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bmed93

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Did poorly on USMLE step 1 and did well on COMLEX Level 1. I'm hearing mixed things on if it is required to submit all scores or not and wondering if anyone here knows the answer.

I'm planning on signing up for usmle step2 soon and essentially wondering if I can take the exam risk-free if I do poorly on it.
 

DrStephenStrange

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Not required for DOs, but they might ask you in interviews whether you took it or not, and you can't lie. If you passed, I'd still release it.
 
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BorntobeDO?

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Even if you lie, how would they ever find out? Yes, I know its unethical
They won’t ask. If your comlex is way better than your step, you can just not release step.

also there is no way for them to know. ERAS doesn’t automatically do anything with scores. It doesn’t even know your AAMC number or whatever for STEP unless you put it in. This topic comes up every year. Will be glad when level 1 is pass fail and people don’t have to think about this anymore.
 
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hungrydoc710

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Like under 200 bad? Or did you get above 210?
If it's the latter I'd release it, bc it shows you can comfortably pass the harder of the 2 exams.
 
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PorkChopsOG

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I only took comlex and was NEVER asked about why I didn't take step (and I went on a lot of MD interviews). I'm not saying hide your USMLE scores, but if you did no one would know. The programs that will be able to interpret your COMLEX score will not notice a missing step score.
 
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PorkChopsOG

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Do not hide your USMLE scores. I don't know why everyone keeps saying that. If it's found out you hid them, you could get fired. Someone I know at one of their FM interviews was straight up asked if they took USMLE (only took COMLEX personally) as a DO student.
How would someone be fired for not releasing USMLE scores as a DO?
 
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How would someone be fired for not releasing USMLE scores as a DO?
Going through the credentialing process right now for PGY-1. It's an official document that's asking for both your COMLEX and USMLE. what score, when it was taken, and how many attempts. You are to also list all of your educational institutions, employment history with all the contact information, and addresses of where you lived for most of your life.

Maybe my program is just being extra thorough and who knows how the info will be used. But you are signing legal documents that waive your rights to privacy and allow them to dig as deep as they want to confirm your qualifications. Theoretically, they can request any info as long as they have your name SSN, DOB, etc... It's possible that applying with COMLEX only will get you through the filter for interviews, but whatever you do, DON'T LIE if asked about it.
 

PorkChopsOG

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Going through the credentialing process right now for PGY-1. It's an official document that's asking for both your COMLEX and USMLE. what score, when it was taken, and how many attempts. You are to also list all of your educational institutions, employment history with all the contact information, and addresses of where you lived for most of your life.

Maybe my program is just being extra thorough and who knows how the info will be used. But you are signing legal documents that waive your rights to privacy and allow them to dig as deep as they want to confirm your qualifications. Theoretically, they can request any info as long as they have your name SSN, DOB, etc... It's possible that applying with COMLEX only will get you through the filter for interviews, but whatever you do, DON'T LIE if asked about it.
I haven't come across any of that for onboarding yet, so maybe it is some programs and not others.
Edit: I want to be clear, I'm not telling anyone to lie about if they did or did not take USMLE if they are a DO. My original comment was just saying that I was never asked why I did not take step 1, and so far through my onboarding process/state licensure applications, it has not come up either.
 
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BorntobeDO?

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Going through the credentialing process right now for PGY-1. It's an official document that's asking for both your COMLEX and USMLE. what score, when it was taken, and how many attempts. You are to also list all of your educational institutions, employment history with all the contact information, and addresses of where you lived for most of your life.

Maybe my program is just being extra thorough and who knows how the info will be used. But you are signing legal documents that waive your rights to privacy and allow them to dig as deep as they want to confirm your qualifications. Theoretically, they can request any info as long as they have your name SSN, DOB, etc... It's possible that applying with COMLEX only will get you through the filter for interviews, but whatever you do, DON'T LIE if asked about it.
No one is advocating lying about it. But you do not have to release the score. And no one will ask about it in interviews. Half of DO students don’t take Step, so it’s not abnormal at all.
 
