stardoctor

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I'm a second year med student and am planning on taking comlex level 1 next June. I've been interested in psychiatry and my school advisor says I don't need a USMLE to match psych.

I feel I may do poorly if I spread myself thin by preparing for two different exams content/styles. In general I am a good test taker and scored in upper 90th percentile for the MCAT.

I understand the USMLE opens more doors, but I would hate to pass COMLEX and fail USMLE. The risk does not sound like it is worth the reward (if I am able to match psych without the USMLE). Do I NEED the USMLE? Or will I match psychiatry with a comlex in the average range?

Thanks for reading.
 

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I'm a second year med student and am planning on taking comlex level 1 next June. I've been interested in psychiatry and my school advisor says I don't need a USMLE to match psych.

I feel I may do poorly if I spread myself thin by preparing for two different exams content/styles. In general I am a good test taker and scored in upper 90th percentile for the MCAT.

I understand the USMLE opens more doors, but I would hate to pass COMLEX and fail USMLE. The risk does not sound like it is worth the reward (if I am able to match psych without the USMLE). Do I NEED the USMLE? Or will I match psychiatry with a comlex in the average range?

Thanks for reading.
Should be doable per charting outcomes, obviously you should apply to a decent number of programs including former AOA and low tier uni programs. Psych cares much more about fit rather than board scores.
 

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I'm a second year med student and am planning on taking comlex level 1 next June. I've been interested in psychiatry and my school advisor says I don't need a USMLE to match psych.

I feel I may do poorly if I spread myself thin by preparing for two different exams content/styles. In general I am a good test taker and scored in upper 90th percentile for the MCAT.

I understand the USMLE opens more doors, but I would hate to pass COMLEX and fail USMLE. The risk does not sound like it is worth the reward (if I am able to match psych without the USMLE). Do I NEED the USMLE? Or will I match psychiatry with a comlex in the average range?

Thanks for reading.
Whatever your school says, do the opposite.
 
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For the love of God, take the usmle. The idea that the exams are different enough to matter is myth. Study for the usmle hard. If you do well on USMLE you will not fail the comlex or something. Put that out of your mind. You are being defeatist from the start because the schools like to say they are so different. They are different but not in a way that your school says.
 
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Take USMLE. Do UWORLD. Ignore comquest/combank performance vs board scores graphs shown by school admins. Don't only use VSAS for 4th year just because that's all your dumba** school told you about.

This is all DO 101 basic info you should get on day one of your osteopathic curriculum.
 
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FutureDoctor5000

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For the love of God, take the usmle. The idea that the exams are different enough to matter is myth. Study for the usmle hard. If you do well on USMLE you will not fail the comlex or something. Put that out of your mind. You are being defeatist from the start because the schools like to say they are so different. They are different but not in a way that your school says.
While I do agree that you should study hard and pass the USMLE, as it will open the most doors, for psych there are plenty of people who match with just comlex and they match at half decent spots, not the top 25 but you can still snag a psych spot at a uni/uni affiliate with just a comlex score or at a former AOA program with just a comlex, if OP is okay with such an outcome and does above average atleast on comlex, gets good letters, he/she would have no issues matching psych.. now.. obviously my advice isn't good if you suddenly change your mind and want to do surgery or anesthesia or something where a USMLE score is critical to matching...
 

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its a personal choice but unless you're really borderline you will be using the same resources

why not try for USMLE? If you do really bad on the NBMEs then I think you can just cancel it and not worry?

If it was a lot of extra work to prepare for both I'd understand but I don't think your strategy is going to change much, unless you're really banking on using OMM rather than real medicine to make you pass?
 
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Neopolymath

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While I do agree that you should study hard and pass the USMLE, as it will open the most doors, for psych there are plenty of people who match with just comlex and they match at half decent spots, not the top 25 but you can still snag a psych spot at a uni/uni affiliate with just a comlex score or at a former AOA program with just a comlex, if OP is okay with such an outcome and does above average atleast on comlex, gets good letters, he/she would have no issues matching psych.. now.. obviously my advice isn't good if you suddenly change your mind and want to do surgery or anesthesia or something where a USMLE score is critical to matching...
I like your consistent optimism regarding matching in every thread in this forum. I will say that psych is likely to rise in competitiveness by the time OP is applying. Maybe that's solely due to a proven increase in number of medical students overall or maybe it is also because psych becomes more desirable. So, you can be correct that psych doesn't look tough by the numbers but we also need to consider the future changes here. Don't bet on psych staying the same.

What I do know is that there is zero reason not to plan from day 1 to take the USMLE and study specifically for the USMLE. If practice tests are showing a risk of failing close to the exam then the student can bail and just take comlex to stay safe. There is no scenario where students should only be planning/preparing for comlex. It's just an objectively bad way to go about M1 and M2 and is shooting yourself in the foot for no reason. As I said before, I like your general attitude but I don't think it really does anyone favors to tell premeds and m1s that it's ok to not even worry about trying to take the USMLE. These are the people that end up half assing it because they think they have a backup plan and then getting stuck with comlex only without options. I think we need to be careful in how we give advice.

Go about M1 and M2 as if you have no other option than to take USMLE and you will rise to the occasion to take the exam. Go about M1 and M2 like it might be a good idea that you will get around to and you will end up not achieving your potential. When we have no other option than to succeed, we generally do better motivationally as humans.
 
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FutureDoctor5000

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I like your consistent optimism regarding matching in every thread in this forum. I will say that psych is likely to rise in competitiveness by the time OP is applying. Maybe that's solely due to a proven increase in number of medical students overall or maybe it is also because psych becomes more desirable. So, you can be correct that psych doesn't look tough by the numbers but we also need to consider the future changes here. Don't bet on psych staying the same.

What I do know is that there is zero reason not to plan from day 1 to take the USMLE and study specifically for the USMLE. If practice tests are showing a risk of failing close to the exam then the student can bail and just take comlex to stay safe. There is no scenario where students should only be planning/preparing for comlex. It's just an objectively bad way to go about M1 and M2 and is shooting yourself in the foot for no reason. As I said before, I like your general attitude but I don't think it really does anyone favors to tell premeds and m1s that it's ok to not even worry about trying to take the USMLE. These are the people that end up half assing it because they think they have a backup plan and then getting stuck with comlex only without options. I think we need to be careful in how we give advice.

