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Osteopathic MS4 in need of some advice

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Scorpio23

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Good evening everyone,

I am a long time SD visitor (since college) but just decided to join now that application season has started. I have some issues though, so here it goes.

1. I just took my USMLE STEP 1 and was wondering whether I should wait for those scores b/f sending out my ERAS app. COMLEX 1:520/84. I know this is a low score but I think my usmle will be better, was scoring in the 230s on practice exams. Do I still have a shot at interviews if I wait till late september/early october to send out my app?

2. I take USMLE and COMLEX 2 in a month.
3. I will have excellent LORs b/c the PD and another attending actually offered to write them, and I have worked with them for about a year.

I guess the point is that I am not too confident about the likelihood of matching into a residency program. I am planning on applying to about 70.

Please reply with some advice on where to apply and whether to wait for my results.

Thanks guys!!:)
 

SukaNeNauka

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I am also a 4th year medical student from an Osteopathic school, also getting ready for the application season. Here are my thoughts on your situation. 520/84 on Comlex 1 is not a low score, it is above national average, since when scoring above a national average became considered a low score? You have strong LORs and I am sure you will do fine on your USMLE 1. In my opinion, you have a very good shot at not only receiving multiple interview offers, but also at matching well. Based on what you wrote, I am not sure why you are lacking confidence; you should be more than fine. I would apply now, and still take your planned exams when they are scheduled. Also keep in mind that osteopathic students are eligible to pre match at allopathic places, and many do. I also think that applying to 70 places is a HUGE overkill; do you see yourself going to 50-60 interviews? Considering your above average stats, I would apply to 20-30. Of course it matters where you are applying. Apply to a range of programs, you know some good ones and some safe ones. Yes, there are still plenty of so so programs that could be considered a slam dunk for you. I am sure some will tell you that you need to get 240+ on your boards to have a chance and that your DO status will hinder you considerably; just ignore those comments.

I do not think you have anything to worry about.
 
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Arch Guillotti

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I don't know what a 520 is, can you give a percentile?

I disagree with the above poster. 70 programs may be a little overkill but the money is a drop in the bucket all things considered. Applying to 70 absolutely does not mean that you could go on 40-50 interviews. Maybe apply to 40-50 or so if your scores are decent. There will be a number of places that won't interview you, or even acknowledge that they have recived your application. Apply for a few reaches but be wise about it. If you are on the east coast there is really very little utility to applying to cali programs and places like colorado, utah, oregon etc because the chances you will get an interview are slim. Likewise don't apply to places that have never taken a DO in their entire history. I think you will be surprised by the interviews that you get.
 

Scorpio23

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Thanks for the input guys. I fall in the 84th percentile on the COMLEX ( I hear that some programs want 600+/90th percentile). I guess I am nervous b/c I am a step behind everyone else, being that I just took my STEP I USMLE (finally!!). I haven't even started my ERAS app b/c I have been concentrating on studying.Well I hope the scores come back in 3-4 weeks so I know where I stand and can decide on the number of programs to apply to. But do you think that waiting until late september is late?
 

Toughbrake

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Hello scorpio23 I went through the match last year. My states:
COMLEX 1 600/89 92%
USMLE step 1 229/95
COMLEX 2 532/84
Top 15% of class
I applied to 36 academic programs and received 6 interviews. I matched. It was a lot tougher than I thought it would be. Several people in my class who supposedly had 220’s on their USMLEs did not match. I do have a class mate who only took the COMLEX, think he did pretty well almost 600 and applied to 100 or so programs he matched. My advice is to hold off on submitting your USMLE scores until you see them, but apply to at least 70 programs. You can upload the scores when you get them. You may want to think of a backup plan. If you do well on the USMLE life will be easier but being a DO is a big disadvantage. Good luck.
 

ozzie20

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You're wrong about the 84th percentile. Its more along the lines of the 65th percentile. Remember that your 2 digit score is not a percentile score but just a random 2 digit number. You can go to nbome.org and use the percentile score calculator to approximate your percentile score.

