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Offered a prematch spot and failed COMLEX PE on the same day!

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jacksparrow82

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Just as the title says. I'm a DO student and I recieved a prematch offer from an allo program (one of my top choices) and later that same day also found out that I failed comlex pe. In years past this wouldn't be a big deal. However, now that the PE is required for graduation it means I have to retake it and have my results back by May 17 in order to receive my diploma. Since there are no open dates for taking the exam until May 7th, it looks like I will not be recieving my diploma on time, unless some earlier dates are created.
SO, my question is, should I go ahead and sign a contract without first telling my program about this problem? Obviously if I tell them they likely won't want to sign me anymore. However, if I don't tell them now I will have to tell them eventually because I won't have my degree in July when I'm supposed to start residency.
This is an absolute nightmare that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. I keep pinching myself hoping that its all just a bad dream. I can't believe such a poorly designed, pointless exam like the COMLEX PE is now standing between me and graduation.
 

PMR2008

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keep checking the nbome website as much as you can. I have noticed they open dates up randomly. Best of luck.
 
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Just as the title says. I'm a DO student and I recieved a prematch offer from an allo program (one of my top choices) and later that same day also found out that I failed comlex pe. In years past this wouldn't be a big deal. However, now that the PE is required for graduation it means I have to retake it and have my results back by May 17 in order to receive my diploma. Since there are no open dates for taking the exam until May 7th, it looks like I will not be recieving my diploma on time, unless some earlier dates are created.
SO, my question is, should I go ahead and sign a contract without first telling my program about this problem? Obviously if I tell them they likely won't want to sign me anymore. However, if I don't tell them now I will have to tell them eventually because I won't have my degree in July when I'm supposed to start residency.
This is an absolute nightmare that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. I keep pinching myself hoping that its all just a bad dream. I can't believe such a poorly designed, pointless exam like the COMLEX PE is now standing between me and graduation.

Have you tried calling the testing organization to see if there are any other open spots, in any city?
 

Winged Scapula

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Do not lie to the program that offered you a pre-match.

There is no point as if you don't graduate on time, you'll have to tell them anyway. By lying to them (or at least withholding the truth), you give them reason to not hire you.

As others have noted, try and see if you can get an earlier date. If you don't graduate on May 17th, what are the other options? Won't you get your COMLEX score back and a diploma before July 1 if you take it May 7th?

I'd check with your school and see what their plans are if you don't have your new score back by May 17th and then go from there. If it appears you won't graduate and have a diploma by July 1st, then you have to tell your residency program. If you will, then I'm not sure they need to know (at least not right now).
 

jacksparrow82

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I certainly will not lie to anyone. I guess what I'm trying to figure out is if I should tell them about the situation now or a little later on when I know more. The problem is that the comlex scores take 10-12 weeks after the exam to come back. So, if I can't take it until May 7th, I will likely not have my scores back until Aug. In this situation I will obviously have to tell them ahead of time because I won't be able to start residency on time. However, there is a small chance I may be able to get an earlier date due to cancellations or opening of new dates and still have my diploma by July 1st. Its all up in the air right now.
Everything depends on whether or not the NBOME can open up some spots earlier than they have now (preferably no later than march). Its really frustrating that the AOA or whoever decided to make passing the comlex PE a requirement for graduation without making sure first that they can accomodate everyone on time. There's only one testing site in the whole country and its booked up until may 7th. Obviously if I would have just passed the stupid test I wouldn't be in this situation, but honestly I don't know how I could have prepared better for it. I don't even know what I did wrong and they won't even tell us exactly why we failed.
 

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This is why I tell my 3rd year DO students to take PE as early as possible. I'm sorry you didn't get the same advice. :(

There has got to be a date sooner than May for you to take this thing. And I'd talk to the program (definitely either meet with the PD in person or talk to him/her on the phone directly) and explain what happened. Maybe they will be understanding. Most programs will have it in their contract anyway that you have to have passed PE to start July 1. But maybe they can give you a delayed start date or something. I had some residents at my hospital start in August or September for these reasons, so you never know.

