Difference between USMLE & COMLEX

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BadVB750

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I am still a first year, but I am planning on taking both the COMLEX & USMLE. I would like to know what the main difference between the two are, besides the obvious being OPP. Secondly, what is the best way to maximize studying for each.
 

texdrake

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Comlex is more clinically oriented. It tends to have less random factoid questions and more clinical vignettes.

Currently USMLE has more pictures, more histology, and more pathology but Comlex is going to a computer test next year so that will probably change.

Finally Comlex intigrates a lot of its OMM into the anatomy questions so many of the anatomy questions are of a little higher order.

Currently COMLEX is two days, 800 questions.

USMLE is one day, 420 questions by computer.

Next year Comlex will be changed to one day, computer as well. Not sure on the number of question but it will be somewhere between 400 and 600.
 

DireWolf

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USMLE Step 1 is 350 questions.

According to our OMM chair, COMLEX Step 1 2004 is going to have 700 questions.
 

Idiopathic

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starting in 2005, the COMLEX will be computerized and wil have fewer questions, I believe, as it will make the test easier to standardize...that is the word from the NBOME.
 

texdrake

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Ah, you know you are right. I believe it is 7 sections of 50, I had 7 sections of 60.

Next years test will be one day so I imagine it will fall to about 400 questions.

I was told this years will be 760-800 questions. 4 units, 2 each day with each have 190-200 questions.
 

giznut12

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If I plan on taking both comlex and usmle, does this mean i have to take all 3 steps of both exams? or can i just take both exams for part 1?
 

drchris33

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That is a good question. No, you dont have to take all three for both. In my opinion, the most you would have to take is Step 2 for both, but I may be wrong.

It really depends on what you want to go into, to determine if you really need both tests. Different people will give you different answers on this topic, which I am sure there is a thread somewhere on here.

I myself am going into primary care in the midwest, so I am only doing COMLEX.

Hope that helps

Chris
 

drchris33

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I am wanting to do a Family Practice residency but I want to work in the ER for awhile. I have a scholarship through the state of Kansas so I have to go back and practice there for four years. ER is considered primarly care so that is what I am going to do for awhile.

There are some good level II centers I could get a job at I am sure
 

VentdependenT

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Originally posted by giznut12
If I plan on taking both comlex and usmle, does this mean i have to take all 3 steps of both exams? or can i just take both exams for part 1?

Step I-II for COMLEX, then you take step III if you aren't going to complete the USMLE series. Step III= license to practice.

Step I USMLE for interviews (if anything other than fp or rural IM). Then you may go on to do Step II if you think you may be persuing an IM competitive fellowship or did really poopy on your Step I. As I understand it, if you have taken USMLE I&II then you can take Step III and forget about finishing the Comlex series. Either one will allow the DO to practice medicine....please correct me if I'm wrong.
 
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