multiple COMLEX failures .. can I match into residency? (Advice needed)

Oct 1, 2014
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Very weak DO student here :(
Failed 2 courses (OMM course and cell bio) during 1st yr - successfully remediated.
Failed one course (OMM course) during 2nd yr - successfully remediated
Took COMLEX.. but failed multiple times (3 times actually) - passed in 4th attempt with low 420 :(
I've done 2 rotations so far (passed with no problem) .. and will be continuing with rotations
My question is.. if I really crush my 3rd rotations and study my ass off and get a high score in COMLEX level 2 CE (above 600s) and PE at first attempt..
will I be able to match into a residency? (preferably in Texas or southern states)

My initial interest was in PM&R ... pediatrics.. FM ..


Any advice will be appreciated greatly. I know I have so many red flags but I don't wanna give up.
 

DO2015CA

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I am sorry this has happened. I have no recommendations but everything but FM is pretty much out if anything at all... and this includes peds. I do know that some states only allow a max of 2 failures on any one board exam. This means I’m the future, if you secure residency, there may be a geographical limit to where you can practice
 

The Med-Peds Dude

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Assuming everything else goes as planned, you still have a lot to undo. Getting an interview will probably be a challenge; there are many, many foreign medical graduates with far less baggage. Limiting yourself to one region for applications probably isn't wise. I'm sure you've already considered whether you should stay in medicine.

Beside the plan you outlined, you need to be able to explain why you had so much difficulty, and what you've done to mitigate the problem. If applicable, this might include evaluation for learning disorders, tutoring for test-taking skills, and the like.

Crushing your rotations, and scoring at the 90th percentile, will not offset your academic history, much. Why? One of the quality markers for ongoing ACGME accreditation of residency training is the specialty board pass rate. You might be okay, clinically, but you need to provide some reassurance that 'all that' is behind you.
 
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Oct 1, 2014
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Assuming everything else goes as planned, you still have a lot to undo. Getting an interview will probably be a challenge; there are many, many foreign medical graduates with far less baggage. Limiting yourself to one region for applications probably isn't wise. I'm sure you've already considered whether you should stay in medicine.

Beside the plan you outlined, you need to be able to explain why you had so much difficulty, and what you've done to mitigate the problem. If applicable, this might include evaluation for learning disorders, tutoring for test-taking skills, and the like.

Crushing your rotations, and scoring at the 90th percentile, will not offset your academic history, much. Why? One of the quality markers for ongoing ACGME accreditation of residency training is the specialty board pass rate. You might be okay, clinically, but you need to provide some reassurance that 'all that' is behind you.


Thank you very much for your advice!
 

shemer77

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Jun 20, 2013
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Unfortunately I doubt anything outside of FM is going to be an impossibility. On top of that your going to need to kill your interviews and have a great explanation for these poor scores and how you overcome am it.
 

ssjGGV

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You need to sit down and have a hard honest look at yourself as to why you have failed so many classes and board tests. You got into medical school so you are smart enough for sure to pass these tests the first time. Something is holding you back and you need to figure it out now. Good luck!
 
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MusicDOc124

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PM&R is almost definitely off the table, especially in light of recent years with increasing competitiveness. Peds might depend on location. FM also depending on location.

Even if you crush your Level 2, it will not offset the multiple failures. It's a different exam. Failing 3 times and then passing with a marginally above minimum score followed by a skyrocketed score - what seems more likely, that the previous 4 exams were flukes, or that the super high score is the fluke? It won't hurt you by any means, but it's not going to change much.

You're mostly looking at FM. You have to really study and not fail the other exams. You have a limit I believe of up to 6 failures, but 3-4 failures in total may limit what states you can get a license in for practice, and thus could affect where you can even apply for residency/work later.

What was your breakdown (not that it's worth much)? Having failed OMM twice make me think that part of the difficulty were the OMM questions and questions with OMM included that may have hinted toward the answer.

Have you gotten any tutoring at all?
 
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deleted480308

Check the limit on failures in states you want to apply, assume that FM is your only chance
 
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phagocytosis41

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Hey I'm really sorry about that rough road you had. I can't really judge why this happened but I bet something was going on in your life. If it makes you feel better I did fail one class and successfully remediated it, so I know how it feels to be in a position where you might not get into a residency. I can't offer much except apply broadly and aim for FM/IM/Peds. I don't know about the # failures and how that goes, but def those are your options.
 
May 21, 2019
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Hey friend, I'm sorry you're going through something like this. I'm an MS4 and I, too, failed a board exam (PE). If you wanna talk or bounce-off ideas, please PM me. I'm here for you.
 
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