I am so sorry. Hang in there!
 

DrMom

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Have you tried calling the testing organization to see if there are any other open spots, in any city?

There is only one testing site for the COMLEX PE.
 

Hernandez

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This test should be done away with. or at the very least they should give those who failed a reason as to why they failed.
 

jacksparrow82

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This is why I tell my 3rd year DO students to take PE as early as possible. I'm sorry you didn't get the same advice. :(

There has got to be a date sooner than May for you to take this thing. And I'd talk to the program (definitely either meet with the PD in person or talk to him/her on the phone directly) and explain what happened. Maybe they will be understanding. Most programs will have it in their contract anyway that you have to have passed PE to start July 1. But maybe they can give you a delayed start date or something. I had some residents at my hospital start in August or September for these reasons, so you never know.

I am so sorry. Hang in there!

I wish I would have gotten that same advice also. I had no idea that something like this could happen. I took it in October, which is earlier than a lot of people I talked to took it. However, if I would have taken it in July or August, I would have been fine for getting a retake date.
I'm not sure how or when I'm going to talk to the program director, but I'm praying she'll be understanding and willing to work with me on a late start date if necessary.
I'm just hoping and praying that an earlier date will become avialable for me so I can graduate as scheduled.
Thanks for the support everyone.
 

Winged Scapula

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Wow...3 months for your scores to come back? Didn't know that.

Since that's the case, you probably will have to tell your program, but it might be worth waiting a couple of weeks to see if you can find an opening before May.
 

Faebinder

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Wow...3 months for your scores to come back? Didn't know that.

Since that's the case, you probably will have to tell your program, but it might be worth waiting a couple of weeks to see if you can find an opening before May.

It's pretty much the same for the CS Kim... I realize you probably got in before they converted the CSA+TOEFL into CS. The Complex is following the example of the USMLE. Same the CS right now, if you havent taken the CS by now, you can forget about the match cause the results take that long.

Recently (July 2007) NBME raised the passing level (although no one knows what the heck it is) of the CS. Supposedly it will increase the number of fails by 8% IMGs and 1% AMGs. I am not sure how is that translated to the complex PE.
 

Winged Scapula

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I guess I had forgotten how long it took to score those things.

Although "back in the day", you had to take the CSA by December 31 so that it would be scored before the ROL, or around 6 weeks. It used to take about that much time for scores for the paper and pencil USMLE Steps 1 and 2 as well, so I figured the exam the OP took would be about the same, or faster since they can send scores electronically these days.
 
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DOCTORSAIB

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I wish I would have gotten that same advice also. I had no idea that something like this could happen. I took it in October, which is earlier than a lot of people I talked to took it. However, if I would have taken it in July or August, I would have been fine for getting a retake date.
I'm not sure how or when I'm going to talk to the program director, but I'm praying she'll be understanding and willing to work with me on a late start date if necessary.
I'm just hoping and praying that an earlier date will become avialable for me so I can graduate as scheduled.
Thanks for the support everyone.

Yikes! This scares me. I took mine in mid-Nov. I didn't even THINK about failing this thing. I should be getting my results in mid-Feb. If I'm part of that unlucky few that does fail I'm royally screwed...:eek:

And it's COMLEX my friends, not comPlex...:) Happens all the time. No worries!
 

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This is why I tell my 3rd year DO students to take PE as early as possible.

I'm a 3rd year now and I want to do this. But I scored high on comlex 1 and I'm concerned about what will happen if my step 2 score is lower or if I fail PE. But on the hand I'm afraid of being in the same position as the OP. Can I take the exam early and then not release it? How does that work exactly, can someone explain please.
 

Hernandez

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I'm a 3rd year now and I want to do this. But I scored high on comlex 1 and I'm concerned about what will happen if my step 2 score is lower or if I fail PE. But on the hand I'm afraid of being in the same position as the OP. Can I take the exam early and then not release it? How does that work exactly, can someone explain please.