Go about M1 and M2 as if you have no other option than to take USMLE and you will rise to the occasion to take the exam. Go about M1 and M2 like it might be a good idea that you will get around to and you will end up not achieving your potential. When we have no other option than to succeed, we generally do better motivationally as humans.
While I agree, a 200 on usmle isn’t opening any doors and making your life easier for matching psych(not that competitive right now). But with an above average comlex you can most definitely match psych. OP is asking if he 100% absolutely NEEDS USMLE to match into psych and that answer as of 2020 is definitely no. Will that change in 2 years?idk . Sure If op is doing well on nbme’s it’s a no brainer, take step. I can’t predict the future 5 years from now and neither can you. I am going by both anecdotal and hard data from 2020 charting outcomes that shows that a significant portion of DO’s who matched psych had no usmle score. In terms of preparation, you should def use the UFAPS method regardless of what exam you are studying for as that will help you for comlex as well, you just supplement that with saverse for comlex... but if OP is still struggling a month or a few weeks out and failing his practice tests then getting a good comlex score still keeps his psych chances alive... (a 190 or 200 on step would definitely hurt). Also when we give advice on this forum we should base it absolutely on facts and not what we think will happen or how we want the specialty we are in to be perceived... (ie. saying psych is competitive and it’s hard to match without step when it’s objectively not the case)
 
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stardoctor

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Thank you for the insight to everyone that replied.

If I did take USMLE step 1, would I then have to take the USMLE step 2?
 

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Thank you for the insight to everyone that replied.

If I did take USMLE step 1, would I then have to take the USMLE step 2?

Idk. When does usmle go PF? If it is then I’d probably be a good idea
 
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Thank you for the insight to everyone that replied.

If I did take USMLE step 1, would I then have to take the USMLE step 2?
You don't *have* to do anything. Taking 1 does not force you to take step 2.

The way you have phrased this makes me want to suggest you read about how to prepare for step 1 and step 2 as a DO student. It's not some big deal to take two board exams. It's just irritating because of how pointless comlex/nbome is. You really should be preparing for USMLE knowing that it will absolutely prepare you for comlex. I think there might be some misunderstanding here.
 
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I approached it that I was studying for "boards". I barely used the COMLEX specific preparation material. I used UWorld for everything.

I mean I'm not a superstar but i got 230/550 as a pretty average DO student during preclinicals.

The only vague inconvenience was needing to pay $600, show up a second day, and worry twice as much with COVID scheduling. Try to make your exams 1-2 weeks apart so you're fresh.
 
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stardoctor

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Ok, I am going to plan on taking USMLE.

As of now my plan is this:

Read and study First Aid
Do UWORLD practice questions
Review Pathoma book
Read and study Savarese book
Learn how to map viscerosomatics and Chapmans using the videos on youtube

Does this plan sound solid?

Until now, I've been studying material for my schools exams, and using Truelearn combank.
 
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Osteosaur

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UFAPS (Uworld, First Aid, Pathoma, Sketchy) are what most people use.

You need something for Micro/Pharm! Do Sketchy or the pepper anki decks. I really think Anki is ideal for this kind of material. But if you're not an anki person I won't push it.

Its worrisome, to me, that "savarese" and "chapmans" pop into your mind before drugs and bugs. Not to worry you, but this stuff is huge. Do not underestimate it.

Viscerosomatics and Chapmans? I used Anki still. There is nothing conceptual here. You just gotta know it. TrueLearn is utter garbage. I used it for some OMM but UWorld is higher quality questions by far.
 
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FutureDoctor5000

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Ok, I am going to plan on taking USMLE.

As of now my plan is this:

Read and study First Aid
Do UWORLD practice questions
Review Pathoma book
Read and study Savarese book
Learn how to map viscerosomatics and Chapmans using the videos on youtube

Does this plan sound solid?

Until now, I've been studying material for my schools exams, and using Truelearn combank.
You have to do sketchy... its absolutely critical, much more than Savarese and Chapmans, do that the last few days before your comlex, dont waste your time on it..
 
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stardoctor

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UFAPS (Uworld, First Aid, Pathoma, Sketchy) are what most people use.

You need something for Micro/Pharm! Do Sketchy or the pepper anki decks. I really think Anki is ideal for this kind of material. But if you're not an anki person I won't push it.

Its worrisome, to me, that "savarese" and "chapmans" pop into your mind before drugs and bugs. Not to worry you, but this stuff is huge. Do not underestimate it.

Viscerosomatics and Chapmans? I used Anki still. There is nothing conceptual here. You just gotta know it. TrueLearn is utter garbage. I used it for some OMM but UWorld is higher quality questions by far.

Thank you for the advice. It's not that I think OMM is more important than micro/pharm , but since its in first aid I figure I have it covered.
I'll check out sketchy or pepper Anki.
OMM is like 25% of the comlex, so shouldn't I devote significant time to Savarese? If not, how much time should I be putting into that?
 

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Thank you for the advice. It's not that I think OMM is more important than micro/pharm , but since its in first aid I figure I have it covered.
I'll check out sketchy or pepper Anki.
OMM is like 25% of the comlex, so shouldn't I devote significant time to Savarese? If not, how much time should I be putting into that?
In my opinion, not much at all. I studied for like 5 honest hours on OMM between step 1 and level 1 besides studying for my OMM exams year 1 and 2. If you know actual medicine then you could probably miss all OMM questions and still do well. I did. That doesn't even account for the fact that you will guess right on some of them and some of them are labeled OMM but are really just general knowledge questions.

I'll stand by the statement that anyone worried/blaming OMM for failing comlex or doing poorly should have spent more time studying the actual medicine portion of the exam so that deficiency didn't matter.
 
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stardoctor

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Should I start UWORLD now? If not now, what should I use? Through my school I have access to truelearn and comquest
 

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Should I start UWORLD now? If not now, what should I use? Through my school I have access to truelearn and comquest
You will receive mixed responses. Some say save it for near the test as your final testing/learning tool. Personally, I don't agree. There is a whole forum dedicated to this and you can search this topic here and on reddit fyi.

People usually consider USMLE-RX, Kaplan, or amboss for a starter bank if saving UWorld. Do not use combank. I cannot stress enough just how garbage it is. Waste of time and will make you worse lol.
 
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OMM is like 25% of the comlex, so shouldn't I devote significant time to Savarese? If not, how much time should I be putting into that?