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BorntobeDO?

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Going through the credentialing process right now for PGY-1. It's an official document that's asking for both your COMLEX and USMLE. what score, when it was taken, and how many attempts. You are to also list all of your educational institutions, employment history with all the contact information, and addresses of where you lived for most of your life.

Maybe my program is just being extra thorough and who knows how the info will be used. But you are signing legal documents that waive your rights to privacy and allow them to dig as deep as they want to confirm your qualifications. Theoretically, they can request any info as long as they have your name SSN, DOB, etc... It's possible that applying with COMLEX only will get you through the filter for interviews, but whatever you do, DON'T LIE if asked about it.
Your program is weird, I had to do all kinds of background checks for my residency, and other than proving I was eligible to graduate, no one asked about my boards after I matched. I had more trouble listing all my old addresses. It won’t matter at that point anyway, as OP would be already matched.
 
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Your program is weird, I had to do all kinds of background checks for my residency, and other than proving I was eligible to graduate, no one asked about my boards after I matched. I had more trouble listing all my old addresses. It won’t matter at that point anyway, as OP would be already matched.
Better hope OP doesn't match into my weird program then. But asking about USMLE or a lack thereof is pretty common on the interview trail. Take a look at the reddit name and shame page and you'll see many PDs ask all kinds of questions... including ones considered match violations.

Like I said above, if OP thinks applying COMLEX only will yield higher chances of getting through interview filters, then proceed. The only advice I have is to be prepared to answer the USMLE question at any point and be honest about it.
 

ChicagoBear

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I haven't come across any of that for onboarding yet, so maybe it is some programs and not others.
Edit: I want to be clear, I'm not telling anyone to lie about if they did or did not take USMLE if they are a DO. My original comment was just saying that I was never asked why I did not take step 1, and so far through my onboarding process/state licensure applications, it has not come up either.
Just an FYI, the application instructions for an Illinois training permit/license are pretty clear - all attempts and scores for USMLE and/or COMLEX must disclosed. Playing fast and loose with a state licensing agency is not recommended. The residency programs should know what information the state requires and will most likely help the new PGY-1's gather what is needed.
 
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PorkChopsOG

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Just an FYI, the application instructions for an Illinois training permit/license are pretty clear - all attempts and scores for USMLE and/or COMLEX must disclosed. Playing fast and loose with a state licensing agency is not recommended. The residency programs should know what information the state requires and will most likely help the new PGY-1's gather what is needed.
Ah ok. Yeah the state I’m applying in did not require that.
 

Redpancreas

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Going through the credentialing process right now for PGY-1. It's an official document that's asking for both your COMLEX and USMLE. what score, when it was taken, and how many attempts. You are to also list all of your educational institutions, employment history with all the contact information, and addresses of where you lived for most of your life.

Maybe my program is just being extra thorough and who knows how the info will be used. But you are signing legal documents that waive your rights to privacy and allow them to dig as deep as they want to confirm your qualifications. Theoretically, they can request any info as long as they have your name SSN, DOB, etc... It's possible that applying with COMLEX only will get you through the filter for interviews, but whatever you do, DON'T LIE if asked about it.

The credentialing process for a training license is dependent on state guidelines and is completely separate from the interviewing process. The program coordinator who reviews these is not doing it to look at scores, but verify completion of minimum requirements. No one is going to notice if you said one thing during your interview and another thing shows up on your transcript they're collecting after the match. That said, you should never lie. If you do not want the USMLE score released, do not release it and then if asked about it on interview day say that you passed the exam comfortably if you did pass. If they really press to give a score, you use your discretion to decide whether you want to reveal your score or state you don't recall the specifics but will get back to them. Frankly, any respectable interviewer/program should not be asking you for a numerical score on an interview. The interview should be an independent assessment of you. The only time scores should be brought up is if you failed or did very well to answer a question about what happened. If there was a question, it should have been clarified before the decision to invite the applicant or it should be discussed during the time of ranking at which point if they dont see a score on an official document, they will have to assume and rank accordingly. If I was in charge, I would add soliciting of scores as an illegal interview question. Programs can review these prior to interview selection and again prior to ranking applicants. If programs want to see a CK score before RoL, make the applicant aware of that in a generalized way. Soliciting a score from an applicant during the interview adds no value to the interview as the score will be available (or not- in which case assume what you need to rank) prior to RoL deadline besides putting pressure on the applicant and introducing more bias to an already subjective process.
 