When i took PE and CS in Aug, it was well after the time the programs had uploaded my info and not a one had my scores in their files when I interviewed with them despite uploading it to them.
 

LovelyRita

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I'm a 3rd year now and I want to do this. But I scored high on comlex 1 and I'm concerned about what will happen if my step 2 score is lower or if I fail PE. But on the hand I'm afraid of being in the same position as the OP. Can I take the exam early and then not release it? How does that work exactly, can someone explain please.

It's not about releasing it/not releasing it, etc., it's about taking it in July or August so if you fail, you'll have plenty of time to take it again. Take it later and you are pushing the envelope as far as scheduling it, taking it, and getting a pass in time to start residency. And as Hern said, you will have interviews scheduled before you even get results, but whether or not you pass PE will dictate whether you get the green light to actually start residency. It does not end just by getting an interview...not by a long shot!!
 

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To the OP,

First talk to your school about its policy in regards to when you can officially graduate?

Will you officially graduate when you pass COMLEX, or are there only fixed dates that your school have for "graduation" (ie if you pass in June, you will have to wait till Dec or even next May for graduation).

Once you have that info, then try to negotiate with the program that offered you a pre-match. Perhaps you can have a later start date (instead of the traditional July start, perhaps August or December). I'm sure there are programs out there who have dealt with potential new residents who do not get their visas in time to begin residency and must delay their start date until the visa issues are resolved. What you are going through is a similar scenerio. However, it's up to the program to decide whether or not to proceed with the pre-match offer.
 

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To the OP,

First talk to your school about its policy in regards to when you can officially graduate?

Will you officially graduate when you pass COMLEX, or are there only fixed dates that your school have for "graduation" (ie if you pass in June, you will have to wait till Dec or even next May for graduation).

Once you have that info, then try to negotiate with the program that offered you a pre-match. Perhaps you can have a later start date (instead of the traditional July start, perhaps August or December). I'm sure there are programs out there who have dealt with potential new residents who do not get their visas in time to begin residency and must delay their start date until the visa issues are resolved. What you are going through is a similar scenerio. However, it's up to the program to decide whether or not to proceed with the pre-match offer.

Thanks, I think that is a good plan above. I've already been in contact with my school. They will release my diploma as soon as I get the "Pass" from the NBOME. So, that shouldn't be a problem.
As far as the program goes, I'm going to wait a couple of weeks or so before telling them anything to see if any earlier spots open up (I'm seriously praying for a miracle!!). If they do, then great I don't even have to worry about it. If not, I'll try to meet with the program director either in person or on the phone and let her know the situation. At that point I just have to hope they won't mind and let me start late.
In the mean time, I have to schedule a remediation with my school and figure out what I did wrong so I can do better next time! Thanks again.
 

TaiShan

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I agree you have to be straightforward with your potential training program. If they like you enough, they should still work with you. I mean, you could use you "vacation days" in July... Last year, one of my fellow interns had some visa issue and could not start until three weeks later. So, the first three weeks were his "vacation time".
 

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I would send in the contract and then go up the COMLEX chain of command to get an earlier test date. They should be responsive to the needs of the examinees. If they are not responsive to the needs of the examinees, complaints should be made to the AOA and AACOM to bring pressure for reform. There is not one iota of evidence that shows that the COMLEX PE correlates with competency to practice medicine. In my opinion, it was arbitrarily started in 2005 and it is not a validated test.
 

jacksparrow82

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I would send in the contract and then go up the COMLEX chain of command to get an earlier test date. They should be responsive to the needs of the examinees. If they are not responsive to the needs of the examinees, complaints should be made to the AOA and AACOM to bring pressure for reform.

I feel this way too. Its already ridiculous that they made it a requirement for graduation without first making sure they could actually accomodate everyone on time. If they are going to make it required they absolutely need to offer more than enough test dates to cover situations like mine.