I watched the OME videos 2 days in a row before Level 1 and memorized the viscerosomatic diagram. For level 2 I didn’t study OMM at all. High scores on both
 
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Thank you to everyone that replied! Seriously, SDN changes my life.

Now just have to ask my school for permission to take step......
 

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The majority of DOs I've interviewed for my program have at least Step 1, and the trend has been toward more and more DOs taking Steps. For most programs, your scores won't make or break you unless they stand out from the crowd (failure or high score). Auditions, fit, and social skills still rule.
 
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I'm a second year med student and am planning on taking comlex level 1 next June. I've been interested in psychiatry and my school advisor says I don't need a USMLE to match psych.

I feel I may do poorly if I spread myself thin by preparing for two different exams content/styles. In general I am a good test taker and scored in upper 90th percentile for the MCAT.

I understand the USMLE opens more doors, but I would hate to pass COMLEX and fail USMLE. The risk does not sound like it is worth the reward (if I am able to match psych without the USMLE). Do I NEED the USMLE? Or will I match psychiatry with a comlex in the average range?

Thanks for reading.

It should be decided that from day 1 you will take USMLE. Then you assess yourself. If you are performing well in medical school and have decent FL practice test scores during dedicated, you should continue to plan on taking both to keep as many doors open as possible. Even in psych.

I did not take it and it most definitely limited my opportunities for the residencies I was hoping to get interviews from.
 
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danno6623

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Thank you for the advice. It's not that I think OMM is more important than micro/pharm , but since its in first aid I figure I have it covered.
I'll check out sketchy or pepper Anki.
OMM is like 25% of the comlex, so shouldn't I devote significant time to Savarese? If not, how much time should I be putting into that?

Just logged in to tell you that you're absolutely correct about OMM being a significant portion of the COMLEX. I go to a school with multiple campuses and the statistics that my campus released show that we typically bomb pathology, yet make it all up on OMM. In the end, our average COMLEX 1 score is higher than the other campuses solely because of our very high OMM performance. I'm honestly a bit mortified that some people on here are advising you to ignore a huge portion of the exam. To maximize your chances of doing well, you should be taking ALL aspects of the exam seriously.

Also, don't even entertain the idea of not taking Step 1. You should be fully preparing for Step 1 and then taking COMLEX shortly after, which would give you a gap to fully prepare for the OMM component while the non-OMM material is still fresh.

Good luck!!!
 
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Osteosaur

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I did not get much OMM. The fact is you can just do some flashcards to learn the viscerosomatics without a map, and if you know general principles then muscle energy and counterstain should just be a matter of knowing anatomy. The only hard stuff is sacral and cranial.

Its not ignoring it. Its the fact that if you've been paying attention its not hard.

If you put more work into medicine you can score well on USMLE and COMLEX won't matter.
 
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Neopolymath

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Just logged in to tell you that you're absolutely correct about OMM being a significant portion of the COMLEX. I go to a school with multiple campuses and the statistics that my campus released show that we typically bomb pathology, yet make it all up on OMM. In the end, our average COMLEX 1 score is higher than the other campuses solely because of our very high OMM performance. I'm honestly a bit mortified that some people on here are advising you to ignore a huge portion of the exam. To maximize your chances of doing well, you should be taking ALL aspects of the exam seriously.

Also, don't even entertain the idea of not taking Step 1. You should be fully preparing for Step 1 and then taking COMLEX shortly after, which would give you a gap to fully prepare for the OMM component while the non-OMM material is still fresh.

Good luck!!!
You guys should probably study pathology since you are planning to be doctors not using OMM as a crutch.
 
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You guys should probably study pathology since you are planning to be doctors not using OMM as a crutch

You should probably work on your reading comprehension skills because I clearly stated that OP "should be taking ALL aspects of the exam seriously." I divulged some data from my school just to highlight the importance of OMM on COMLEX 1, not to suggest to OP that they should ignore a huge portion of the exam and make up for it with other subjects (which was what you suggested).
 
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Ok, I am going to plan on taking USMLE.

As of now my plan is this:

Read and study First Aid
Do UWORLD practice questions
Review Pathoma book
Read and study Savarese book
Learn how to map viscerosomatics and Chapmans using the videos on youtube

Does this plan sound solid?

Until now, I've been studying material for my schools exams, and using Truelearn combank.
USMLE Rx first alongside First Aid helps you learn First Aid, some people find that helpful before starting UWorld.

If you finish UWorld 1.5-2x passes and have time, I found AMBOSS questions to be very high quality and the explanations are excellent.

Also recommend doing OPP bs in the week between step 1 and level 1. Unless you find a way to fit it into your step study schedule without having the small remnant of your broken soul very slowly and pseudoscientifically drained first from your thoracic diaphragm, then your pelvic diaphragm, then whatever the next diaphragm is that you choose
 
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Neopolymath

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You should probably work on your reading comprehension skills because I clearly stated that OP "should be taking ALL aspects of the exam seriously." I divulged some data from my school just to highlight the importance of OMM on COMLEX 1, not to suggest to OP that they should ignore a huge portion of the exam and make up for it with other subjects (which was what you suggested).
Let's be clear on perspective here: I'm an M4 who curbstomped both of these exams and you are an M1 5 months into school listening to something your school told you about the makeup of the comlex and how to prioritize it without knowing the reason for my recommendation. It's not even a particularly controversial one after you get on the other side of the exams and know what they are like. It has been espoused over the years in the yearly board threads on sdn. Your perspective is based on your school's ONLY interest: no one failing comlex (note that has nothing to do with anyone doing well.) They have a vested interest not to share the full picture but that's for another thread.

Board studying is a zero-sum game. You are either board studying or you are spending time with family, doing research, or something else. Within board studying, you are either studying things pertinent for both usmle and comlex or just comlex (OMM). This means that spending more time on OMM is spending less time on topics that will help you on both exams. Most DO students find step harder for various reasons. They need more time for USMLE and most upperclassmen on sdn agree that a strong step 1 will carry you through M3. Plainly, studying for OMM for comlex is taking away time from family or more important things for your career.

As far as the actual exam, my personal exam had between 15-20% OMM questions (level 2 had 10% maybe). The important distinction is that most OMM questions are not true OMM knowledge that needs to be studied and memorized for the exam. OMM knowledge questions would be random counterstrain points that don't follow general principles, cranial, bizzare and esoteric setups etc. A theme in DO education is labeling things OMM related that just really aren't and the comlex question breakdown is no different. As @Osteosaur alluded to earlier, the rest of the questions are just common sense from passing your OMM exams during preclinical. Traditional counterstrain, muscle energy and stuff like that is easy enough if you learned gross anatomy because it is based on simple principles.

