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Complex vs USMLE

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by CampUnity, May 8, 2007.

  1. CampUnity

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    I was wondering whether DO students have to take the COMPLEX or the USMLE or having to take both? Could you (as a DO student) take only the USMLE only and if so, what are the ramifications?
     
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  3. Taus

    Taus .
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    The COMLEX is required for all DO's. The USMLE is optional. All states license DO's after passing all 3 levels of the COMLEX and a few states (ie ones w/o separate medical boards) will also license DO's after completion of all 3 steps of the USMLE.
     
  4. DOSouthpaw

    DOSouthpaw Senior Member
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    Do you have to take the COMLEX? Yes

    Do you have to take the USMLE? To get a license, no. Some schools (I think VCOM) still require it to graduate.


    Could you only take the USMLE? Yes
    What would be the ramifications? You would not be able to graduate from school or ever get a license to practice Osteopathic Medicine. The COMLEX is the ONLY path to a license for a DO in the US.
     
  5. group_theory

    group_theory EX-TER-MIN-ATE!'
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    Agree with Taus.

    COMLEX is not optional. If you don't take or pass COMLEX 1, then you cannot continue in your 3rd year. Starting with the graduating Class of 2008, if you do not pass COMLEX 2 (both exams, the computer and the PE exam) ... you cannot graduate.

    If you do not take COMLEX 3 (and finish out the series), you cannot be licensed in California, Florida, Oklahoma, Vermont, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. You cannot get initial licensure in Michigan and Tennessee if you did not finish the COMLEX series (but they will accept USMLE if you want a licensed based on reciprocity from another state)



    USMLE for DO students is completely optional. Please do a search to find the pros and cons of taking the USMLE.
     
  6. Arch Guillotti

    Arch Guillotti Senior Member
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  7. UIC Killa

    UIC Killa EM ES ONE
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    I think the post about the COMLEX as a necessity is wrong....you can be a fully licensed physician as a D.O without completing the COMLEX series...it has been done through the USMLE only....but it's probably easier as a DO to finish out with the COMLEX series.
     
  8. Taus

    Taus .
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    come on now...except for that last line he had it mostly right....and its not like you never took two-thirds of the COMLEX series
     
  9. group_theory

    group_theory EX-TER-MIN-ATE!'
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    If you don't finish out the COMLEX series but finish the USMLE series, you will be fine with most states.

    Without the comlex series being completed, you cannot get a unrestricted license to practice osteopathic medicine in the states of California, Florida, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and West Virginia.

    You cannot get your initial licensure in Michigan or Tennessee if you did not finish the COMLEX series ... however, they will accept USMLE scores if you have an unrestricted license (in good standing) from another state and applying for MI or TN licensure.


    *this issue is seperate from the required AOA-approved intern year that is required in PA, MI, WV, OK, and FL


    EDIT: The following is copied and pasted (with some info edit out for brevity) from the AOA Osteopathic Licensure Summary Guide (pub Aug 2006). If you have any question relating to licensure, please address them to the proper licensing board.

    CALIFORNIA
    Educational requirements:
    Graduation from an AOA and California Board-approved college
    Postgraduate training: One year approved by AOA or ACGME, which includes at least four months of general medicine in an approved postgraduate training program. Straight psychiatry, pathology, or anesthesiology residencies will not be accepted. The four months of general medicine shall not apply to applicants who completed their one year of postgraduate training on or before July 1, 1990.
    Examinations accepted: COMLEX, NBOME
    Other requirement: Applicants should allow 16 weeks for fingerprint card to clear proper channels.
    Reciprocity or Endorsement: The Board shall issue an osteopathic physician's and surgeon's certificate on reciprocity to an applicant providing he or she meets the following requirements: the applicant must hold an unrestricted license to practice osteopathic medicine in another state whose written licensing examination is recognized and approved by the Board. Each state's written examination will be reviewed on an individual basis; the Board has determined that the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners' (NBOME) examination sequence (parts I, II, and III) is acceptable as a recognized written examination; the Board has determined that the passage of NBOME's examination parts I & II and FLEX Component II (substituted for part III) with a minimum score of 75 is acceptable as a recognized written examination. b) The Board determines that no disciplinary action has been taken against the applicant by a medical licensing authority and that the applicant has not been the subject of adverse judgments or settlements resulting from the practice of medicine which the board determines constitutes evidence of a pattern of negligence or incompetence. c) The applicant takes and passes an oral and comprehensive clinical examination with a minimum grade of 75%. California has definite reciprocity with applicants who took state examinations in Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, West Virginia (after 1985), Florida (after 1972), Tennessee (after 1986), Michigan (before 1992), Missouri (before 1992), and Kansas (before 1992). SPEX may be required.

    FLORIDA
    Educational requirements:
    Graduation from an AOA accredited college
    Postgraduate training: One year AOA-approved rotating first year. Any applicant who has not completed an AOA-approved internship must apply to the AOA for approval of first year of the ACGME residency for educational equivalence. If the AOA approves the ACGME residency's first year for educational equivalency and denies the demonstration of good cause for having taken the ACGME residency, the FL Board of Osteopathic Medicine shall review the applicant's demonstration of good cause.
    Examinations accepted: COMLEX, NBOME, COMVEX, State Board Exam
    Reciprocity or Endorsement: By endorsement, provided applicant has passed all parts of exam conducted by the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners or other substantially similar exam approved by the board. Interview may be required.