What if I were to go ahead with signing a contract and then a few weeks from that point if I still haven't gotten an earlier date explain to them what happened?
There is still a chance I'll be able to get an earlier date and if I do my problem will be solved without jeopardizing my chances with this program. If I don't get an earlier date the worst case scenario is I have to start my program 3-4 weeks late.

Would this be dishonest? If they don't ask about it specifically and I get lucky with another date theres no need for them to ever know about it right?
I'm still undecided about what to do. Part of me wants to just go ahead and tell them about it now, see what they say and hope for the best. The other part of me wants to just go ahead and get a contract in hand and try my hardest to fight for an earlier test date.
I know the program likes me and wants me there, but I'm afraid of the response I might get this early in the match process. They aren't even finished with all their interviews yet.
Thanks for all the advice everyone, its very helpful to hear everyone's opinions.
 

Winged Scapula

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Worse case scenario is that you sign a contract that states you are eligible to start residency and for a state license when in fact you are not, the program finds out that you cannot start on July 1 and the contract is null and void, and they find someone else.

Reality is that this happens a lot (ie, as noted above with visa issues) and its a lot of trouble for a program to start looking for someone else at such a late date, so they will more than likely work with you.

While not completely honest, I'd go with signing a contract if they offer it to you and telling them later about the failure and your plans to rectify the situation. Its no different really than the female resident who signs a contract and then calls to say she's pregnant and can't show up on July 1 (we get a lot of those posts here).
 
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jacksparrow82

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Worse case scenario is that you sign a contract that states you are eligible to start residency and for a state license when in fact you are not, the program finds out that you cannot start on July 1 and the contract is null and void, and they find someone else.

Reality is that this happens a lot (ie, as noted above with visa issues) and its a lot of trouble for a program to start looking for someone else at such a late date, so they will more than likely work with you.

While not completely honest, I'd go with signing a contract if they offer it to you and telling them later about the failure and your plans to rectify the situation. Its no different really than the female resident who signs a contract and then calls to say she's pregnant and can't show up on July 1 (we get a lot of those posts here).

:thumbup: Sounds reasonable. Its kind of a relief to hear that these situations aren't totally rare. To me it was (and still is) a nightmare to find out I might not be able to start residency on time. However, to a residency program director it might not sound so crazy, especially if they are used to visa issues, pregnancy, etc... Thanks, hopefully things will work out for the best.
 

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Its no different really than the female resident who signs a contract and then calls to say she's pregnant and can't show up on July 1 (we get a lot of those posts here).



I guess you could say they both got f**ked.



The CS is an obscene money making scam.
 

mig26x

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yep, the CS is a huge scam!!! incredible that we have to take that garbage of an exam.
 

jp2009

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Hey there.
I'm a 3rd year OMS and i just started looking into residency programs. I would like to do a Obgyn residency but there's no DO program. I've heard about the independent match...is the the same as the prematch you are referring to in your post? Also, how do i go about this prematch? any advice/tips for me. I will greatly appreciate!!!
 

Winged Scapula

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Hey there.
I'm a 3rd year OMS and i just started looking into residency programs. I would like to do a Obgyn residency but there's no DO program. I've heard about the independent match...is the the same as the prematch you are referring to in your post? Also, how do i go about this prematch? any advice/tips for me. I will greatly appreciate!!!

DO applicants are considered "Independent" candidates in the allopathic match along with FMGs/IMGs and people who have been out of school for a year or more. There is no such thing as an "independent match."

A Pre-match is a contract signed outside of the match or before the match. DO applicants are not obligated to use the NRMP so are therefore eligible for pre-match contracts if programs offer them.

You go about a pre-match the same way you do the regular match. You enroll in the match, hopefully get invited on interviews, and may be offered a contract at the interview (or shortly after). If you are and you accept the contract, you must drop out of the match. Bear in mind that not all programs offer pre-match contracts nor do they offer them to everyone. Programs must offer 75% of their positions through the match; many programs, especially competitive ones, do not offer pre-matches at all. You can mention you are eligible though, in case a program would be interested.