Given that it is a multiple choice exam, statistically you will get some educated guesses correct via test taking skills even if you do not know the OMM Knowledge questions. You will get many of the incorrectly labeled OMM questions right based on passing your OMM exams during preclinical because they are general knowledge questions. There is a reason people pretty much only cram OMM for a couple days between exams. It's not because they are OMM experts. It's because it's really not a big deal despite what your school says when you look at the details. This leaves very few questions that need specific OMM studying. Even fewer are worth actually studying like the classic viscerosomatics chart (aka not cranial and counterstrain.) Are you really going to say it's controversial to punt a few questions like that?

My statement that one can ignore OMM is backed by scores to prove it. I didn't say that OP should not study OMM at all. Hell, I studied for 5ish hours. I'm saying you definitely could skip it mathematically if you study science hard enough and my point was to not worry about OMM for boards in the same way OP listed UFAPS, for example. I brought it up specifically because studying for OMM before that cram session is actively working against more important aspects of your life and education. Your data didn't highlight the importance of OMM on the comlex. It highlighted that OMM is a way to boost a score for people who should have just studied the basic sciences in the first place for their career. So yeah, I'm saying that one doesn't need to take "all" of the aspects seriously. It says a lot about your argument when your response is that I'm the one saying to "make up for it with other subjects". Let's not get it twisted. Which one of us is advocating studying science for life and both boards and which one of us is advocating studying OMM to make up for not studying science hard enough? Who is really using something to make up for the other lol? It's not the basic science subjects...

After you take level 1 (and even moreso after level 2), you will understand why it isn't a cavalier attitude. Good luck.
 
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People recommend studying for the steps right from the get go because it’s the most efficient use of your time. If you decide later you won’t take it, it’s okay, you’ll still do fine in comlex. It’s harder if you do it the other way around and suddenly decide to take step. Using comlex resources to study for steps is just asking for trouble there’s literally zero buzzwords in usmle. Keep it simple. Do Uworld learn how to take tests and what the buzzwords mean, then cram the high yield OMM topics that’s always asked. It’s the same topics every single time and you can answer a lot of it based on intuition.
 
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Let's be clear on perspective here: I'm an M4 who curbstomped both of these exams and you are an M1 5 months into school listening to something your school told you about the makeup of the comlex and how to prioritize it without knowing the reason for my recommendation. It's not even a particularly controversial one after you get on the other side of the exams and know what they are like. It has been espoused over the years in the yearly board threads on sdn. Your perspective is based on your school's ONLY interest: no one failing comlex (note that has nothing to do with anyone doing well.) They have a vested interest not to share the full picture but that's for another thread.

Board studying is a zero-sum game. You are either board studying or you are spending time with family, doing research, or something else. Within board studying, you are either studying things pertinent for both usmle and comlex or just comlex (OMM). This means that spending more time on OMM is spending less time on topics that will help you on both exams. Most DO students find step harder for various reasons. They need more time for USMLE and most upperclassmen on sdn agree that a strong step 1 will carry you through M3. Plainly, studying for OMM for comlex is taking away time from family or more important things for your career.

As far as the actual exam, my personal exam had between 15-20% OMM questions (level 2 had 10% maybe). The important distinction is that most OMM questions are not true OMM knowledge that needs to be studied and memorized for the exam. OMM knowledge questions would be random counterstrain points that don't follow general principles, cranial, bizzare and esoteric setups etc. A theme in DO education is labeling things OMM related that just really aren't and the comlex question breakdown is no different. As @Osteosaur alluded to earlier, the rest of the questions are just common sense from passing your OMM exams during preclinical. Traditional counterstrain, muscle energy and stuff like that is easy enough if you learned gross anatomy because it is based on simple principles.

Given that it is a multiple choice exam, statistically you will get some educated guesses correct via test taking skills even if you do not know the OMM Knowledge questions. You will get many of the incorrectly labeled OMM questions right based on passing your OMM exams during preclinical because they are general knowledge questions. There is a reason people pretty much only cram OMM for a couple days between exams. It's not because they are OMM experts. It's because it's really not a big deal despite what your school says when you look at the details. This leaves very few questions that need specific OMM studying. Even fewer are worth actually studying like the classic viscerosomatics chart (aka not cranial and counterstrain.) Are you really going to say it's controversial to punt a few questions like that?

My statement that one can ignore OMM is backed by scores to prove it. I didn't say that OP should not study OMM at all. Hell, I studied for 5ish hours. I'm saying you definitely could skip it mathematically if you study science hard enough and my point was to not worry about OMM for boards in the same way OP listed UFAPS, for example. I brought it up specifically because studying for OMM before that cram session is actively working against more important aspects of your life and education. Your data didn't highlight the importance of OMM on the comlex. It highlighted that OMM is a way to boost a score for people who should have just studied the basic sciences in the first place for their career. So yeah, I'm saying that one doesn't need to take "all" of the aspects seriously. It says a lot about your argument when your response is that I'm the one saying to "make up for it with other subjects". Let's not get it twisted. Which one of us is advocating studying science for life and both boards and which one of us is advocating studying OMM to make up for not studying science hard enough? Who is really using something to make up for the other lol? It's not the basic science subjects...

After you take level 1 (and even moreso after level 2), you will understand why it isn't a cavalier attitude. Good luck.

Dude, you're literally advising someone to not study for OMM on a test where a significant portion is OMM. Maybe you received a great OMM education and only needed 5 hours of studying time, but considering how many DO schools do not focus very heavily on OMM, that's likely not the case for most students. Also, do you not realize that many questions that include OMM, even if the OMM isn't relevant to the answer, will throw students off, leading to a lower score?

There are a couple other fascinating parts of your reply that should be addressed.

1. What is the point of mentioning family, research, and other activities? If you take the COMLEX shortly after fully preparing for Step 1, how does that significantly impact the time you have for aspects of your life?

2. The data I brought up was merely to point out that OMM is a significant portion of the exam, to the point where mastering it can even boost one's score above those who much better in other key sections, particularly pathology. That doesn't mean anyone should neglect other topics (not sure how many times I have to repeat this). If OP studies hard for ALL aspects of the exam, they can maximize their chances of earning a respectable score. This is an exam where the higher your score, the higher the benefit. Thus, it makes absolutely zero sense to automatically reduce your maximum potential by ignoring key topics that the exam will cover.

