COMLEX vs USMLE

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by SM-UCLA tech, Nov 29, 2002.

  1. SM-UCLA tech

    SM-UCLA tech CCOM MS4 soon OB/Gyn PGY1

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    Hey everyone.....

    I was wondering what the process is like when it comes time to sit for the COMLEX....

    Is it a hassle to also sit for the USMLE?

    How many students usually take the USMLE?

    Is the USMLE necessary if you want to participate in the match for allopathic residencies?


    Thank you very much!
     
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  3. Dr JPH

    Dr JPH Banned
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    Don't know much about your first two questions, but I can add something to this one.

    You do NOT have to take the USMLE in order to apply to allopathic residencies.

    However...

    If you are planning on applying to a more competitive allopathic residency or a residency that is not terribly familiar with DO students (and therefore not familiar with the COMLEX) you may want to take the USMLE. This will allow the residency director to more easily compare you to the allopathic students applying for the same spot.

    For the most part, DO students do not need the extra exam score to fare well in the post graduate arena.
     
  4. DrQuinn

    DrQuinn My name is Neo
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    Take it from someone who has been there, done that.

    I did NOT take the USMLE, just the COMLEX. I am applying for the very competitive field of Emergency Medicine (just check out the EM thread here)... and so far have 19 interviews at very good programs (Univ of FL, Univ of MD, Case Western, etc). I did not and never will take the USMLE.

    Throughout my medical education there were always two camps that talked about the USMLE.

    One camp said:
    Why take the USMLE? If they make you take the USMLE becuase you are a DO and they don't care/understand the COMLEX, they dont' care/understand about you. The COMLEX is standardized just as the USMLE is. One reason they do not accept the COMLEX is because they are not as DO understanding/friendly... followed by the "if they want you to jump through that hoop, you wouldn't want to go there, there's no need to do that."

    Other camp:
    You need to take the USMLE to be on a level playing field.

    I bet there is an element of truth in both statements, really. I think the better answer, is that if you did only so-so on the COMLEX, you better bust yer balls or ovaries and do really well on the USMLE, to prove yourself.

    I talked to a program director for an EM residency in the Northeast, and asked him his opinion... he said it didnt' really matter.

    Now to specifically answer your questions:
    COMLEX is a hassle. Two days, four books, 200 questions each.

    I would guess that all MD students take the USMLE. So... roughly 100 x 120 or so MD schools? There's your answer.

    Taking the USMLE is much nicer than the COMLEX. Just one day. Computerized. Your own pace.
     
  5. SM-UCLA tech

    SM-UCLA tech CCOM MS4 soon OB/Gyn PGY1

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    thank you both very much....

    as for the number of students.....I meant how many DO students take the USMLE.....

    and can you opt to take the USMLE instead of the COMLEX?
     
  6. NMH2001

    NMH2001 Ferret Momma

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    Good question-I would like to know as well
     
  7. DocWagner

    DocWagner Senior Member

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    The COMLEX is necessary for licensure for ALL D.O.'s and all three steps must be taken.

    I took both the USMLE and COMLEX and I admit it worked to my advantage at LANDING a great residency spot. Though it may not have affected getting interviews, I sincerely believe I was ranked higher on final residency "rank order lists" because of the USMLE.

    It will be interesting to see what the future will hold for the COMLEX and if it will eventually merge with theUSMLE.
     
  8. William

    William Junior Member

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    you can not substitute the USMLE for COMLEX.

    All the DO schools require you to take COMLEX as a condition of graduation.

    You could opt out of COMLEX part 3 if you intend to practice in any state except FLA, pennsylvania and couplel others, where the state board requires you to have COMLEX
     

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