jakstat

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Aug 23, 2008
85
0
Status
Medical Student
To start out with I took both the COMLEX and USMLE. I found out in Aug, I did not pass either. So I figure I should all spend my energy with the COMLEX retake since that was more of a priority at the time. Well I just found out I passd the complex a week ago. Now I know I won't have enough time to prepare for the Jan USMLE. Did I screw myself over by not taking the USMLE again? I didn't pass the USMLE by a couple of points. I feel as if I'm really limiting my opportunities by only having COMLEX scores. Should I do something drastic such as taking a year off so I can retake the USMLE?

BTW I'm not sure what I want to do. My dream would be neurosurgery, but I"m not the greatest test taker so I don't think that will come true. I most likely want a field that is middle of the road in terms of competiveness. thanks.
 

diosa428

SDN Angel
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 24, 2005
2,662
9
Status
To start out with I took both the COMLEX and USMLE. I found out in Aug, I did not pass either. So I figure I should all spend my energy with the COMLEX retake since that was more of a priority at the time. Well I just found out I passd the complex a week ago. Now I know I won't have enough time to prepare for the Jan USMLE. Did I screw myself over by not taking the USMLE again? I didn't pass the USMLE by a couple of points. I feel as if I'm really limiting my opportunities by only having COMLEX scores. Should I do something drastic such as taking a year off so I can retake the USMLE?

BTW I'm not sure what I want to do. My dream would be neurosurgery, but I"m not the greatest test taker so I don't think that will come true. I most likely want a field that is middle of the road in terms of competiveness. thanks.
I'm not a DO student so I don't really know how the COMLEX and USMLE compare, but don't the cover basically the same stuff (minus OMM)? So it should theoretically take less time to study for the USMLE since you've already recently studied for the COMLEX. FWIW, you can take the USMLE, but just barely passing is probably not going to be that impressive to allo residencies, you really want to try to get at least average if you're shooting for a specialty that is middle of the road (ie not family med or psych). Maybe you should try taking a practice NBME exam to get an idea of what kind of score you might get and how much work you'd have ahead of you. Also, why would you need to take it in Jan? Is it because of the way your school is set up? B/c it's offered every day of the year... so theoretically you could take it later on.
 

Toohotinvegas33

Currently Glasgow 3
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Aug 17, 2006
1,254
7
Penal Colony
Status
Resident [Any Field]
You can still take usmle step 2 without step 1. I would focus more energy on that since its more clinically relevant, if you want to impress some program directors.
 
About the Ads

Terpskins99

Fear... The Stig
10+ Year Member
Mar 8, 2005
3,435
9
Status
Resident [Any Field]
is my fate sealed in DO res.?
My dream would be neurosurgery, but I"m not the greatest test taker so I don't think that will come true. I most likely want a field that is middle of the road in terms of competiveness. thanks.
Not to be mean, but your chances of obtaining an allopathic neurosurgery residency even with stratospheric USMLE/COMLEX scores would still be pretty bleak. Most of them simply will not take a DO, no matter who you are.

That said, I think an osteopathic neurosurgery residency is still possible (though it would obviously take a tremendous effort on your part).
For right now, your first priority is to pass COMLEX (there are plenty of threads in this forum that can address that), then make a decision as to whether or not you want to take time off for USMLE. Personally, I think having a strong USMLE Step 1 score will help you everywhere (many competitive osteopathic residencies still use this), but I don't think its absolutely necessary.

Beyond that, once you pass comlex... work your butt off and honor as many blocks as you can during MS3 year (be a superstar during surgery rotations), arrange plenty of neurosurgery visiting rotations at DO programs and maybe get involved in research. If neurosurgery is what you really want, it is still possible. Also... I believe you can still enter an allopathic neurosurgery fellowship (such as pediatrics, endovascular or spine) after completing an osteopathic neurosurgery residency. Look into it.
 

Lamborghini1315

Sleep deprived
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 7, 2006
918
1
34
Status
MD/PhD Student
Not to be mean, but your chances of obtaining an allopathic neurosurgery residency even with stratospheric USMLE/COMLEX scores would still be pretty bleak. Most of them simply will not take a DO, no matter who you are.