3. You're literally advocating for "educated guesses" over actually learning the material. lmao What on earth??? I can understand having to do that if you simply cannot summon the time to study some low-yield material, but this is 20% (according to your own experience) of the exam! More importantly, this is relatively easy material to study for, which has a high gain vs. effort ratio.

I can understand not liking OMM, I'm not the biggest fan of it either, but one's preferences should be put aside for maximizing one's score on this incredibly important exam.
 
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Neopolymath

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Dude, you're literally advising someone to not study for OMM on a test where a significant portion is OMM. Maybe you received a great OMM education and only needed 5 hours of studying time, but considering how many DO schools do not focus very heavily on OMM, that's likely not the case for most students. Also, do you not realize that many questions that include OMM, even if the OMM isn't relevant to the answer, will throw students off, leading to a lower score?

There are a couple other fascinating parts of your reply that should be addressed.

1. What is the point of mentioning family, research, and other activities? If you take the COMLEX shortly after fully preparing for Step 1, how does that significantly impact the time you have for aspects of your life?

2. The data I brought up was merely to point out that OMM is a significant portion of the exam, to the point where mastering it can even boost one's score above those who much better in other key sections, particularly pathology. That doesn't mean anyone should neglect other topics (not sure how many times I have to repeat this). If OP studies hard for ALL aspects of the exam, they can maximize their chances of earning a respectable score. This is an exam where the higher your score, the higher the benefit. Thus, it makes absolutely zero sense to automatically reduce your maximum potential by ignoring key topics that the exam will cover.

3. You're literally advocating for "educated guesses" over actually learning the material. lmao What on earth??? I can understand having to do that if you simply cannot summon the time to study some low-yield material, but this is 20% (according to your own experience) of the exam! More importantly, this is relatively easy material to study for, which has a high gain vs. effort ratio.

I can understand not liking OMM, I'm not the biggest fan of it either, but one's preferences should be put aside for maximizing one's score on this incredibly important exam.
If you actually read the post and context I think you will understand what I'm saying including the explanation as to why. You have poor insight into the exam so you can't really offer criticisms of an argument that you don't grasp as evidenced by your second post.

First, I didn't say not to study it at all. I said not to study OMM aside from for OP's in-house OMM exams and a little bit in between usmle and comlex if they want. I said that one doesn't actually need to do so if they really didn't want to though. Then I went on to explain why I said both of those things. I'm not going to repeat them here.

As for the bolded, to be polite as possible, you have no idea what you are talking about here and the fact that you said the above illustrates that clearly. Do you know how many of us joke about subconsciously ignoring the OMM findings in questions on boards and comats? As I said previously, you will understand this eventually. It's a non-issue.

1. Opportunity cost. OP phrased it like they were going to study OMM before that gap between the two exams. It has drawbacks that need to be considered. OP should also be cautious not to fall prey to their school scaring them into studying OMM too much at the expense of other studies. This was clear in the previous post.
2. Every time you are studying OMM you are not studying other sciences. This is only changed by adding more study time to also study OMM on top of your real studies. This takes time from family. This isn't debatable unless you want to turn this into a metaphysical debate on what existence and time are. I'm not really interested in that.

Furthermore, you keep saying things about Comlex that lead me to believe that you think your score matters on Comlex. Essentially, it does not. Go ahead and ask us M4s how often our 600-800 comlex scores have been brought up on the trail this year (or read the 10000 threads on this topic here. WTF?!) Take USMLE and don't fail. That's best accomplished by using your fixed amount of study time on USMLE topics (that happen to prepare you adequately for comlex.) I already explained why OMM is not a key topic to the exam when actually evaluated critically.

3. Educated guesses and test taking skills are pillars of excelling on board exams and their utility isn't really up for debate. My opinion, that is debatable, is laid out in the above post that you didn't read carefully based on your response. Maybe 1 in 5/6 questions was an NBOME labeled OMM question. Then I broke down why the actual number of OMM questions is far lower when you remove the questions learned in basic sciences, gross anatomy, in-house OMM exams that are just principles that don't need studied or analyzed at all. True OMM knowledge questions probably make up less than 10% of the exam. I stated that even if one did not study these true omm knowledge topics, one is not going to miss all of them because statistically they will guess some of the right even if they literally just clicked random answers in the exam. I didn't say someone should guess on all the OMM questions (although you definitely could and still pass comfortably.) I'm saying that when someone says don't bother with OMM they aren't actually blowing off 20% of the exam. It's more like less than 10% and they aren't guaranteed to miss all 10% due to guessing correctly on some if nothing else.

The time you study trying to increase your comlex could be used to increase your step knowledge (would be good for step 1 but now useful for wards and step 2 foundation.) The utility of increasing your comlex score is TINY compared to the utility of increasing usmle knowledge. You will see this eventually.

Like I said, you are halfway into M1. You will understand sooner than later. It's fine.
 
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danno6623

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If you actually read the post and context I think you will understand what I'm saying including the explanation as to why. You have poor insight into the exam so you can't really offer criticisms of an argument that you don't grasp as evidenced by your second post.

First, I didn't say not to study it at all. I said not to study OMM aside from for OP's in-house OMM exams and a little bit in between usmle and comlex if they want. I said that one doesn't actually need to do so if they really didn't want to though. Then I went on to explain why I said both of those things. I'm not going to repeat them here.

As for the bolded, to be polite as possible, you have no idea what you are talking about here and the fact that you said the above illustrates that clearly. Do you know how many of us joke about subconsciously ignoring the OMM findings in questions on boards and comats? As I said previously, you will understand this eventually. It's a non-issue.

1. Opportunity cost. OP phrased it like they were going to study OMM before that gap between the two exams. It has drawbacks that need to be considered. OP should also be cautious not to fall prey to their school scaring them into studying OMM too much at the expense of other studies. This was clear in the previous post.
2. Every time you are studying OMM you are not studying other sciences. This is only changed by adding more study time to also study OMM on top of your real studies. This takes time from family. This isn't debatable unless you want to turn this into a metaphysical debate on what existence and time are. I'm not really interested in that.

