I passed COMLEX Step 2 but failed USMLE Step 2 CK

Discussion in 'Psychiatry' started by Maccabeus, May 28, 2008.

  1. Maccabeus

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    I'm a DO student at the end of his third year. I wonder if I shot myself in the foot by taking the USMLE step 2 CK (thinking I should have it for the allopathic match) and failing it. Here's the torrent of thoughts running through my mind.

    1. Can I choose to NOT release USMLE scores when applying via ERAS to the allopathic match, thus relying on my passing (although not great) COMLEX scores only?

    2. Should I limit myself to the AOA match? The problem is that so few Osteopathic Psychiatry residencies exist.

    3. What Psych residency would want me now?

    4. I do not want to retake the USMLE.

    5. The greater question is how did I become such a moron? I used to think of myself as intelligent. I graduated from law school cum laude and passed the bar exam on the first try. I've survived this far in medical school. Early-onset dementia?

    I appreciate any reality therapy anyone here has to offer.
     
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  3. futuredo32

    futuredo32 Senior Member

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    1.I have no idea. If no one on the psych forum can answer this question, try asking in the ERAS or General residency forum(aProgDirector) knows a lot about these issues.

    2.I wouldn't limit yourself unless you really want to do a DO residency. This is one thread I read where people failed one or more of the "Steps" and still matched into an Allo residency.http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=504423 If you did a search, I'm guessing that there are other people who matched into a great psychiatry program after failing one of the Steps who posted on other threads or didn't post at all.

    3.See my answer to #2, psych residencies will still want you:)
    4.I don't blame you. I wouldn't want to retake it either.
    5.You are not a moron. :) Don't be so hard on yourself.
     
  4. Faebinder

    Faebinder Slow Wave Smurf

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    You can choose not to submit the USMLE... unless the program specifically asks you to. Some programs will ask you to take the USMLE... so until you pass USMLE step 2, those programs are no good for you.

    My advise... just study harder and retake it.. meanwhile, you have complex 1 and 2... just use them for now. If they ask for more... move on till you have the USMLE bagged.

    You are not a moron... USMLE is harder than COMLEX with a lot more competition. Just do better.. study harder.
     
  5. 1viking

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    Everything you said before and after this is accurate, however, I would debate this. The exams are different, that is all. The reasons why D.O. students score lower on USMLE on the average vs COMLEX can mainly be attributed to our training focus.
     
  6. Faebinder

    Faebinder Slow Wave Smurf

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    Disagree. The exam is easier to pass.. lets look at the abstract made by Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

    Passing score in COMLEX part II is 400.

    Lets plug that in the equation produced by the osteopathic society...

    USMLE Step II = 102.2 + 0.18 x COMLEX Level 2 = 102.2 + 0.18 x 400 = 174.2

    The minimum to pass USMLE step II is 185. It was raised from 174 to 182 in 5/1/2003 and raised again to 185 in 1/1/2007. This formula was correct as of 2005-2006, which means even if you use the 182.. USMLE would be harder... now we are at 185.. 185 translates 460 on the COMLEX II.... so USMLE is harder to pass.

    Not only is it harder to pass it.... there are way more people taking it so your standard deviation is smaller giving the curve smaller increments.. you need more questions to move up the curve since the increments are smaller. Translation.. it will take more studying and questions to go up points.

    I am just being honest.. this has been discussed in the past. To the OP, study much harder.

    PS: USMLE Step 3 starting this May 1st changed to passing score of 187...
     
  7. futuredo32

    futuredo32 Senior Member

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    They discussed this topic at a recent "Campus Day" for MSUCOM students. The two tests are very different. To some degree, all medical schools teach to the boards. DO schools prepare their students for the Comlex and MD schools prepare their students for the USMLE.

    I know a few people who took both and thought the USMLE is easier/did better on the USMLE. I didn't take the USMLE (and I have no intention of taking it), but I have heard from a lot of people that the questions are worded better on the USMLE than they are on the Comlex.
     