That said, I think an osteopathic neurosurgery residency is still possible (though it would obviously take a tremendous effort on your part).
For right now, your first priority is to pass COMLEX (there are plenty of threads in this forum that can address that), then make a decision as to whether or not you want to take time off for USMLE. Personally, I think having a strong USMLE Step 1 score will help you everywhere (many competitive osteopathic residencies still use this), but I don't think its absolutely necessary.

Beyond that, once you pass comlex... work your butt off and honor as many blocks as you can during MS3 year (be a superstar during surgery rotations), arrange plenty of neurosurgery visiting rotations at DO programs and maybe get involved in research. If neurosurgery is what you really want, it is still possible. Also... I believe you can still enter an allopathic neurosurgery fellowship (such as pediatrics, endovascular or spine) after completing an osteopathic neurosurgery residency. Look into it.
Huh dude osteopathic residencies do not accept USMLE...
 

Terpskins99

Fear... The Stig
10+ Year Member
Mar 8, 2005
3,435
9
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Huh dude osteopathic residencies do not accept USMLE...
huh duuuuuude... many osteopathic residency program directors (especially in competitive specialties such as neurosurgery and radiology) will look at USMLE Step 1 scores. Several will not even offer you an interview if you didn't take it. Do not kid yourself, dude.
 

Lamborghini1315

Sleep deprived
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 7, 2006
918
1
34
Status
MD/PhD Student
huh duuuuuude... many osteopathic residency program directors (especially in competitive specialties such as neurosurgery and radiology) will look at USMLE Step 1 scores. Several will not even offer you an interview if you didn't take it. Do not kid yourself, dude.
What?!? You are clueless..i like you to prove me wrong, actually i dare you to prove me wrong! BTW AOA will totally shut down a program if they even remotely consider proposing students to take usmle..you are telling me osteopathic residencies actually don't offer you interviews on basis of USMLE geez..
 

silas2642

silas2642
10+ Year Member
Jul 24, 2005
2,283
16
Status
Resident [Any Field]
To start out with I took both the COMLEX and USMLE. I found out in Aug, I did not pass either. So I figure I should all spend my energy with the COMLEX retake since that was more of a priority at the time. Well I just found out I passd the complex a week ago. Now I know I won't have enough time to prepare for the Jan USMLE. Did I screw myself over by not taking the USMLE again? I didn't pass the USMLE by a couple of points. I feel as if I'm really limiting my opportunities by only having COMLEX scores. Should I do something drastic such as taking a year off so I can retake the USMLE?

BTW I'm not sure what I want to do. My dream would be neurosurgery, but I"m not the greatest test taker so I don't think that will come true. I most likely want a field that is middle of the road in terms of competiveness. thanks.

I honestly don't know whether or not you're only going to be able to match into DO residencies; matching into competitive allopathic residencies such as radiology, ophthamology, dermatology, anesthesiology, neurosurgery, and probably even surgery is likely out of your reach. You may have a chance at MD peds, IM, FM, and peds; however, it seems that the worst thing that you could do for yourself right now is fail USMLE a second time.

A lot of the less competitve programs in psych, IM, and FM do accept COMLEX scores (I believe) and if you are poor at taking standardized tests, maybe it would be in your best interests to focus on passing COMLEX II during fourth year before you focus on USMLE II. Otherwise your resume might look worse.

For now, focus on doing as well as you can during 3rd year, honor as many rotations as you can, get strong lors-- that's pretty much all you can do. But I wouldn't take USMLE again.
 

Terpskins99

Fear... The Stig
10+ Year Member
Mar 8, 2005
3,435
9
Status
Resident [Any Field]
What?!? You are clueless..i like you to prove me wrong, actually i dare you to prove me wrong! BTW AOA will totally shut down a program if they even remotely consider proposing students to take usmle..you are telling me osteopathic residencies actually don't offer you interviews on basis of USMLE geez..
Clueless. Right. I'm also an MS4 at a DO program that is currently in the process of interviewing for radiology residency. I keep close contact with several other osteopathic MS4's interviewing for radiology as well. We have ALL been told the same thing. And you are...? An MS2 that hasn't even taken boards yet? Are you kidding me?