Furthermore, you keep saying things about Comlex that lead me to believe that you think your score matters on Comlex. Essentially, it does not. Go ahead and ask us M4s how often our 600-800 comlex scores have been brought up on the trail this year (or read the 10000 threads on this topic here. WTF?!) Take USMLE and don't fail. That's best accomplished by using your fixed amount of study time on USMLE topics (that happen to prepare you adequately for comlex.) I already explained why OMM is not a key topic to the exam when actually evaluated critically.

3. Educated guesses and test taking skills are pillars of excelling on board exams and their utility isn't really up for debate. My opinion, that is debatable, is laid out in the above post that you didn't read carefully based on your response. Maybe 1 in 5/6 questions was an NBOME labeled OMM question. Then I broke down why the actual number of OMM questions is far lower when you remove the questions learned in basic sciences, gross anatomy, in-house OMM exams that are just principles that don't need studied or analyzed at all. True OMM knowledge questions probably make up less than 10% of the exam. I stated that even if one did not study these true omm knowledge topics, one is not going to miss all of them because statistically they will guess some of the right even if they literally just clicked random answers in the exam. I didn't say someone should guess on all the OMM questions (although you definitely could and still pass comfortably.) I'm saying that when someone says don't bother with OMM they aren't actually blowing off 20% of the exam. It's more like less than 10% and they aren't guaranteed to miss all 10% due to guessing correctly on some if nothing else.

The time you study trying to increase your comlex could be used to increase your step knowledge (would be good for step 1 but now useful for wards and step 2 foundation.) The utility of increasing your comlex score is TINY compared to the utility of increasing usmle knowledge. You will see this eventually.

Like I said, you are halfway into M1. You will understand sooner than later. It's fine.

1. Ad hominem attacks aren't a valid points.
2. There's little to no sacrifice involved in studying OMM heavily for a few days after taking Step 1 in preparation of COMLEX
3. Scores do matter for historically AOA programs.
4. As much as you try to make a convoluted argument for how minimally important OMM is, it's still a sizable portion of the exam and will most certainly trip students up in convoluted vignettes when it's there as a distractor.
5. Again, you keep bringing up time taken away from Step 1 (and now you're also bring up Step 2?!) when it's been established that under no circumstances should any student sacrifice Step 1 in favor of studying for COMLEX. You should absolutely be maximally prepared for Step 1, then cram in OMM and take COMLEX shortly after. How does this basic strategy affect your USMLE knowledge whatsoever?

I'm still waiting for you to own up to the fact that you straight-up told a student who was concerned about studying for COMLEX to ignore focused studying of OMM. You even told them that if they weren't performing well on practice tests to skip Step 1, which would make the OMM material even more vital for a COMLEX-only student because they'd only have COMLEX to fall back on.

Not really sure what's so controversial about telling a D.O. student to do some serious, focused OMM studying for a board exam that contains OMM, yet here we are. lmao To be honest, your way of thinking is what's led many students to no getting their desired COMLEX scores because they think OMM is not as heavily emphasized as it actually is. You personal experience doesn't really matter all that much to me when I've been privy to data showing that there is significant value to having a strong grasp on OMM for COMLEX 1.
 
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FutureDoctor5000

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1. Ad hominem attacks aren't a valid points.
2. There's little to no sacrifice involved in studying OMM heavily for a few days after taking Step 1 in preparation of COMLEX
3. Scores do matter for historically AOA programs.
4. As much as you try to make a convoluted argument for how minimally important OMM is, it's still a sizable portion of the exam and will most certainly trip students up in convoluted vignettes when it's there as a distractor.
5. Again, you keep bringing up time taken away from Step 1 (and now you're also bring up Step 2?!) when it's been established that under no circumstances should any student sacrifice Step 1 in favor of studying for COMLEX. You should absolutely be maximally prepared for Step 1, then cram in OMM and take COMLEX shortly after. How does this basic strategy affect your USMLE knowledge whatsoever?

I'm still waiting for you to own up to the fact that you straight-up told a student who was concerned about studying for COMLEX to ignore focused studying of OMM. You even told them that if they weren't performing well on practice tests to skip Step 1, which would make the OMM material even more vital for a COMLEX-only student because they'd only have COMLEX to fall back on.

Not really sure what's so controversial about telling a D.O. student to do some serious, focused OMM studying for a board exam that contains OMM, yet here we are. lmao To be honest, your way of thinking is what's led many students to no getting their desired COMLEX scores because they think OMM is not as heavily emphasized as it actually is. You personal experience doesn't really matter all that much to me when I've been privy to data showing that there is significant value to having a strong grasp on OMM for COMLEX 1.
As someone who just took the exam last summer, I would have to seriously disagree, the comlex is just a horrible exam, the omm on the comlex is garbage, till you take a practice exam you won’t understand, I still kind of regret even studying omm at all even between step 1 and comlex, cramming for omm isn’t going to raise anyone’s score, because there are very few stand alone “omm” questions and it’s not worth your time to learn some vague technique or counterpoint that won’t even show up on your exam. A lot of that “20” percent is literally just the mention of a Chapman point(complete pseudoscience) in a question stem and it’s labeled as a “omm” question part of the 20% “omm” but you don’t even need to know the Chapman point to answer the question. Even 5 hours of time between step 1 and comlex maybe be a waste of time for your comlex depending on the form you get. Passing your omm class and some mild high yield omm review is good enough. I doubt someone was able to raise a failing score to passing just by studying omm or raise a 570 to 650 by studying pure omm; and for most programs there is very little difference between a 570 and a 600 lol. Sure some former aoa programs use comlex, but if you are applying to competitive specialties your gonna need step no questions asked, for fm and IM a 450 is prbly good enough to match former aoa in those specialties. But for those who want to score sky high on comlex to match competitive specialties/places they will have to prove their worth on the usmle no doubt..
 
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AnatomyGrey12

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Dude, you're literally advising someone to not study for OMM on a test where a significant portion is OMM. Maybe you received a great OMM education and only needed 5 hours of studying time, but considering how many DO schools do not focus very heavily on OMM, that's likely not the case for most students. Also, do you not realize that many questions that include OMM, even if the OMM isn't relevant to the answer, will throw students off, leading to a lower score?

There are a couple other fascinating parts of your reply that should be addressed.

1. What is the point of mentioning family, research, and other activities? If you take the COMLEX shortly after fully preparing for Step 1, how does that significantly impact the time you have for aspects of your life?