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The credentialing process for a training license is dependent on state guidelines and is completely separate from the interviewing process. The program coordinator who reviews these is not doing it to look at scores, but verify completion of minimum requirements. No one is going to notice if you said one thing during your interview and another thing shows up on your transcript they're collecting after the match. That said, you should never lie. If you do not want the USMLE score released, do not release it and then if asked about it on interview day say that you passed the exam comfortably if you did pass. If they really press to give a score, you use your discretion to decide whether you want to reveal your score or state you don't recall the specifics but will get back to them. Frankly, any respectable interviewer/program should not be asking you for a numerical score on an interview. The interview should be an independent assessment of you. The only time scores should be brought up is if you failed or did very well to answer a question about what happened. If there was a question, it should have been clarified before the decision to invite the applicant or it should be discussed during the time of ranking at which point if they dont see a score on an official document, they will have to assume and rank accordingly. If I was in charge, I would add soliciting of scores as an illegal interview question. Programs can review these prior to interview selection and again prior to ranking applicants. If programs want to see a CK score before RoL, make the applicant aware of that in a generalized way. Soliciting a score from an applicant during the interview adds no value to the interview as the score will be available (or not- in which case assume what you need to rank) prior to RoL deadline besides putting pressure on the applicant and introducing more bias to an already subjective process.
Thanks for the insight on how information is used in the programs you have been involved with. Regarding what OP should do, I have already stated multiple times above. Release the scores if you want to. If you don't, be prepared to answer honestly when asked about USMLE. No one on SDN or any physician knows how every residency program across the nation utilizes applicant information pre and post match. That's why IMO, honesty is the best policy.

However, there are many "if's" and hypothetical situations here. While I am in agreement with many of your points, I see less value in telling a MS3/4 of how things should be done in an ideal world. In reality, medical students are at the mercy of whatever the medical education system subjects them to. They are not at a point in their career where they have power to bargain for change. That's why I think it's more important for them to know what they are most likely going to encounter on the interview trail. Preparing for the worse and knowing how things are actually done in the real world will prevent them from being caught off guard. Sure it's easy to say DNR that program, but many students don't have that luxury. They just want to be doctors. If it means being at a toxic program for a few years, then so be it.

You seem very knowledgeable about how residency programs select applicants. I'm sure you also know that no matter how well guidelines are written, for better of for worse, every program will have very different interpretations and implementations. Even if you were to make the soliciting of scores an illegal interview question, programs will still ask. That is a fact. That is why we have pages of Name and Shames on specialty spreadsheets, discord, and reddit threads every cycle. Compared to those match violation questions, pressing to disclose an applicant's USMLE score is child's play. The reality of the situation is that programs simply don't care because the spots to applicant ratio is in their favor and this past cycle has strongly demonstrated that.

However, I strongly disagree with your advice on side stepping the Step 1 question by saying you don't recall the specifics. Any interviewer with a shred of common sense and ability to read between the lines will know that is BS. They'll think you are either lying, have something to hide, or straight up incompetent. It's just a 3 digit number... There's nothing specific unless they want to know what percentile your surgery section fell under... Students treat this number like it's the entire defining feature/existence of their young medical career. Interviewers know that. You have a better chance of a student not knowing if they ate breakfast for the day than not knowing their step score.
 
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