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Residency Programs and Comlex Scores

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by rx4you, Feb 3, 2001.

  1. rx4you

    rx4you New Member

    Jul 21, 2000
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    I would like to know where you would look to find what residency programs took what kind of Comlex scores. Fellow students, who probably know as little as I do about the Residency Programs, usually say "Oh this program takes only high Comlex scores and this other program anyone who passes Comlex gets in", but no one gives me a place where I actually see for myself. I would like to know so I can compare with my scores to see if a particular residency program is even worth looking into or if its too far out of reach.

    Thank you in advance.
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  3. Rusty

    Rusty Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 4, 2000
    Detroit, Michigan
    Almost all residency programs will not publish the average board scores of their applicants or enrollees for a variety of reasons. A very small minority of highly selective programs may inform applicants that they need certain board scores for their applications to be competitive. Most programs are not looking for a specific board score, but rather a complete applicant. For a listing of selectivity by residency try the Iserson book or other such references. Certainly residency programs weigh several factors in selecting applicants besides board scores. Different programs will choose to rank these factors in varying orders of importance. Since the information you are curious about is unavailable, I would suggest that you take the following steps to determine the residency programs to which you should apply if you based your decisions SOLELY upon board scores:
    1. How selective is your specialty of choice?
    --Orthopedics, Neurosurgery, ENT, Dermatology, Urology, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Plastic Surgery and Ophthalmology (to name a few) are highly selective and applicants probably need to be well above the mean. Although, the most competitive applicants will usually be in the top 10%.
    --Emergency Medicine (some put this specialty with the group just above it), OBGYN, Combined Med/Peds, Radiology and General Surgery (to name a few) are selective and applicants probably need to be above the mean. Although, the most competitive applicants will usually be in the top 25%.
    --Internal Medicine and Pediatrics are somewhat selective and the most competitive applicants will usually be above the mean.
    --Anesthesiology, Neurology, Psychiatry and Family Practice (to name a few) are somewhat less selective and applicants probably need to be in the 25 percentile or better. The more competitive applicants will be above the mean.
    2. Where is the residency program?
    --Large Academic Medical Centers with a national/international reputation in your specialty of choice will probably be highly selective of applicants and regardless of the specialty will be looking for higher board scores. Although not a perfectly accurate measure, the US News and World Report 2001 Ranking of Hospital's by Specialty will provide you with an approximate listing of the top programs in your specialty of interest.
    --In general, osteopathic training programs are somehwat less reliant on board scores and more interested in familiarity - that is are you known to them. If unknown to them, your board scores may be of greater importance. As an exception, the AOA/ACGME dually approved internship programs at Bi-County/Henry Ford Hospital in Michigan use an applicant evaluation system where your board score percentile makes up 50% of a maximum possible 200 total points. There may be other programs which I am not aware of which use a similar system.
    --Rural programs tend to place much less emphasis on board scores.
    3. What do my board scores say about me?
    --If your board scores are top 10%, is this consistent with the rest of your application. If you have top grades, top recommendations and excellent publications this will only confirm what the residency commitee already knows about you; you are an exceptional overall applicant. If your board scores are top 10%, but other aspects of your application are less stellar then some of the top programs, unfairly or not, may not select you for interview. Or if you are selected for an interview, be prepared to answer questions in an open and honest way why you feel that your board scores are more of a reflection of your potential than your less stellar stats.

    Whatever your actual board scores may be, apply the logic above to accentuate the positives of your application. Top board scores can't possible hurt your chances of getting a highly selective residency program. However, you need to take a look at your whole package (boards, grades, recommendations, publications, personal statement, work experience, extracurricular activities, etc.) and accentuate the positives and be prepared for interview questions about BOTH the positive and negatives.

    Good Luck. I hope this info helps.

    [This message has been edited by Rusty (edited 02-03-2001).]

    [This message has been edited by Rusty (edited 02-03-2001).]
  4. ryryguy

    ryryguy 7+ Year Member

    Nov 13, 2007
    This post is the only one like it that I've seen. Does anyone know if this information is still up to date?
  5. hopefuldoc87

    hopefuldoc87 Killer tofu 7+ Year Member

    Jun 2, 2007
    Pretttty sure Anesthesiology isn't in the same league as Neurology, Psych, and FP now.
  6. Slane

    Slane L|E|C|O|M-Erie LDP 5+ Year Member

    Mar 13, 2007
    From what I hear, it's one of the more competitive now--up there with surgery and such.
  7. dozitgetchahi

    dozitgetchahi 7+ Year Member

    Oct 20, 2008
    I could be wrong here, but don't most residencies now publish USMLE/COMLEX ranges of successful applicants?

    And isn't this process much more board score-driven then it was way back then (hell, this post predates even the 9/11 attacks!)
  8. TeamZissou

    TeamZissou jaferd 7+ Year Member

    Sep 29, 2008
  9. Slane

    Slane L|E|C|O|M-Erie LDP 5+ Year Member

    Mar 13, 2007
  10. p30doc

    p30doc Ever true and unwavering 10+ Year Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    Rads is a lot more competitive than ER, OB, GS
  11. kazuma

    kazuma ASA Member 5+ Year Member

    Nov 8, 2009
    While militant CRNA's and Medicare/Medicaid cuts are very real and constant threats to Anesthesia, they appear to be doing little to discourage applicants. Many of the current applicants I talk to don't see the writing on the wall and they are either burying their heads in the sand or being naive. I'd be extremely surprised if anesthesia salaries don't take a rather significant hit in the next 10-20 years. If I make over 200K when I'm done in 5 years I'd be ecstatic.

    These WUstl stats posted in the link have been discussed before. A 1-2% increase in US Senior (allopathic) match rates doesn't make it any less competitive. Last years numbers were almost identical to 2007's. However, average USMLE scores for successful applicants have increased by 5 points or so in since charting outcomes 2007. Don't let this link fool you, Anesthesia is just as competitive if not more competitive than in recent years.

    Chances are, it will become even more competitive in the near future as enrollment in MD/DO schools has increased significantly over the past few years while residency positions have been stagnant. (IIRC, the AMA called for a 30% increase in MD enrollment, and new DO schools/satellite programs are popping up left and right) The the 2012 graduates will set a record for having the largest graduating class. Expect to feel the heat from the increased competition rise starting in the 2011-2012 application cycle. This will likely force people into the many primary care residency positions that go unfilled every year.

    Perhaps when the repercussions of the current reform take their full effect in 4+ years, then maybe we will see a decrease in anesthesia applicants. But until then, I can only see the competitiveness increasing.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2010
  12. Colbert

    Colbert 7+ Year Member

    Mar 23, 2007

    There are very few fields that will become less competitive over the next few years simply due to this. Unless more residency spots open for the competitive fields (which isn't likely, or at least at the rate matriculation is increasing), simple math dictates everything will become more competitive and what cut it today won't be enough five years ago.
  13. TJ87


    Mar 31, 2010
    i do know that hopkins anesthesia wants comlex of 600 or greater
  14. supermariobros


    Jul 22, 2010
    how about ob? anyone know any info about competitiveness in AOA residencies?

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