2. The data I brought up was merely to point out that OMM is a significant portion of the exam, to the point where mastering it can even boost one's score above those who much better in other key sections, particularly pathology. That doesn't mean anyone should neglect other topics (not sure how many times I have to repeat this). If OP studies hard for ALL aspects of the exam, they can maximize their chances of earning a respectable score. This is an exam where the higher your score, the higher the benefit. Thus, it makes absolutely zero sense to automatically reduce your maximum potential by ignoring key topics that the exam will cover.

3. You're literally advocating for "educated guesses" over actually learning the material. lmao What on earth??? I can understand having to do that if you simply cannot summon the time to study some low-yield material, but this is 20% (according to your own experience) of the exam! More importantly, this is relatively easy material to study for, which has a high gain vs. effort ratio.

I can understand not liking OMM, I'm not the biggest fan of it either, but one's preferences should be put aside for maximizing one's score on this incredibly important exam.

Ad hominem attacks aren't a valid points.
2. There's little to no sacrifice involved in studying OMM heavily for a few days after taking Step 1 in preparation of COMLEX
3. Scores do matter for historically AOA programs.
4. As much as you try to make a convoluted argument for how minimally important OMM is, it's still a sizable portion of the exam and will most certainly trip students up in convoluted vignettes when it's there as a distractor.
5. Again, you keep bringing up time taken away from Step 1 (and now you're also bring up Step 2?!) when it's been established that under no circumstances should any student sacrifice Step 1 in favor of studying for COMLEX. You should absolutely be maximally prepared for Step 1, then cram in OMM and take COMLEX shortly after. How does this basic strategy affect your USMLE knowledge whatsoever?

Not really sure what's so controversial about telling a D.O. student to do some serious, focused OMM studying for a board exam that contains OMM, yet here we are

You personal experience doesn't really matter all that much to me when I've been privy to data showing that there is significant value to having a strong grasp on OMM for COMLEX 1.

You realize you’re arguing against people who have performed to the far right of the bell curve right?

You don’t understand what you’re talking about. COMLEX is literally the worst written exam I’ve ever taken, and really hammering OMM doesn’t really help. Until you have taken these tests you simply cannot understand.

Also, I just have to add, absolutely NO ONE gets distracted by the OMM given in a vignette lmao.

Your school sounds like it’s trying to compensate for everyone doing poorly on the stuff they should actually be teaching you.
 
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Robotfishbrain

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Man the responses here are kind of hilarious to me. OP I was in the same boat as you as an M2 and I also questioned taking the USMLE and the responses never change. In the end, I did not perform as well as I wanted to on Level 1 so I opted not to take it. I also did not take Step 2. We are in the middle of the application process and I have so many interviews for psych that I have started to reject them.

The correct answer to your question is this - do you have any psychiatry experience? Therapy? Research? Advocacy? Volunteering? Then boards are not going to be an issue for you. Do you care where are you going in terms of location? Then boards are not important. People always laugh when they hear psychiatry is way more holistic than other specialities, but my best friend has 24x/25x Step scores and has half the interviews I do and we applied to almost the same places. Go look at the spreadsheet and you will find similar examples. The only difference is I have experience in psychiatry before and during medical school. If you want more information please feel free to PM me and I'd be more than happy to help you out. SDN/Reddit is all doom and gloom and is not really healthy for your mental health (or your future career).
 
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FutureDoctor5000

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Man the responses here are kind of hilarious to me. OP I was in the same boat as you as an M2 and I also questioned taking the USMLE and the responses never change. In the end, I did not perform as well as I wanted to on Level 1 so I opted not to take it. I also did not take Step 2. We are in the middle of the application process and I have so many interviews for psych that I have started to reject them.

The correct answer to your question is this - do you have any psychiatry experience? Therapy? Research? Advocacy? Volunteering? Then boards are not going to be an issue for you. Do you care where are you going in terms of location? Then boards are not important. People always laugh when they hear psychiatry is way more holistic than other specialities, but my best friend has 24x/25x Step scores and has half the interviews I do and we applied to almost the same places. Go look at the spreadsheet and you will find similar examples. The only difference is I have experience in psychiatry before and during medical school. If you want more information please feel free to PM me and I'd be more than happy to help you out. SDN/Reddit is all doom and gloom and is not really healthy for your mental health (or your future career).
No one is denying this, we all know psych is different and puts less emphasis on board scores and more on fit. But outside of psych try matching at a solid mid tier IM or EM or university general surgery residency or anesthesia or OB or anything competitive(ent or ortho) with a average or below average comlex score and no usmle and you will be in world of hurt. This is why we all chuckle when people say psych is “competitive “ nahhhh... it’s more about fit, kind of like FM.. there is the same phenomenon in FM, I know of people with great scores and apps who had to soap into a FM spot..
 
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danno6623

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You realize you’re arguing against people who have performed to the far right of the bell curve right?

You don’t understand what you’re talking about. COMLEX is literally the worst written exam I’ve ever taken, and really hammering OMM doesn’t really help. Until you have taken these tests you simply cannot understand.

Also, I just have to add, absolutely NO ONE gets distracted by the OMM given in a vignette lmao.

Your school sounds like it’s trying to compensate for everyone doing poorly on the stuff they should actually be teaching you.

These same people already seemed to have a good OMM education and already required very little OMM prep, but that doesn't mean they should tell others to ignore it.

And idk how many times I need to say this, but the entire point of bringing up my school was just to let OP know that data exists showing that OMM is a significant enough portion to the point where good performance on it can either gives students an edge (at my campus) or be a hindrance to a higher score (the other campuses associated with my school). And I don't care if you all got an 800 and A.T. Still rose from the grave to congratulate you, that doesn't erase the fact that OMM is a big chunk of the exam and it's apparently distinct enough to give students who don't even have a good grasp on pathology a higher overall score than those who do but elect to under-prepare for OMM. I also love how there's this grand assumption that my school had like some sort of seminar solely about this topic to encourage us to continue ignoring pathology. They literally just offhandedly showed us our campus' COMLEX breakdown compared to the other campuses because some students wanted to know how our campus stacked up and then got back to more pressing matters. I was actually mortified by our pathology average, regardless of the decent overall average, and took note of it.

I really don't understand this attitude of ignoring key components on exams and then advising others to just because you happened to get a respectable score. There are so many reasons why extrapolating the experiences of a few overachievers and applying them to others' situation is deeply flawed.
 
