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Failed Comlex PE

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by firstaidjelly, May 17, 2014.

  1. firstaidjelly


    Feb 10, 2014
    Kind of upset. Dunno what happened. I will try better on the retake. Trying to get into any internal medicine or any family medicine program. How will this affect my chances? Ive never failed a class or failed a board until this.
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  3. DOcusate


    Jan 13, 2014
    If you're applying both AOA and ACGME I don't think you even have to report it to ACGME programs.
  4. Siggy

    Siggy 10+ Year Member

    Oct 27, 2004
    He (well, everyone) definitely needs to have passed the PE come match day. I know of at least one hospital with both AOA and ACGME residencies that has a policy requiring all of the applicants on the various match lists to have passed Step 2 (including PE or CS) due to being burned in the past by people failing, and then not being able to start on time. Now, when he passes, will anyone care that he took two attempts and will it be listed that he took it a second time?
  5. IH8ColdWeath3r

    IH8ColdWeath3r 7+ Year Member

    Feb 13, 2010
    Just curious, did you happen fail because of the "humanism" section. I don't know much (actually, I don't know anything) about the way these Comlex or Step tests are administered but I believe I recall the physician that teaches the physical diagnosis course at our school say that the #1 reason students fail the PE portion is because of lack of humanism, whatever that means ? I think it has to do with being warm, friendly, welcoming to the patient...
  6. DocEspana

    DocEspana Stabby Stabby. Physician 7+ Year Member

    Mar 1, 2010
    Outer Worlds
    Most programs now require the PE to be taken (and some passed) before they even offer interviews.

    And if you fail it will show up that you needed two tries to do it.
  7. firstaidjelly


    Feb 10, 2014
    Last edited: May 19, 2014
    Akecheta likes this.
  8. firstaidjelly


    Feb 10, 2014
    (constructive criticism directed at NBOME and NBME which I deleted)
    Last edited: May 19, 2014
  9. da Vincis World

    da Vincis World 7+ Year Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    This cannot be true. My school didn't even allow us to take PE until August of 4th year. Most in my class didn't take PE until November/December.
  10. DocEspana

    DocEspana Stabby Stabby. Physician 7+ Year Member

    Mar 1, 2010
    Outer Worlds
    YMMY. Rememeber I applied emergency medicine, surgery and urology. I would estimate the percentage of programs in those three fields I saw that didn't have a HARD requirement for the PE exam to be about 25%. 70-75% required you to have taken it by interview time. Many even sending out mass emails informing people of their policy and requesting that they re release their score info if they take the pe after application. Only a handful required passing prior to application, but a good number who "didn't" require passing to get an interview said you needed to forward then your pass result to get ranked.

    Again though, I was applying in a ubqiue set of waters. EM is basically in love with the PE since it mimics an EM exam. And urology is a bit extreme in their selection process.
    Last edited: May 20, 2014
  11. cliquesh

    cliquesh 10+ Year Member

    Nov 2, 2007
    This is a weird question, but what race are you? Everyone I know that failed is either Indian or Pakistani.

    I didn't read the thread because I'm lazy, but I think the following comment is sort of on topic. Every program I applied to required passing the PE before being ranked.
  12. Makati2008

    Makati2008 Moderator 7+ Year Member

    Dec 18, 2008
    Doc is on the money here. And for those programs that do offer you an interview you won't be ranked when match time comes around if no passing score is noted.

    This is not a "absolute" but it's becoming more common
  13. as90

    as90 5+ Year Member

    Jul 8, 2011
    I am curious about this, I am of part Indian descent, is this exam picking at us at all? I failed the humanism part. I think there could be a cultural bias. Being a south asian female who wears a head scarf for religious purposes, it is not typical to be loud spoken and to make eye contact with males regularly...i know this is far fetched, but maybe its food for thought.
  14. Iggyiggy

    Iggyiggy 2+ Year Member

    Jul 17, 2014
    I wanted to post about what I went through with the PE. I did really well on my school OSCES and my school really prepares us and has close to a 100% pass rate. Somehow when I took it in October of my 4th year, I got my score in December and I managed to fail the humanistic portion. I was completely torn and could not believe how this happened. Not sure what the patients saw me do, but I did not remember being rude to anyone or having any bad interactions.

    I was in interview season for Internal Medicine and I thought I ruined all my chances. I was interviewing at AOA and ACGME places, I told my top 3 AOA programs what had happened and asked how this would effect me. One of them dropped me and said they could not rank me but the other 2 said it was okay and to not worry too much about this because they look at the whole application. I was still freaking out and my school would not let me schedule my re-take until February. They made me re-do the training for OSCES and practice on a rotation for 4 weeks. I was so frustrated because my ranks were due before I was even going to take it.

    I never released my score on ERAS it only showed my COMLEX I and II scores because I didn't update it. I had 3 programs in the AOA email me for my score and told me they couldnt rank me without it.