Oh, and the AOA couldn't care less about the criteria with which their residencies use to bring in candidates. That isn't their job. Their job is to ensure that residencies provide adequate training for their residents.
 

Lamborghini1315

Sleep deprived
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 7, 2006
918
1
34
Status
MD/PhD Student
Clueless. Right. I'm also an MS4 at a DO program that is currently in the process of interviewing for radiology residency. I keep close contact with several other osteopathic MS4's interviewing for radiology as well. We have ALL been told the same thing. And you are...? An MS2 that hasn't even taken boards yet? Are you kidding me?

Oh, and the AOA couldn't care less about the criteria with which their residencies use to bring in candidates. That isn't their job. Their job is to ensure that residencies provide adequate training for their residents.
Instead of giving me anecdotal evidence can you name these programs? Me being a MS2 has no bearing on this topic..if it gives you an ego boost so be it. I am very curious to know what school you go to and all your colleagues who been told the same thing coz this is news to me. So enlighten me...
 

Instatewaiter

But... there's a troponin
10+ Year Member
Apr 28, 2006
6,113
2,261
Washington
Status
Attending Physician
Instead of giving me anecdotal evidence can you name these programs? Me being a MS2 has no bearing on this topic..if it gives you an ego boost so be it. I am very curious to know what school you go to and all your colleagues who been told the same thing coz this is news to me. So enlighten me...
You being an M2 does have something to do about it considering you have no first hand experience and terpskin does. This is especially true since you are acting like you know he's wrong.

Now I have no idea whether terpskin is right or not but I have noticed a recent SDN epidemic of first and second years telling upperclassmen how clinical rotations and the match works. The 3rd and 4th years have gone through it. Not trying to pick on you. No actually, strike that. I am picking on you :D I kid. I kid.
 

Terpskins99

Fear... The Stig
10+ Year Member
Mar 8, 2005
3,435
9
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Instead of giving me anecdotal evidence can you name these programs? Me being a MS2 has no bearing on this topic..if it gives you an ego boost so be it. I am very curious to know what school you go to and all your colleagues who been told the same thing coz this is news to me. So enlighten me...
Hey, I'm supposed to be clueless right? You're the know-it-all. Figure it out for yourself.

Anyone else can PM me.
 

Lamborghini1315

Sleep deprived
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 7, 2006
918
1
34
Status
MD/PhD Student
You being an M2 does have something to do about it considering you have no first hand experience and terpskin does. This is especially true since you are acting like you know he's wrong.

Now I have no idea whether terpskin is right or not but I have noticed a recent SDN epidemic of first and second years telling upperclassmen how clinical rotations and the match works. The 3rd and 4th years have gone through it. Not trying to pick on you. No actually, strike that. I am picking on you :D I kid. I kid.
First no offense taken, second i may not have gone through rotations but i am not a noob to any of the DO stuff. I am still awaiting Terpskins99 to defend his claim instead of proclaiming his experience, let me tell ya AOA will shut down this program if its true and i still believe his claim is false. Only a comlex score can justify your chances in the AOA world not USMLE..anyone who claims the opposite needs to show some valid evidence.
 
Last edited:

JeffLebowski

Just got Nard-dogged
10+ Year Member
Jul 20, 2008
572
4
Paper Street
Status
Medical Student
You being an M2 does have something to do about it considering you have no first hand experience and terpskin does. This is especially true since you are acting like you know he's wrong.

Now I have no idea whether terpskin is right or not but I have noticed a recent SDN epidemic of first and second years telling upperclassmen how clinical rotations and the match works. The 3rd and 4th years have gone through it. Not trying to pick on you. No actually, strike that. I am picking on you :D I kid. I kid.
I noticed this too! I had an M1 trying to give me career advice about choosing surgery as a specialty in the Surgery forums and it was an awkward and surreal experience. Had me wondering whether there was something so naive about me that it sounded even to M1's that I needed their input. I'm a little relieved to hear that it may be a recent SDN trend.

