DO Student

Discussion in 'Internal Medicine and IM Subspecialties' started by pepsimaxx2013, May 30, 2012.

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  1. pepsimaxx2013


    May 30, 2012
    I'm a DO student with subpar preclinical grades and decent 3rd year rotation marks. I failed my COMLEX I the first time and retook it scoring in the low 400s. I plan on taking the USMLE Step II and COMLEX II and hope to do much better this time around in July, as I had some family issues last year. Unfortunately I just recieved my COMLEX PE score and failed humanistic aspect and plan on retaking it. I plan on taking the USMLE Step I in August to early September after I take my Step IIs, which would be in July. Is my step I too late? I'm not a "stupid" person and my peers have no idea regarding my particular predicament. Do I still have a shot at a any University program IM program if I do really well on my Step IIs and USMLE Step I. Also, when would be the latest I could take the USMLE Step I? I'm in the process of scheduling two sub-Is at reputable university programs. I'd really appreciate any honest input or advice. I'm kinda lost in terms of getting advice from my peers as no one knows my predicament. Thanks!
    Last edited: May 30, 2012
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  3. aProgDirector

    aProgDirector Pastafarians Unite! SDN Advisor SDN Moderator 10+ Year Member

    Oct 11, 2006
    If by "reputable university programs" you're referring to allopathic programs, I'm afraid your problems may seriously limit your options. Failing COMLEX 1, then getting a relatively low score on your retake, and then failing PE are going to be difficult to overcome. Taking USMLE Step 1 will not be easy, and you'd need a significantly better score for it to help. I can't imagine that you'll be able to address your clerkships / subI's, take COMLEX 2, USMLE 1 and 2, and retake PE all before application season. You might be better off focusing on AOA programs that are less competitive. Or, you might need to apply next year rather than this year, to give yourself enough time to do well on your exams.
  4. pepsimaxx2013


    May 30, 2012
    thanks for the advice. do you think there is a point to take USMLE Step 1 or just focus on step 2? Thanks
  5. aProgDirector

    aProgDirector Pastafarians Unite! SDN Advisor SDN Moderator 10+ Year Member

    Oct 11, 2006
    What I tried to suggest in my first post is that you focus on AOA programs. In that case, you don't need to take USMLE at all. Failing COMLEX 1 and PE will make matching into an allo program challenging.

    That being said, there is no harm in trying (except for the application fees, and USMLE fees). And, matching in the AOA match won't be a cake walk either.

    The simple answer is "it depends". I'd probably start with Step 2. If you get a poor score there, then it's probably worth focusing on AOA programs. If you get a good score on Step 2, then you could consider taking STep 1. If you got a really nice score on USMLE Step 1, you'd be in a much better spot. A poor score on either step would be a problem.

    As I mentioned above, you'll probably end up matching in 2014 if you try to do all of this. I can't imagine you studying for both COMLEX 2 and USMLE 2, retaking COMLEX PE, 2 sub I's, and getting USMLE 1 all done before application season is done. But, you could certainly try applying for positions this year without USMLE 1 and see how it goes -- if not well, sit out a year (or do a TRI) and take Step 1 later this year, and apply again.
  6. littlealex

    littlealex little tiny alex 7+ Year Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    If OP rocks Step 1 does his COMPLEX scores automatically show up? I almost feel like after not doing as hot on COMPLEX, Step1 is a fresh new chance. If OP can get 250+ on Step1 doesn't that pretty much erase all doubts Allo Uni progs may have about him?
  7. VJWDO

    VJWDO The End Is In Sight!!! 10+ Year Member

    May 20, 2004
    Durham, NC
    I suspect it will be difficult for OP to score 250 on USMLE step 1 after failing Comlex and then passing with a poor score. I agree with previous advice to focus on doing well on COMLEX and the rest of osteopathic school and then applying to AOA programs.

    NDESTRUKT Fadeproof 10+ Year Member

    The chances of the OP "rocking" the USMLE Step 1 after failing the COMLEX is extremely low unless the reason he failed the COMLEX was because he was horribly ill or some significant disability in taking the test. The COMLEX may be similar but from what I remember my DO friends telling me, less difficult than the USMLE.

    In addition, in being a DO, he's already fighting an uphill battle in respect to attaining a top allopathic university residency (not that it hasn't been done before but still not easy). There are plenty of strong community programs that the OP should strive for.
  9. desijigga

    desijigga Keeping Faith! 10+ Year Member

    Aug 10, 2007
    I echo the sentiments of others, OP you should focus on COMLEX II and passing the PE. USMLE is not an easy test by any means, and you will be spreading yourself thin by trying to take all these exams in short amount of time.

    There are plenty of good AOA IM programs, and also dual programs that will provide solid training. Look up programs you are interested in, ask people in your class what are good spots for rotations, and go kill it!
  10. Doctor4Life1769

    Doctor4Life1769 **tr0llin, ridin dirty** 7+ Year Member

    OP is ****ed.

    Not gonna blow smoke up your ass. I'm sure there's an AOA IM program with annual openings that'll take you on, but I wouldn't count on any inhouse fellowships associated with that program.
  11. dragonfly99

    dragonfly99 5+ Year Member

    May 15, 2008
    Sounds like you are trying to do too much and spread yourself too thin...would seem better to concentrate on doing well on your COMLEX tests and the rest of your med school. I don't understand taking the Step 2 without the Step 1, and don't see the point. I am an allopathic doc, so haven't been in your particular situation, but I don't think your chances of matching into allopathic program IM are high no matter what happens now,and there is nothing wrong with DO IM programs. I'm afraid you'll end up in a worse spot if you try to chase taking all these different exams while doing 4th year.
  12. linkDO

    linkDO is in v-fib 2+ Year Member

    Nov 21, 2008
    Tough predicament to fail two board exams already and have poor preclinical grades/class rank. Going back to take Step 1 USMLE sounds like suicide to be honest. You're already so far removed from the basic sciences and they will only be worse on the USMLE over the COMLEX. (coming from DO who took both). Have you thought about Family Medicine? Maybe youd have a better shot there. I just see this being an impossible battle at even mid range allopathic residencies.
  13. inspirationmd

    inspirationmd 5+ Year Member

    Mar 17, 2011
    Damn! Kind of harsh but its real talk from an allopathic and solid AOA IM program standpoint. I would agree that you should focus on lower tier AOA IM programs and AOA FM programs. Unless you take a year off to try to take Step 1 and 2 you are going to completely screw yourself with your current plan and even if you pull off Step 1 and 2 I am not sure it would help you with allopathic IM programs.

    What I will say is if you do not match the first time then Doc4ife is completely right because as an independent grad for both AOA and Allopathic programs I do not believe you would get a position. Go for DO programs aways, network, and fight. Get it right the first time because it may be your only shot.
  14. pepsimaxx2013


    May 30, 2012
    thanks guys. I'm gonna just focus on COMLEX Level 2, rotate and apply to AOA programs. Gotta be smart and think rationally...don't want to end up not matching anywhere. I hope rotating and shining at AOA places with IM fellowships will do the trick. Thanks for everything!

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