bel138

5+ Year Member
May 4, 2010
60
2
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
I am a DO that's in NICU fellowship now, having only taken COMLEX. The only thing I can offer is my experience.

I barely passed COMLEX 1. There was a fire in the building during my test, and I refused to have 7 hours cancelled out and sit again. Being from PA, I also wanted to ensure I could secure Resolution 42 to practice in the 4 or so states that still require it. I basically called up 100 programs east of the Mississippi and asked if their previous DO residents had gotten Res 42. I ended up with 10 programs, 9 of which offered me interviews. I matched at my #4 - medium sized, Great Lakes region, not particularly well known, Level 3c NICU, no fellows to steal my procedures, but BAD boards pass rate and poor program management.

A lot of residency is what you put into it, who you can get as a mentor, what kind of letters they write. I worked hard, showed my interest in NICU, got a publishable research project. My COMLEX II & III scores went up 100 pts each. I passed my Peds boards without a problem.

I actually had to cancel fellowship interviews because I got so many offers. I ended up in a well known east coast program, my #2 fellowship choice. I have no doubt that it will allow me to work in whatever setting I choose, the biggest academic Level 4 or private Level 3.

So, for me, USMLE wasn't necessary. I put some heavy restrictions on myself for residency programs. I wasn't at a particularly good or well known program. But I made an impression and worked hard to get where I am.
 
Last edited:
OP
C

ChiTownBHawks

5+ Year Member
Sep 17, 2013
1,685
1,785
Status
Medical Student
Shameless bump :). Bueller? Anyone can PM me if they feel more comfortable with that. I'm just trying to gather some more thoughts here.

Thanks!
 

drkristy85

7+ Year Member
Jun 20, 2011
125
41
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I'm a PGY-3 at a decent Peds program, and I only took COMLEX : Step 1, 2, and 3. Did fine on COMLEX, not great, but about average. I went to an average DO school and had average grades. I had no shortage of interviews for Peds residency.

I matched at the middle of my rank list, which was actually GREAT for the infamous match of 2013, the yr when many AMG's did not match, and NRMP president Mona Signer made a big to do. The following year, they increased the number of residency spots, and things have been better since then.

Most Peds residencies are fine with COMLEX. Sure, some of the top notch places (Northwestern, etc) do get a bit snooty, but then again, most of those places won't want to take D.O.'s in the first place, USMLE or not. If you are looking for PICU or NICU fellowship, you will be fine with just COMLEX. One of our residents last yr got into PICU fellowship of her choice, and she only did COMLEX to my knowledge.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ChiTownBHawks
Feb 3, 2015
4
1
Status
Medical Student
Hi, I'm interested in peds too and I've only taken the COMLEX Level 1 thus far. I've been scrolling through FreidaOnline and I'm noticing a lot of programs state on there that they only take the USMLE. Is Freida accurate about this issue? Also, does that mean one can take USMLE Step 2 and still be fine not having taken USMLE Step 1? Thanks for all the input!
 

drkristy85

7+ Year Member
Jun 20, 2011
125
41
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Hi, I'm interested in peds too and I've only taken the COMLEX Level 1 thus far. I've been scrolling through FreidaOnline and I'm noticing a lot of programs state on there that they only take the USMLE. Is Freida accurate about this issue? Also, does that mean one can take USMLE Step 2 and still be fine not having taken USMLE Step 1? Thanks for all the input!
I am not sure if you can take USMLE Step 2 without having taken Step 1 first. I believe you have to take Step 1 in order to be eligible for Step 2.