Do I need to release COMLEX scores on ERAS if I have taken USMLE?

futuredr2kids

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Hey everyone,
So I just found out that I failed COMLEX PE. I took USMLE Step 1 and got a 230 and was planning on applying to mostly traditionally MD programs. I am about to take Step 2 CK/CE in a few weeks. I am planning on retaking PE in October and would get my score back in late November so would send everything then so they have passing scores to rank me. Would it be a good idea to release only USMLE scores on my ERAS and then send COMLEX only when I have that passing score? Would a program consider that dishonest? I want to maximize my chances of getting interviews and don't know what to do. From everything I've read from other posts, most people who failed didn't have their scores before ERAS went out so this wasn't an issue.
 
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BorntobeDO?

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You do not have to assign comlex. You could only assign USMLE. Eventually, your residency will need those other scores, but you could just upload without assigning your Comlex. I think a residency would have to be pretty clueless to not know you needed it, but the strategy might get you past some filters (less informed coordinators), and its your life.
 

futuredr2kids

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You have to release COMLEX scores
You go to a DO school. Yes you do have to release any COMLEX score you have lol
Well, I know I eventually have to release them. My question is whether I can just send my USMLE scores initially and then release my COMLEX after I get a passing score on PE. I had the idea because a lot of the programs I am applying to have stated they only consider USMLE.
 

BorntobeDO?

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Well, I know I eventually have to release them. My question is whether I can just send my USMLE scores initially and then release my COMLEX after I get a passing score on PE. I had the idea because a lot of the programs I am applying to have stated they only consider USMLE.
If you only assign USMLE, they will only see USMLE till you assign your Comlex.
 
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ciestar

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Well, I know I eventually have to release them. My question is whether I can just send my USMLE scores initially and then release my COMLEX after I get a passing score on PE. I had the idea because a lot of the programs I am applying to have stated they only consider USMLE.
A board failure is gonna hurt you not matter when you release the score to schools. This is your equivalent to our CS exam and even with that, they want passing scores. Hiding it initially might not change the outcome later on.
 

Espressso

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Wait why would you take CS if you're a DO student? Do any programs actually require DO students to take CS? Why wouldn't you just repeat PE and pass it since you'll need it for graduation
 

Rekt

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Well, I know I eventually have to release them. My question is whether I can just send my USMLE scores initially and then release my COMLEX after I get a passing score on PE. I had the idea because a lot of the programs I am applying to have stated they only consider USMLE.
Most residency websites are innaccurate in this regard. They may say they require "USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK, CS......" etc, but they accept COMLEX in place as well. Unless it is explicity stated they do not accept COMLEX, which I have never seen then you can assume they "accept" COMLEX in place of it. This mainly applies to the PE. What they do with your COMLEX is program dependent though. Obviously almost all DO students should be taking Step 1 at minimum, but that's another story.

Wait why would you take CS if you're a DO student? Do any programs actually require DO students to take CS? Why wouldn't you just repeat PE and pass it since you'll need it for graduation
No. A DO should never take CS. There's a very very minuscule amount of programs that request it, but that essentially is another way of saying DOs need not apply.
 

futuredr2kids

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Wait why would you take CS if you're a DO student? Do any programs actually require DO students to take CS? Why wouldn't you just repeat PE and pass it since you'll need it for graduation
No I'm not planning on taking CS. Essentially, my advisor's train of thought was that my Step 1 is strong enough to get me interviews and I don't need to show a PE score when submitting ERAS so I should just send my USMLE scores because that will be sufficient to be considered for interview. However, if I submit everything (my COMLEX and USMLE transcripts) programs will see a failed COMLEX PE attempt that I haven't corrected yet and I will be filtered out at programs that probably wouldn't care about the failure once I get my second score back. My advisor said that my application would still be considered complete with just USMLE scores. I'm not sure about this though. Per my sdn hunt, a lot of people who fail after already releasing their scores have just not told programs until they have a passing score and it hasn't really affected their match. I'm in a slightly different situation in that I failed before applying.

I'm just most nervous that if I send all my scores (USMLE and COMLEX, which would include the failed PE), programs won't give me a chance to prove myself with an interview just because I had one really bad day. They may make assumptions about my personality and ability to communicate in clinic, even though I've gotten honors on every eval this year and my MSPE is full of very positive comments.

I don't know what the right approach is, submit COMLEX and USMLE and just accept that I'll miss out on interviews or basically hide the failure by submitting USMLE only.
 
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CoomassieBlue57

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I have heard that some programs won't consider interviewing applicants without a PE/CS score in fear of people like you. There's no guarantee that you will pass PE, thus not licensed to practice medicine as a resident. They would essentially waste a spot in their program if this happened, so they don't want the hassle and only offer interviews to students with complete applications (i.e. Level 1 and/or Step 1, Level 2 CE and/or Step 2 CK, and Level 2 PE or Step 2 CS).
 
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futuredr2kids

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Oct 22, 2014
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I've gotten some messages about this so figured I'd follow up to complete the story. I ended up not submitting my COMLEX score report initially with ERAS. I only sent my Step scores. I got about 15 IM invites from a mix of low to midtier university programs and community programs. There were some schools that I thought I'd get invites from, but didn't. I reached out to those schools specifically and asked them if my app was complete and they told me they needed my COMLEX scores. I selectively sent my COMLEX scores to those programs and they offered me interviews, despite the failure. A couple of my interviews were from programs that specifically said on their website that they don't consider people with board failures, so I would recommend applying to these programs anyway. After I got my passing score in November, I sent the update to the programs that had my initial Comlex report. I decided to send my passing scores to the programs I was interviewing at and discussed the board failure during my interviews. In most cases, I had a positive response. A lot of them didn't even know what the PE is and other said they don't care about that test. They appreciated my honesty and could see that I had learned from the experience. They said that my LORs clearly demonstrated that I was great in a clinical setting and was humanistic. Two programs said they were concerned by the failure, and I quickly realized they were also programs that don't do a great job supporting their residents. I'm not sure how much this impacted my app score and rank position. I ended up matching my #1 at a midtier university IM program and got a few follow up emails from other great programs that said I was RTM.

Basically, it worked for me. I definitely missed out on some interviews with this approach, however, I got interviews at most of the programs I was interested in and had more than enough interviews to comfortably match. I think it is important to think about how competitive the rest of your app is.
 
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