I feel like some people don't realize that your opinion on SDN isn't worth the paper it's printed on because the whole point of advice on SDN is to get plentiful anonymous advice from people who've got experience and real input on the matter.

Heck, if I wanted the input of random underclassmen about whether passion for surgery & medicine in general holds up in the face of the rigors and demands of the current climate of surgery residency and eventual practice, I'd probably go hang out in my school's anatomy lab, where I TA'ed as an M2 (not as a premed though, you notice) and glean the abundant wisdom therein.

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=580785

And realistically, the lamborghini guy should have to cite evidence that DO residencies don't use the USMLE for selection criteria if he's requiring it out of people who say DO residencies do use the USMLE to substantiate their claims.

To address the OP:
1) If you're asking if you have a shot at MD neurosurgery, the answer is an unequivocal "no" (rather, yes, your fate is sealed).
2) If you're asking if you have a shot at DO neurosurgery, the answer is "probably not", but I don't have any knowledge whatsoever about DO programs. Just keep in mind that there are very few MD residencies and far fewer DO residencies (someone can probably clarify how many spots etc.), so presumably you've got enough DO applicants with awesome scores matching into those spots, and lots who have good, not great scores going unmatched, lots who have so-so scores going unmatched, and probably 100% of people who failed going unmatched.
3) If you're asking if you can get some residency, of course you can. Just do you research about the specifics (MD/DO, what fields, what programs, what geographical areas, etc.) for whatever field you're thinking about going into.

And not to be harsh, but I'm just surprised that someone would cite their "dream" as being neurosurgery, but then fail BOTH the USMLE and COMLEX. First off, if it was really your dream...how could you let that happen? Are you wholly unfamiliar with the requirements to get into the field and the standards that have to be met? Don't you think there should be some accountability for neurosurgeons to at least be able to pass licensing exams, especially when it's well established far and wide that the standard is for their performance to be exceptional? Don't you think neurosurgeons should be exceptional? It just sounds out of touch with reality. And then it's even more out of touch with reality to then wonder if you're still a candidate for a spot.

....alright I apologize for being harsh and rereading the above paragraph it it's a little overboard, but I'm not going to delete it because nonetheless I think it's pretty much true.
 
Last edited:

silas2642

silas2642
10+ Year Member
Jul 24, 2005
2,283
16
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I noticed this too! I had an M1 trying to give me career advice about choosing surgery as a specialty in the Surgery forums and it was an awkward and surreal experience. Had me wondering whether there was something so naive about me that it sounded even to M1's that I needed their input. I'm a little relieved to hear that it may be a recent SDN trend.

I feel like some people don't realize that your opinion on SDN isn't worth the paper it's printed on because the whole point of advice on SDN is to get plentiful anonymous advice from people who've got experience and real input on the matter.

Heck, if I wanted the input of random underclassmen about whether passion for surgery & medicine in general holds up in the face of the rigors and demands of the current climate of surgery residency and eventual practice, I'd probably go hang out in my school's anatomy lab, where I TA'ed as an M2 (not as a premed though, you notice) and glean the abundant wisdom therein.

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=580785

And realistically, the lamborghini guy should have to cite evidence that DO residencies don't use the USMLE for selection criteria if he's requiring it out of people who say DO residencies do use the USMLE to substantiate their claims.

To address the OP:
1) If you're asking if you have a shot at MD neurosurgery, the answer is an unequivocal "no" (rather, yes, your fate is sealed).
2) If you're asking if you have a shot at DO neurosurgery, the answer is "probably not", but I don't have any knowledge whatsoever about DO programs. Just keep in mind that there are very few MD residencies and far fewer DO residencies (someone can probably clarify how many spots etc.), so presumably you've got enough DO applicants with awesome scores matching into those spots, and lots who have good, not great scores going unmatched, lots who have so-so scores going unmatched, and probably 100% of people who failed going unmatched.
3) If you're asking if you can get some residency, of course you can. Just do you research about the specifics (MD/DO, what fields, what programs, what geographical areas, etc.) for whatever field you're thinking about going into.