    Fastforward to AOA match day (also before my re-take); I ended up ranking only 3 programs because 3 dropped me because of the PE and so that left me with 3 that I liked and decided to stick with. I had 6 in the ACGME IM program so I decided that would be my better shot and none of them had actually asked me for me PE score. I ended up MATCHING my #1 AOA program. Not sure how or why but I was ecstatic and sooo relieved. I re-took my PE a week later and just got my score last week and i PASSED.

    THANK GOD! This was probably the worst experience I've ever had. I never failed anything in med school and did fine on the boards. The amount of mental stress this whole thing caused was unbelievable.

    Because I was neurotic and super upset I bought the Kaufman videos and COMLEX book. I practiced for an hour everyday for about one month. I touched up on my OMT skills had at least 2 treatments per area. I really focused on humanistic for me, made extra efforts with my patients (helped them sit down, get up etc.). I made small talk with everyone!! Really treated them like real patients, make sure to ask if THEY HAVE ANY QUESTIONS repeatedly. Really treated them like another day on family medicine and it also made it more fun for me the 2nd round. Kaufman videos are good although I don't think he covers all the points for medical questions and he takes too long outside the door. My first time I was out 2 min early on every single one, the 2nd time I had just enough time or was cut off. Honestly TAKE YOUR TIME, if you have time make more small talk...ask about family/friends/pets/job! Get comfortable with OMT as you need to have them quick because it waste a lot of time if you're not sure.First time I did OMT on 7 people, 2nd round I ONLY did it on the people who asked me for it. Make sure to listen to them carefully, engage in the convo, nod/interact with them. That's really the only thing I did different is slow down and listened very carefully, gave them plenty of times to ask questions, and treated them like real patients.

    Feel free to message me if you want any help! If you fail it, it's no the end of the world but it does make things harder a bit :( I got lucky and found the perfect program for me and everything just fell into place. I'm super stoked to never deal with this stupid exam again, and I made a wonderful donation to the NBOME twice. My final advice is to take it earlier than October of your 4th year! I got screwed with the timing and my school not allowing me to re-take it right away. The dates fill fast so beware of that! We aren't allowed to take it in our third year, so I recommend taking it early 4th! I'm glad to never ever face CONSHOHACKEN or whatever AGAIN!
  15. user3

    user3 7+ Year Member

    Jul 10, 2010
    any common trends with those that fail the humanistic part of PE? it seems to happen so unexpectedly and catch those that fail by surprise.
  16. BrooklynBulls

    BrooklynBulls 5+ Year Member

    May 8, 2011
    The lesson here is that PE is an arbitrary test and the best way to not let t affect your match is to take it so early that it simply cant. I took in the middle of my 3rd year. I passed on my first attempt. But even if i didnt, id have been able to take it as many times as i needed.
    Iggyiggy and microshar88 like this.
  17. karling

    karling 2+ Year Member

    Aug 5, 2014
    Edit: Never mind, answered my own stupid question.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2015
  18. hallowmann

    hallowmann SDN Lifetime Donor Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 5+ Year Member

    Mar 13, 2012
    Based on what I've heard, it seems like a lot of people fail the humanistic domain for 1 of 2 reasons:

    1) They don't treat it like a real patient encounter, they treat it like a test/acting session. You have to really act the way you would with a patient. Chat, comfort them, always ask permission for things and be attentive. Most people can easily do this with a real patient, but they don't do it with a standardized patient. It is another day in the family practice clinic as Iggy said.

    2) They forget the checkbox stuff. Make eye contact, especially when you're saying something compassionate. No one is going to believe you if you say, I'm sorry to hear that while staring down at your sheet and writing. Ask them if there's anything else they want to tell you, and if they have any questions, etc. All the little specific stuff you need to make sure you get through. I imagine the best way to get in the habit of doing this stuff is doing it practically everytime you see a patient anyways.

    Kaufmann's book and videos are, from what I hear, a very good resource, but be sure to practice a ton. People I know regretted not practicing, especially if they weren't coming off a string of clinic rotations.
    microshar88 and karling like this.
  19. Xclusiv

    Xclusiv 7+ Year Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    Just my 2 cents:
    1) Introduce yourself as Student Doctor ____ from the get-go; sounds basic but is necessary.
    2) Wash/sanitize your hands once before shaking the patient's hands and again right before your physical exam. (I started doing this in my preclinical training and standardized patients really commented favorably on it.)
    3) Drape properly

    -Passed the winter of my third year.
    hallowmann likes this.
  20. Iggyiggy

    Iggyiggy 2+ Year Member

    Jul 17, 2014
    I did all this the first time around as well! It really is random and unfair for the people who fail HUMANISTIC! I almost feel like its a random draw that one person/group has to fail to keep their percents. I really tried to figure out what was wrong or different that I did from my peers who passed but came to no conclusion. I just hope my story/situation can give one person that glimmer of hope during the stressful time of interviews and match! Because I looked for hours on SDN and researched different things and could not find much about this silly exam. If your school allows you to take it third year then go for it, mine did not as do many others :(
  21. cliquesh

    cliquesh 10+ Year Member

    Nov 2, 2007
    I think they have to fail 1/20 people, so you might have been fine, but you were the worst out of the last 20.
    serimeri likes this.

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