    MICHIGAN
    Educational requirements:
    Four years in AOA-approved osteopathic college
    Postgraduate training: One year AOA-approved rotating internship for those matriculating after 1 October 1956. Any applicant who has not completed an AOA-approved internship must apply to the AOA for approval of first year of the ACGME residency for educational equivalence. The AOA must submit a letter to the board verifying the program's approval.
    Examinations accepted: COMLEX or NBOME for initial licensure; USMLE, FLEX and state examinations will be accepted for reciprocity so long as applicant has passed an osteopathic component (a qualified osteopathic component would be an OPP test or passing Part I of the NBOME). If this qualification is met, the osteopathic board will review the application on an individual basis (Michigan osteopathic board does not offer an OPP test).
    Reciprocity or Endorsement: By endorsement with all states with substantially equivalent criteria

    OKLAHOMA
    Educational requirements:
    Graduation from an osteopathic college that is accredited by the Bureau of Professional Education of the American Osteopathic Association.
    Postgraduate training: Completion of a one-year AOA-approved rotating internship or its equivalent thereof, in an accredited internship or residency program acceptable to the Board.
    Examinations accepted: COMLEX, NBOME
    Reciprocity or Endorsement: With states having equal requirements, at the discretion of the Board - interview may be required.

    PENNSYLVANIA
    Educational requirements:
    Graduation from board approved osteopathic college meeting statutory criteria
    Postgraduate training: One year AOA approved rotating internship
    Examinations accepted: COMLEX, NBOME, FLEX (provided applicant holds a valid license in another state and meets all board requirements)
    Other requirements: Examination in osteopathic manipulative therapy required for licensure, fee $195. Deadline date for application, 60 days prior to examination. Effective 3/29/06, DOs who have passed COMLEX-USA Level 2-PE, the Osteopathic Clinical Skills Examination, are now exempt from taking the state board's OMT examination.
    Reciprocity or Endorsement: By endorsement with states having equal requirements, provided applicant has not previously failed a Pennsylvania written examination. All applications reviewed on an individual basis.

    TENNESSEE
    Educational requirements:
    Graduation from recognized osteopathic college
    Postgraduate training: One year AOA or ACGME training
    Examinations accepted: COMLEX, NBOME for initial or reciprocal licensure - USMLE and FLEX accepted for reciprocity only
    Reciprocity or Endorsement: On an individual basis with any other state

    VERMONT
    Educational requirements:
    Four years professional study of nine months each, or a course of 36 months
    Postgraduate training: One year rotating internship or a 3-year residency
    Examinations accepted: COMLEX, NBOME, FLEX
    Other requirements: OPP required if FLEX was taken - personal interview may be required
    Reciprocity or Endorsement With other states whose requirements are substantially equivalent

    WEST VIRGINIA
    Educational requirements:
    Four years of nine months each of professional study in college approved by AOA
    Postgraduate training: One year in an AOA-approved internship
    Examinations accepted: COMLEX, NBOME
    Other requirements: Interview
    Reciprocity or Endorsement: With all states having equal requirements, including internship - interview required.
     
  10. CampUnity

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    Thanks all for your insightful inputs.
     
  11. oreosandsake

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    why is it that people always misspell/mistake the test as being the "COMPLEX"

    cuz it's a complex test?

    COMplex?

    P and L close to each other on the keyboard?

    I got all excited for a second, and Darn. Of course California had to be on the list of states that require all 3 parts. =/
     
  12. DOCTORSAIB

    DOCTORSAIB Ophtho or bust!
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    I don't know but it annoys me everytime I see it. Among the Top 3 SDN pet peeves of mine...
     
  13. Taus

    Taus .
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    haha...you have SDN pet-peeves....
     
  14. medhacker

    medhacker We can end world poverty!
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    One of my top 10 SDN pet peeves too
     
  15. HarveyCushing

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    The mean on the COMLEX is 500 and on the USMLE is 216 right? What are the tests out of?
     
  16. spicedmanna

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    USMLE Step 1:

    I think the USMLE Step 1 has 350 questions.

    COMLEX Step 1:

     
  17. HarveyCushing

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    Spice, did you find any info on the mean of the tests?
     
  18. spicedmanna

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    Here's some info from NBOME (COMLEX-USA):

     
  19. HarveyCushing

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    :thumbup: I thought the COMLEX had a mean around 500.
     
  20. DMBmatty08

    DMBmatty08 Member
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    Not true anymore.
     
  21. SomeDoc

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    So what if someone takes the entire COMLEX series and the USMLE series. Are there any licensing implications, ie will this person be "dually" ACGME,AOA certified, or something along those lines?
     
  22. raidermedic

    raidermedic MS IV
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    From my understanding your certification ACGME/AOA is based on the residency you complete not the boards. Could be wrong on this.
     
  23. DOSouthpaw

    DOSouthpaw Senior Member
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    Yeah, you'd have to complete a dually accedited program to be dually BC/BE.
     

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