As for what you should do, definitely get your USMLE score out there, it'll help you get interviews in 90% of the programs out there. you should do fine in terms of getting interviews and landing a position in anesthesia. Whether you'll find a job after residency is a different story however...(at least according to the talk on these boards)
 

Scorpio23

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Thanks for the feedback. I will wait until my scores come in b/f sending out my application. By then my LORs will be in and it will be a complete package. As for a back up plan, call me crazy but I don't have one nor do I really believe in them. I am not in love with any other specialties. I figured that I might as well channel the energy that I would use in setting up a back up to enhancing my GAS application, applying to more programs, etc. I hope this doesn't back fire, I guess I'll wait and see!!
 

Arch Guillotti

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Hello scorpio23 I went through the match last year. My states:
COMLEX 1 600/89 92%
USMLE step 1 229/95
COMLEX 2 532/84
Top 15% of class
I applied to 36 academic programs and received 6 interviews. I matched. It was a lot tougher than I thought it would be. Several people in my class who supposedly had 220's on their USMLEs did not match. I do have a class mate who only took the COMLEX, think he did pretty well almost 600 and applied to 100 or so programs he matched. My advice is to hold off on submitting your USMLE scores until you see them, but apply to at least 70 programs. You can upload the scores when you get them. You may want to think of a backup plan. If you do well on the USMLE life will be easier but being a DO is a big disadvantage. Good luck.

That is a pretty tough draw and it seems to be somewhat of a pretty big roll of the dice to apply to only academic programs.

I fell that a DO who has 220 on the USMLE and did not match either had a deficiency on their record, didn't interview very well or didn't play their cards right in the programs that they applied to.
 
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Toughbrake

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The NRMP 2009 data is in, avg Step 1 for US MD Seniors was 223 and for independents was 226 in anesthesiology. A US senior with a Step 1 of 200 was more likely to match than an Independent with a 240.
Being a DO is a red flag accept it. Plan accordingly. I didn’t apply to community programs maybe I got lucky. With all the talk on SD I thought I was a shoe in the door with my scores. I made it but it was a lot closer than I thought it would be.
My advice would be to apply to many programs and have a backup plan if you don’t have scores above average for anesthesiology. Good luck 2010.
 

SukaNeNauka

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So it seems that I am being overly optimistic afterall, and should probably adjust my list of programs I am applying to. A few comments; Independent applicants do not just include DOs, also FMGs and IMGs, so this should be taking into a consideration when saying that an AMG with a 200 was more likely to match than the rest of applicants. Some also stated that matching was a lot tougher than they anticipated, and said that it was very close. What does this mean? You either match or you don't, how close one gets to not matching means what? Lets say one applies to 30 programs, gets 5 interviews, ranks 5, and matches 4th choice on the list. Is this a close call? Or lets say another applicant applies to 70 programs, interviews at 12, ranks 12, and matches 7th choice on the list. Is this a close call ?
 

DO4lifer

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everyone that i know that wanted anesthesia matched. :thumbup:

D.O. for life! :)
 

wmc24

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i dont want to threadjack, but i figured it was better to ask some questions i had here rather than make a new thread and clutter the anesthesia board. anyways, i will be applying to anesthesia this year. im also a DO like the original poster and got a 547/86 on comlex 1. i had usmle step 1 scheduled but didnt take it due to the illness of my father last summer. i originally had planned to do ER and figured i would be fine to get into an ER program with my comlex (osteo or allopathic). this past year, i fell in love with anesthesia and its the area of medicine that interests me most. bc of this, i took the usmle step 2 and comlex 2 about 2 weeks ago. i should be getting my scores in the next month (usmle 2 on oct 7 supposedly). i am also doing my first official gas rotation now and will be getting a letter out of it in the next few weeks.

my question is, do i wait to apply and send in all of my eras since i only have my comlex 1 score? i will have all my eras completed this weekend. i also know that anesthesia is competitive and im applying to a lot of programs (ny, nj, ct, chicago, all of penn, and some others, i believe over 50 programs). i am just waiting for my step 2 scores and anesthesia LOR to be totally complete. also, how are my chances with my step 1 comlex score? thanks for all your help, this board is a wealth of information. anyone who can help or give advice, it would be greatly appreciated. u can private message me also. thanks
 