Finally, it is NOT TRUE that there are not osteopathic Ob-Gyn residencies; here is a list of them:http://www.opportunities.osteopathi...73714EA56C794&jsessionid=30304edbe0946f364328
 

jp2009

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yes u are right, i made a typo mistake re do residency for ob-gyn. what i meant to say is that there's NO obgyn DO residency in FLORIDA...and its where I would like to stay. thanks so much for the info!!! :)
 

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yes u are right, i made a typo mistake re do residency for ob-gyn. what i meant to say is that there's NO obgyn DO residency in FLORIDA...and its where I would like to stay. thanks so much for the info!!! :)

You're welcome and thanks for the clarification.

There are only 7 allopathic Ob-Gyn residencies in the state of Florida; given that its moderately competitive, you should consider applying out of state as well.
 

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What do you all feel is the deal breaker with people that fail COMLEX PE. I know it is not competence because most people that make it that far in med school are competent and they have obviously passed step I and their entire 3rd year clinical experience. Is it the OMM? Attitude?

B-


I feel this way too. Its already ridiculous that they made it a requirement for graduation without first making sure they could actually accomodate everyone on time. If they are going to make it required they absolutely need to offer more than enough test dates to cover situations like mine.

What if I were to go ahead with signing a contract and then a few weeks from that point if I still haven't gotten an earlier date explain to them what happened?
There is still a chance I'll be able to get an earlier date and if I do my problem will be solved without jeopardizing my chances with this program. If I don't get an earlier date the worst case scenario is I have to start my program 3-4 weeks late.

Would this be dishonest? If they don't ask about it specifically and I get lucky with another date theres no need for them to ever know about it right?
I'm still undecided about what to do. Part of me wants to just go ahead and tell them about it now, see what they say and hope for the best. The other part of me wants to just go ahead and get a contract in hand and try my hardest to fight for an earlier test date.
I know the program likes me and wants me there, but I'm afraid of the response I might get this early in the match process. They aren't even finished with all their interviews yet.
Thanks for all the advice everyone, its very helpful to hear everyone's opinions.
 

JadinSleeper

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What do you all feel is the deal breaker with people that fail COMLEX PE. I know it is not competence because most people that make it that far in med school are competent and they have obviously passed step I and their entire 3rd year clinical experience. Is it the OMM? Attitude?

B-

That's really the million dollar question. I wish I could tell you.

Here's my experience. Draw from it what you can.

First off, I passed. Found out a few weeks ago. Unlike when I got my Step 1 score, I wasn't excited at all; it was more of an exasperated relief. Like the OP, I was scared to death of being in the situation of getting a pre-match offer and then failing the PE. Only I had the inverse occur - I passed the PE, but got no love for the pre-match. Now, about the exam:

All I can say is that I absolutely suck at OMT. I hate it with a passion, and when I walked out of the last station on PE, that was the last time I will do OMT on anyone other than a family member. I've hated it since day 1 of MS1, but that's a long story and not exactly relevant to this topic. What I'm trying to get across is that I passed with what could only generously be called half-assed OMT, done on only the patients who specifically, ridiculously asked for it. Thats it. No structural exams on the MI patients, in fact no structural exams on anyone who didn't ask for OMT. My point is that they can't be grading this by lending a lot of weight to OMT, because mine sucks and it shows.

I always washed my hands, introduced myself, was polite as pie, made lots of eye contact, talked slowly in plain, non-medical english, asked if they had questions, and reviewed their history. I asked permission before doing anything, even beginning the exam. If they threw out a risk factor, I picked up on it, and followed it. (i.e., if they said they smoked, I asked if they were ready to quit, offered to help, anyone who drank got the CAGE questions, etc). Then I summarized the encounter and told them my plan.

I ordered all the tests I could think of, put as many differentials as I could without feeling like an idiot chasing zebras, and basically filled the entire note until there was no room left at all to write.