And not to be harsh, but I'm just surprised that someone would cite their "dream" as being neurosurgery, but then fail BOTH the USMLE and COMLEX. First off, if it was really your dream...how could you let that happen? Are you wholly unfamiliar with the requirements to get into the field and the standards that have to be met? Don't you think there should be some accountability for neurosurgeons to at least be able to pass licensing exams, especially when it's well established far and wide that the standard is for their performance to be exceptional? Don't you think neurosurgeons should be exceptional? It just sounds out of touch with reality. And then it's even more out of touch with reality to then wonder if you're still a candidate for a spot.

....alright I apologize for being harsh and rereading the above paragraph it it's a little overboard, but I'm not going to delete it because nonetheless I think it's pretty much true.
Totally harsh, man. No need to kick the man when he's down. He may have studied his ass off for all you know, but just didn't pass it-- not everyone passes it despite their best efforts.
 

JeffLebowski

Just got Nard-dogged
10+ Year Member
Jul 20, 2008
572
4
Paper Street
Status
Medical Student
Totally harsh, man. No need to kick the man when he's down. He may have studied his ass off for all you know, but just didn't pass it-- not everyone passes it despite their best efforts.
And not everyone's cut out for neurosurgery. Or radiation oncology. Or dermatology. Or pediatrics, for that matter.

That said, I'll apologize again for being harsh.

But you know, being "not cut out" for something isn't limited to performance on one stinkin' test. People who hate kids are not cut out for peds. People who hate research aren't cut out for radonc. People who get creeped out by warts and infections aren't cut out for dermatology. People who want to be able to provide more successful treatment for their patients probably aren't cut out for neuro. People who hate the OR aren't cut out for gensurg. I mean, if I said my dream was pediatrics, then came on here saying I failed my peds rotation and hate kids, but still want to do peds, wouldn't you tell me I'm not cut out for peds? That's reality, right? You'd criticize me, wonder why I was deluded that I could should still try for a peds spot, and try to steer me away from sure disappointment.

And you know what, for all we know, the OP would be a great neurosurgeon, given the right circumstances. I don't doubt that at all.
 

bigDinLV

10+ Year Member
Dec 13, 2008
326
1
Vegas baby!
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Huh dude osteopathic residencies do not accept USMLE...

Granted it is not required, they can very much look at it though... You think that if you took it they aren't going to look???? They will absolutely look at it, just one more tool to evaluate you with. During one of my last interviews I was actually asked if I took the USMLE also, but I had not. Bottom line, this particular person was curious to see.
 

NPEMTIV

Accidentally Accepted
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 29, 2004
707
0
South Carolina
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
To start out with I took both the COMLEX and USMLE. I found out in Aug, I did not pass either. So I figure I should all spend my energy with the COMLEX retake since that was more of a priority at the time. Well I just found out I passd the complex a week ago. Now I know I won't have enough time to prepare for the Jan USMLE. Did I screw myself over by not taking the USMLE again? I didn't pass the USMLE by a couple of points. I feel as if I'm really limiting my opportunities by only having COMLEX scores. Should I do something drastic such as taking a year off so I can retake the USMLE?

BTW I'm not sure what I want to do. My dream would be neurosurgery, but I"m not the greatest test taker so I don't think that will come true. I most likely want a field that is middle of the road in terms of competiveness. thanks.
I've heard of some matching into a traditional rotating for a year to try and 'prove' themselves before actually shooting for a more competitive residency. I'm not sure if it'll help you on either side (MD/DO), but a thought. Good luck.
 

TUNCOM

10+ Year Member
Dec 18, 2008
14
0
Status
I think you're bound for a DO residency - if that. Having said that, there are several reputable programs that will train you well. The game is not over, keep you head up :) Retaking the USMLE probably will not help this issue since there are allopathic students who didn't need to do that and you are competing with them. Good luck whatever you do :luck:
 
About the Ads