DO student needing advice whether/when to take USMLE step II CK

Aug 20, 2017
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I have received mixed messages on whether/when I should take USMLE step II CK and I was hoping for some advice. I am a 3rd yr DO student interested in either EM/IM/Critical Care-still trying to decide. My step I score was a 254 and Level I score was a 742. Should I take step II CK? I would like to do an ACGME residency. My concern would be if my step II score goes down would that be worse than not taking the exam at all? Rotations are keeping me very occupied and this is one of the reasons I am concerned for the possible drop in score. Thanks for reading!
 

Ibn Alnafis MD

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I understand your position. I also have competitive step1/level1, and debated for the longest time if I should take step2. Eventually I decided to take the test. I'll get my score in 3 weeks and I truly hope I don't regret my decision.

You don't need to do better on step2 to remain competitive. This advise only applies to those with low step1. However, you should also make sure you score 240+ to maintain your above average status.
 
OP
D
Aug 20, 2017
36
8
Status
Medical Student
I understand your position. I also have competitive step1/level1, and debated for the longest time if I should take step2. Eventually I decided to take the test. I'll get my score in 3 weeks and I truly hope I don't regret my decision.

You don't need to do better on step2 to remain competitive. This advise only applies to those with low step1. However, you should also make sure you score 240+ to maintain your above average status.
I appreciate the input, it is a very difficult decision to have to make. I wish you the best. I guess I should take a few NBMEs again as I get closer and determine from there. Hard predicament for sure.
 
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MrWonderful

You don't need to. Your track record demonstrates a caliber that all PD's are looking for. Adding a 4th number will not change their minds about you. The ONLY reason I would take it is if you specifically are interested in a program that requires it. Check websites and see what you find. Otherwise, destroy COMLEX II
 
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Bobcat18

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I would take it encase you're interested in applying to an ACGME fellowship after residency... They're going to want to see that you've taken it.
 

rrxr

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For DOs, is there any reason why you can't do the trick where you take it last week of august/early September, submit your USMLE transcript on Sept 15 (which will only have step 1 scores on it at that point), and then just never resubmit your transcript? I haven't taken CK yet (I'm MD), but my understanding is that if your score comes back after 9/15, you have control over whether programs see your CK so there is no downside besides money and time to taking it.
 
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OP
D
Aug 20, 2017
36
8
Status
Medical Student
For DOs, is there any reason why you can't do the trick where you take it last week of august/early September, submit your USMLE transcript on Sept 15 (which will only have step 1 scores on it at that point), and then just never resubmit your transcript? I haven't taken CK yet (I'm MD), but my understanding is that if your score comes back after 9/15, you have control over whether programs see your CK so there is no downside besides money and time to taking it.
Pardon my ignorance I have never heard of this. PDs would still select applicants without having a step 2 CK score? Eventually wouldn't you have to submit it and could they rescind their offer?
 

rrxr

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Apr 7, 2011
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Pardon my ignorance I have never heard of this. PDs would still select applicants without having a step 2 CK score? Eventually wouldn't you have to submit it and could they rescind their offer?
More programs are requiring CK and CS to rank now, so it may or not not be a good idea for people with a bad CK to update their transcripts after 9/15. But for example, there's a poster on SDN who matched at Univ of Washington for rads last year and did not include his CK because it was ~230.

But for a DO student, your choices are (as far as I know) 1) having no CK at all, 2) having a CK you must have on your app, and 3) having a CK you can choose to exclude from your app. If a program wants CK to interview and rank you, then if you don't take CK that program wouldn't take you regardless.
 
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Reveler

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Mar 13, 2017
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Unfortunately, DO students often need to work harder than their MD counterparts in order to garner the same amount of attention. My advice would be to place yourself on equal footing with those you're applying with. In the ACGME world, USMLE reigns supreme. While programs will surely take COMLEX, you can't be assured that they'll consider a good Level 2 performance as analogous to a good CK performance. Bite the bullet and take the exam. While the chances that a PD discards your app based on no CK may be small (and who really knows), that's a chance I wouldn't be willing to take. Your scores show that you test well. I'm sure your CK performance will be strong.


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