I really thought OMT was the crux of the test. I guess I figured it was the NBOMEs way of shoving a little more manipulation down our throats before graduation. I don't know what to tell you, other than take it early.

I have no idea why I passed. My heart goes out to the OP. FWIW, I think this test is an embarrassing pile of crap, and not for one second should you feel as if it accurately reflects on you as a physician.
 

BMW19

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Thanks for the honest response Jadin! Do you say take it early so that if you fail it you will have plenty of time to take it again or take it early because there is some other type of advantage?

Thanks,

B-


That's really the million dollar question. I wish I could tell you.

Here's my experience. Draw from it what you can.

First off, I passed. Found out a few weeks ago. Unlike when I got my Step 1 score, I wasn't excited at all; it was more of an exasperated relief. Like the OP, I was scared to death of being in the situation of getting a pre-match offer and then failing the PE. Only I had the inverse occur - I passed the PE, but got no love for the pre-match. Now, about the exam:

All I can say is that I absolutely suck at OMT. I hate it with a passion, and when I walked out of the last station on PE, that was the last time I will do OMT on anyone other than a family member. I've hated it since day 1 of MS1, but that's a long story and not exactly relevant to this topic. What I'm trying to get across is that I passed with what could only generously be called half-assed OMT, done on only the patients who specifically, ridiculously asked for it. Thats it. No structural exams on the MI patients, in fact no structural exams on anyone who didn't ask for OMT. My point is that they can't be grading this by lending a lot of weight to OMT, because mine sucks and it shows.

I always washed my hands, introduced myself, was polite as pie, made lots of eye contact, talked slowly in plain, non-medical english, asked if they had questions, and reviewed their history. I asked permission before doing anything, even beginning the exam. If they threw out a risk factor, I picked up on it, and followed it. (i.e., if they said they smoked, I asked if they were ready to quit, offered to help, anyone who drank got the CAGE questions, etc). Then I summarized the encounter and told them my plan.

I ordered all the tests I could think of, put as many differentials as I could without feeling like an idiot chasing zebras, and basically filled the entire note until there was no room left at all to write.

I really thought OMT was the crux of the test. I guess I figured it was the NBOMEs way of shoving a little more manipulation down our throats before graduation. I don't know what to tell you, other than take it early.

I have no idea why I passed. My heart goes out to the OP. FWIW, I think this test is an embarrassing pile of crap, and not for one second should you feel as if it accurately reflects on you as a physician.
 

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Well I did everything pretty much the same as the poster above did. I definitely know it wasn't my OMT because my score report said I was proficient. The only poor marking I got was in "data gathering" which they state is the History and Physical score, so obviously something I was doing there was not right. I was just glad that there was only one thing I did poorly on so I know what to concentrate on next time.
 

JadinSleeper

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Thanks for the honest response Jadin! Do you say take it early so that if you fail it you will have plenty of time to take it again or take it early because there is some other type of advantage?

Thanks,

B-

Right, take it early so that if you do fail, you have time to retest and still graduate with your class, and be able to start residency on time.

Just reading this thread is re-stoking the fury I had at the unfairness of this test.
 

jacksparrow82

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Update on my situation:
I recieved confirmation today from my program director that they are indeed offering me a contract outside of the match, however...They wanted to make sure I had "all my paperwork in order." Specifically they wanted to know if I had retaken step 2 CE of the Comlex yet (the computer based portion) since they had already known about my needing to retake that portion of the comlex at interview time. So, I replied back saying that I hadn't recieved word about the results yet and that I would contact them with the results as soon as they become available.

So, my next question is, Now that they are wanting to know about my retake results of the computer based exam should I go ahead and inform them about the PE portion also? Do you think its likely they will still be interested in a prematch if they know there's a chance I might not graduate on time (possibly as late as Aug. 1st)?

Again, this is so frustrating because if this whole failure of the PE portion hadn't occured I'd be able to celebrate knowing my search for a residency was over. However, now I'm still as nervous as ever about what the outcome will be.
 
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