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Ho0v-man

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1. Ad hominem attacks aren't a valid points.
2. There's little to no sacrifice involved in studying OMM heavily for a few days after taking Step 1 in preparation of COMLEX
3. Scores do matter for historically AOA programs.
4. As much as you try to make a convoluted argument for how minimally important OMM is, it's still a sizable portion of the exam and will most certainly trip students up in convoluted vignettes when it's there as a distractor.
5. Again, you keep bringing up time taken away from Step 1 (and now you're also bring up Step 2?!) when it's been established that under no circumstances should any student sacrifice Step 1 in favor of studying for COMLEX. You should absolutely be maximally prepared for Step 1, then cram in OMM and take COMLEX shortly after. How does this basic strategy affect your USMLE knowledge whatsoever?

I'm still waiting for you to own up to the fact that you straight-up told a student who was concerned about studying for COMLEX to ignore focused studying of OMM. You even told them that if they weren't performing well on practice tests to skip Step 1, which would make the OMM material even more vital for a COMLEX-only student because they'd only have COMLEX to fall back on.

Not really sure what's so controversial about telling a D.O. student to do some serious, focused OMM studying for a board exam that contains OMM, yet here we are. lmao To be honest, your way of thinking is what's led many students to no getting their desired COMLEX scores because they think OMM is not as heavily emphasized as it actually is. You personal experience doesn't really matter all that much to me when I've been privy to data showing that there is significant value to having a strong grasp on OMM for COMLEX 1.
You literally have no clue what you’re talking about. Comfortably above 600 on both exams and only studied a few hours for omm on comlex. I also barely passed both omm comats. So I’m legitimately trash at omm and even I thought comlex omm was stupid easy. It’s literally memorizing 2 charts and super basic beyond that. Like they’ll show you a video of seated flexion test and ask you what it means basic. I actually forgot omm even existed for level 2 and just studied it in the parking lot 20 minutes before. Now that level 1 is going pass/fail, there’s no point in studying it all. It was barely on level 2.

Imagine if last year you were giving someone mcat prep advice and a high school senior started contradicting you. That’s what you sound like.

Edit: I’m fairly confident an MD with no omm background could comfortably pass level 1 and likely be above average with no omm prep.
 
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FutureDoctor5000

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but the entire point of bringing up my school was just to let OP know that data exists showing that OMM is a significant enough portion to the point where good performance on it can either gives students an edge (at my campus) or be a hindrance to a higher score (the other campuses associated with my school).
this statement right here is 100% false, omm will absolutely not make a failing student pass the comlex and will not raise a 450 to past a 600... get out of here haha
 
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danno6623

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but the entire point of bringing up my school was just to let OP know that data exists showing that OMM is a significant enough portion to the point where good performance on it can either gives students an edge (at my campus) or be a hindrance to a higher score (the other campuses associated with my school).
this statement right here is 100% false, omm will absolutely not make a failing student pass the comlex and will not raise a 450 to past a 600... get out of here haha

Where on earth did I state that preparing for OMM will raise a student's score from "a 450 to past a 600"? So, not only are you all coming out of the woodwork with atrocious reading comprehension, you're also fabricating information?

With all this magical thinking, I'd expect a little more OMM support in this thread!
 

FutureDoctor5000

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Where on earth did I state that preparing for OMM will raise a student's score from "a 450 to past a 600"? So, not only are you all coming out of the woodwork with atrocious reading comprehension, you're also fabricating information?

With all this magical thinking, I'd expect a little more OMM support in this thread!
Haha I literally quoted your post, that states that there is “data” that shows that OMM can make a significant difference... i.e. make the difference between passing or failing or help you raise your score a significant amount(50-100 points) from my experience and others on this thread that’s absolutely not the case. Not knowing the actual omm taught in Med school will not impact your score much. The only magical thinking here is you arguing with a bunch of third years as a first year about a board exam that you haven’t even taken...
 

danno6623

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Haha I literally quoted your post, that states that there is “data” that shows that OMM can make a significant difference... i.e. make the difference between passing or failing or help you raise your score a significant amount(50-100 points) from my experience and others on this thread that’s absolutely not the case. Not knowing the actual omm taught in Med school will not impact your score much. The only magical thinking here is you arguing with a bunch of third years as a first year about a board exam that you haven’t even taken...

Ew, you are so deceptive and manipulative. First, you completely made up that I said there would be a 150 point increase, and now you're backtracking and stating a 50-100 increase (which I didn't say, either). You'd think people with so much valuable experience wouldn't need to lie to get their point across.

Who knew that advocating for focused studying for all topics of a board exam would be so controversial!
 

Ho0v-man

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Ew, you are so deceptive and manipulative. First, you completely made up that I said there would be a 150 point increase, and now you're backtracking and stating a 50-100 increase (which I didn't say, either). You'd think people with so much valuable experience wouldn't need to lie to get their point across.

Who knew that advocating for focused studying for all topics of a board exam would be so controversial!
What’s more controversial is believing you know more than multiple people who’ve been through this process already.
 
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FutureDoctor5000

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Ew, you are so deceptive and manipulative. First, you completely made up that I said there would be a 150 point increase, and now you're backtracking and stating a 50-100 increase (which I didn't say, either). You'd think people with so much valuable experience wouldn't need to lie to get their point across.

Who knew that advocating for focused studying for all topics of a board exam would be so controversial!
Haha this can’t be serious.. explain to me what this sentence right here means :
but the entire point of bringing up my school was just to let OP know that data exists showing that OMM is a significant enough portion to the point where good performance on it can either gives students an edge (at my campus) or be a hindrance to a higher score

What “edge” are you talking about? Passing the exam vs not passing? Raising your score by 50? 100 points where it makes a real difference? What hindrance are you talking about by not spending your week between tests on OMM are you running into? I am trying to infer your own argument because it’s such a terrible argument lol
 

Cranjis McBasketball

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What’s more controversial is believing you know more than multiple people who’ve been through this process already.
He's in his first semester. Still bright eyed and ready to take on the world. Those were the days
 
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Mad Jack

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For the love of God, take the usmle. The idea that the exams are different enough to matter is myth. Study for the usmle hard. If you do well on USMLE you will not fail the comlex or something. Put that out of your mind. You are being defeatist from the start because the schools like to say they are so different. They are different but not in a way that your school says.
USMLE being pass/fail kind of makes it pointless
 

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