Molly Maquire

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Feb 2, 2003
Somewhere beyond the sea
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In another thread, a poster wrote that when DOs apply for residencies, only the three digit COMLEX score is reported, along with a two digit number that is not the percentile.

This seems absurd. Has anyone ever asked them why they don't just report the percentile? Does anyone know how they calculate the two-digit score? Is it like the USMLE, where the passing score is set equal to 75? Do PDs get the mean and SD, so they can calculate the percentile themselves? When you apply through ERAS, is it a hassle to get the COMLEX scores sent?

Sorry for all the questions, but this is starting to piss me off. It seems like the DO profession is doing everything it can to prevent students from getting good residencies.


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Apr 21, 2003
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  1. Attending Physician
From what I have been told, the ERAS/ACGME created the two-digit score for the COMLEX, in an effort to help normalize any perceived differences between USMLE/COMLEX test takers, AND ALSO, this two-digit score is required because of many of the states laws regarding licensing (i.e. an arbitrary score of 75, when no one even knows what that correlates to). But for the purpose of the apps, no percentile is reported, unless you choose to inform the program(s) of where you rank on the curve. The arbitrary twio digit score is reported on the ERAS, as far as I know.

From what I have heard, it is actually a hassle to report USMLE scores as a DO, because they dont go on your ERAS, only your COMLEX does. I guess this oculd be an advantage, in that if you dont perform very well, you dont have to disclose your USMLE score (but if a program asks you if you have taken it, better not lie). So, you have to inform programs of your USMLE score, and I am not sure if there is a service set up for that or if you just have to send the scores to all the schools you apply to.

Just an MS-II here, but we did have a guy from the NBOME attempt to explain all this to us last week.


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Jul 29, 2003
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the programs get your actual three digit score for COMLEX and then get a chart that approximates your 2 digit score wioth a way around this, i told them to put my actual percentile on my dean's letter

when you apply to allopathic programs throuigh ERAS, no matter who you are (osteopathic or allopathic), there is a box you check off on ERAS that asks if you took USMLE and the date you took it if you did.....if you are a DO, you can theoretically just say you didn't take it even if you did (whether or not this is advisable either ethically or based on the chance of getting caught is another story) and the slot will just show that you never took the USMLE.....also, there is no problem/hassle at all in reporting the USMLE as a DO using ERAS (it will report your two and three digit score as it does for all applicants, DO or MD)

if i recall correctly, you can select the option on ERAS whether or not you took it, and if you did, you check off if your scores are still pending or not...the actual score will be shown when they get your score report
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