do 50 questions/week
  • TrueLearn has a few different ways you can access questions and make question sets. At this point, I recommend knocking out questions according to competency domains and writing out your notes. The "medicine domain" that makes up 60% of the exam is Domain 3 (1600 questions). DO NOT DO DOMAIN 3 AT THIS TIME. Focus on the Domains 1-2 and 4-7 and you will see that many questions from the "non-medicine domains" (1200 questions) cover topics tested in Domain 3. Be diligent about writing out your notes and reading over those sections in FA. At the bottom of each question you will see the page number correlated to that topic.
  • If you come across any pharm questions and there are Sketchy Pharm Anking cards for it, unlock that section. Make new OMM cards if there is something you think is important or new for you.
  • Keep up with the OMM and Sketchy Micro cards. At this point diligently review your notes and FA over the weekend. Every other weekend read Pathoma chapters 1-3

COMSAE Date - Exam Date
  • The weeks between your COMSAE date and exam date will vary for each of you. Once you get your COMSAE Score Report review your below average domains (except Domain 3) by redoing every question on TrueLearn related to that domain and rewriting notes on topics you know you are weak in. This should keep you busy for 2-5 days. During this time keep up with your anki/OMM cards and note review. Every other weekend read Pathoma chapters 1-3
  • AFTER THOSE 2-5 DAYS, NOW YOU START DOMAIN 3. At this point you have seen topics that will be covered in this domain. Starting out you will not score very high in this domain but as time goes your score will increase. For the first week do 50-80 random Qs/day, write out your notes, and read up on those topics in FA. During this time keep up with your anki/OMM cards and note review.
  • After 9-12 days of dedicated, buy a COMSAE (~180 questions) and 3-4 WelCOM Phase 1 forms (75 questions) because you need those Score Reports to see by domain and clinical presentation the areas that you are weak in. On day 9-12 of dedicated complete a WelCOM Phase 1 form and write down your notes as you go through the exam. Spend the next 3-4 days doing 80 Qs/day on the domains/clinical presentations that you were weak in. During this time keep up with your anki/OMM cards and note review.
  • Every 4-5 days complete a WelCOM Phase 1 form and repeat the process. During this time keep up with your anki/OMM cards and note review.
  • 7-10 days before your exam complete the COMSAE you purchased and spend the next 4-5 days doing 80 Qs/day on the domains/clinical presentations that you were weak in. During this time keep up with your anki/OMM cards and note review.
Other great and free resources that I recommend are Dirty Medicine and Randy Neil (biostats)

I really hope this helps those of you that may have struggled during the first 2 years of medical school. Do not use too many resources. Eliminate all distractions and be intentional during your study time. Stick to your study plan and trust the process. Get adequate sleep. Find an outlet. Take days off when you need it. Remember, this is a numbers game. You don't have to know everything, just enough to pass. Best of Luck!

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