DO4lifer

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you submit your app ASAP.

you can upload your scores as they become available. the programs will get the updates as well.

this way, you get the chance to interview with what you got, and still have a chance at getting interviews with your new scores. plus dont release your USMLE until you take a look at the score...this way you dont have a bigger setback. :thumbup:
 
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wmc24

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you submit your app ASAP.

you can upload your scores as they become available. the programs will get the updates as well.

this way, you get the chance to interview with what you got, and still have a chance at getting interviews with your new scores. plus dont release your USMLE until you take a look at the score...this way you dont have a bigger setback. :thumbup:

is there any way for programs to know that i have taken the usmle 2 or that i am waiting for step 2 scores from both? i dont want to be automatically rejected from a program bc they thought i didnt take either of the usmles or didnt see improved step 2 scores (im pretty positive i went up on my step 2s).
 

DO4lifer

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if you dont release USMLE scores, they wont know how you did. if you feel you did okay, then do it.:xf:
 

SaintFrances

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DO here, matched gas last year. All my class mates who applied for gas matched as well. Our scores were all different, but we all applied widely.

I applied to roughly 40 programs (almost all big academic programs) and got 19 invites, went on 15.

I matched at one of my top choices - a very respectable program.

Comlex I: 600ish
Comlex II: don't remember but it was better than step I
USMLE I: 230
USMLE II: 246

Good luck! Interview season was a lot of fun - enjoy yourself now cause internship is not so fun. At 2am last night (a saturday night) I was performing an H&P on a woman with a ruptured ostomy who was covered from head to toe in her own poop.
 
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Scorpio23

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I've heard some osteopathic student say that they did not release their COMLEX scores and applied with only the USMLE. I thought this was weird b/c obviously as a D.O we are required to take it. Does anyone think that this is a good idea?
 

SaintFrances

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I've heard some osteopathic student say that they did not release their COMLEX scores and applied with only the USMLE. I thought this was weird b/c obviously as a D.O we are required to take it. Does anyone think that this is a good idea?
I personally did not release my COMLEX scores until mid interview season. It is not that I did not want them to see my scores, but rather I wanted to BE SURE they saw my USMLE scores. That being said, I still received a strange email from one program stating that they couldn't offer an interview because they only accepted the USMLE. That program obviously did not even look at my app before sending that message.
 

Scorpio23

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Wow.....that's interesting. Of the programs that did interview you, did they ask about your COMLEX score or why it wasn't released?
 

SaintFrances

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Wow.....that's interesting. Of the programs that did interview you, did they ask about your COMLEX score or why it wasn't released?

I released my COMLEX scores after the initial eval season was over - after I had already received most of my invites.

Not one program ever mentioned anything about my comlex scores though.

However, every single program had at least one interview where I was told, "good job on taking the USMLE, it really helps us evaluate you compared to other applicants," or "you did well on the USMLE, good job," or "taking the USMLE was the single most important thing you did to improve your chances of matching here," or "why is it that some of your colleagues do NOT take the USMLE - we don't know what to do with the COMLEX scores."

For those of you who are thinking of NOT taking USMLE but applying to ACGME programs, read the above quotes one more time.
 

DO4lifer

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i got similar feedback.

I released my COMLEX scores after the initial eval season was over - after I had already received most of my invites.

Not one program ever mentioned anything about my comlex scores though.

However, every single program had at least one interview where I was told, "good job on taking the USMLE, it really helps us evaluate you compared to other applicants," or "you did well on the USMLE, good job," or "taking the USMLE was the single most important thing you did to improve your chances of matching here," or "why is it that some of your colleagues do NOT take the USMLE - we don't know what to do with the COMLEX scores."

For those of you who are thinking of NOT taking USMLE but applying to ACGME programs, read the above quotes one more time.
 
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