  8. futuredo32

    futuredo32 Senior Member

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    I don't really think that you can say that because you need a higher score on the USMLE to pass than you need for the Comlex means that the USMLE is more difficult. At MSUCOM, the required score to pass anatomy was 78% while the required score to pass cardiology was 70%. Far more people failed cardiology than failed anatomy. ie cardiology, with a lower minimum passing score was much more difficult than anatomy with a higher minimum passing score.
     
  9. 1viking

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    I feel bad hijacking this thread.

    That article doesn't disprove my point. My point is that we focus on studying for COMLEX, which is different than USMLE. This is a common point brought up by DO students.

    In regards to the article, comparing the difficulty of the tests was not a primary outcome. Also, more importantly, the article is not a randomized sample! This is a HUGE flaw. So, retrospective study that is non-randomized, it is weak (our journal club wouldn't even allow it). In fact, so weak that I don't even give an ear to it, at all.
     
  10. Maccabeus

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    Taking back my thread:

    So, had I never taken the USMLE, I could apply to allo psych programs, show them my passing COMLEXes, and move on to my strengths in the interview process. Because I bombed USMLE 2 CK, now I would look like a fool to a Psych program director, unless I retake it (which I am loathe to do) and do great.

    So, am I stuck with either applying to the handful of AOA programs or retaking that test? Who knows the lay of the land here?
     
  11. futuredo32

    futuredo32 Senior Member

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    I am pretty sure Faebinder is correct and you don't have to submit your USMLE scores at all. If you do a quick search of the psych forum, there are tons of allopathic psychiatry residencies that don't require the USMLE.
    Good luck to you.:luck:
     
  12. Faebinder

    Faebinder Slow Wave Smurf

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    Not only that... you can further your chances by CALLING them and asking specifically... Hi mam/sir, I am a DO... I passed the COMLEX part I and II.. do you really need my USMLE scores or will you just be fine with comlex...

    If they still insist and YOU still insist on applying to the program.. then send them a copy of the USMLE step 1 score... a hard copy..

    They still want you to take step II (and yes you will meet some of those programs) then there is nothing to do for those except retake it.

    It's really that simple... prescreen your programs before applying by calling and asking if COMLEX is enough.

    I dont want to continue hijacking this thread about COMLEX vs. USMLE but this has been discussed so much in the past it's rediculous to continue to be blind about it. And yes difficulty passing an exam is not the same as difficulty of questions and personally I don't think it translates to difference in knowledge unless the difference between minimums of both exams is huge and it seems to be getting there. Don't be surprised if Comlex minimum passing goes up in the future.
     
  13. 1viking

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    Won't ever happen. Passing is set at 400 AND the lowest 5% of candidates must fail. This info comes from a faculty member at KCOM that is/was on the committee that determines passing levels.

    Just because something has been discussed in the past doesn't mean the conclusion reached is correct.
     
  14. Maccabeus

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    OK, I think I've refined my question:

    As a D.O. student applying in the allopathic match for psychiatry, may I be utterly silent in the ERAS application about whether I took the USMLE, such that my USMLE scores do not appear in the application and the residency program sees only COMLEX scores and for all the program knows I only took COMLEX?

    I am going to post this in the ERAS subforum. Thanks to you all.
     
  15. kumar28

    kumar28 Senior Member

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    bro..if you only took usmle step 2..you don't have to report it. If you took usmle step 1 and 2 then i believe you have to report it.
     
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  17. Maccabeus

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    Shucks. I took them both. What a fool I am.
     
  18. futuredo32

    futuredo32 Senior Member

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    One thing you might want to consider(as I am in the first of four weeks of my surgery rotation) is that DO psych residencies require a month of surgery and a month of OB/Gyn during your intern year. Those rotations aren't requirements in an MD psych intern year. You might want to consider whether you'd rather go through a month or surgery and a month of OB/Gyn vs. retaking the USMLE Step 2. Although all of the surgery residents and attendings that I have worked with so far have been awesome, I would rather take the USMLE Step 2 if that meant avoiding two months(combined) of surgery and OB/Gyn during my intern year.
    P.S. No offense to surgeons or OB/Gyns. They're both great fields if your interest lies in those fields. Having spent the last week freezing in the cold ORs, I would do just about anything to avoid spending more time in the cold:).
     
    #16 futuredo32, Jun 8, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2008

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