Jan 14, 2016
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Hi I am planning to apply to IM programs this coming cycle, mainly university based programs. I recently got all my board scores back, for USMLE I got 243 and 250, for COMLEX I got 659 and 491. I expected a lower score for the comlex level 2 because I really didn't study all that much for it.

I am wondering if I can only submit my USMLE scores and not COMLEX, would that be a disadvantage at all?
 

racerwad

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Hi I am planning to apply to IM programs this coming cycle, mainly university based programs. I recently got all my board scores back, for USMLE I got 243 and 250, for COMLEX I got 659 and 491. I expected a lower score for the comlex level 2 because I really didn't study all that much for it.

I am wondering if I can only submit my USMLE scores and not COMLEX, would that be a disadvantage at all?
AOA or ACGME?

ACGME programs aren't going to care about your COMLEX scores except that you pass and they will want to know that you passed, which means they'll know your scores. You might have to explain why one number is smaller than another, but even dual programs can't really judge COMLEX well.

Obviously, AOA programs won't be impressed, but with scores like that, you seem smart enough to figure that out on your own.
 
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Jan 14, 2016
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AOA or ACGME?

ACGME programs aren't going to care about your COMLEX scores except that you pass and they will want to know that you passed, which means they'll know your scores. You might have to explain why one number is smaller than another, but even dual programs can't really judge COMLEX well.

Obviously, AOA programs won't be impressed, but with scores like that, you seem smart enough to figure that out on your own.
I am applying to only ACGME programs, I'm worried that programs might screen me out due to the low comlex 2.
 

racerwad

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I am applying to only ACGME programs, I'm worried that programs might screen me out due to the low comlex 2.
Obviously, I can't promise anything, but that is highly unlikely. I scored much lower than you and did not have trouble, I think...I guess I'll never know which programs screened me out. No one cares about the COMLEX except your school; you passed so you're golden.
 
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hallowmann

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I think as a DO you're going to need to demonstrate that you have COMLEX scores. A handful of places may screen you based on the Level 2, but more will likely not review your app without a demonstration that you've passed the boards you need to finish med school and get licensed. Not submitting might make some question if you passed. If it were me, I'd submit the COMLEX.

Either way its a risk, so make a decision and don't look back.
 

FutureInternist

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You HAVE to release your COMLEX scores since passing it is a requirement for DO students in order to graduate & there is no way to release just a Pass/Fail

The USMLE helps you & from my understanding, ACGME places usually set a minimum on the USMLE to weed out applicants so that COMLEX should not hurt you there
 

jw3600

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I think as a DO you're going to need to demonstrate that you have COMLEX scores. A handful of places may screen you based on the Level 2, but more will likely not review your app without a demonstration that you've passed the boards you need to finish med school and get licensed. Not submitting might make some question if you passed. If it were me, I'd submit the COMLEX.

Either way its a risk, so make a decision and don't look back.
Are you saying that you think that some ACGME programs will screen him out to his low level 2 comlex?
 

hallowmann

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Are you saying that you think that some ACGME programs will screen him out to his low level 2 comlex?
I'm saying its possible, but again the number that may do that is likely much smaller than the number that would screen him for not reporting a score in the first place. This all varies based on specialty and program.
 

jw3600

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I'm saying its possible, but again the number that may do that is likely much smaller than the number that would screen him for not reporting a score in the first place. This all varies based on specialty and program.
I find this highly unlikely. What is your source for this or at least your reasoning why? ACGME programs (mostly) could give a **** what your comlex scores are if you have stellar USMLE scores. As OP does.
 
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hallowmann

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I find this highly unlikely. What is your source for this or at least your reasoning why? ACGME programs (mostly) could give a **** what your comlex scores are if you have stellar USMLE scores. As OP does.
I've heard it from one PC. I've also seen people in the residency forums mention that experience at some programs (or maybe being told that they must fulfill both requirements). I'd have to look for it, but I don't think I commented in the thread so it'll be hard to find again. I think @IslandStyle808 did though, so maybe they can find it.

Most programs that put a high COMLEX threshold (e.g. 650) alongside a low USMLE threshold (e.g. 200/210) do so to eliminate the vast majority of DO applicants while still "accepting" them as a population. I wouldn't put it past some to just view it as a way to eliminate more DOs. Also, it would be very easy to incorporate this into a ERAS filter so they might not even notice that they are eliminating someone with a great Step, they might just not see the app at all.

Again though, I want to make it clear that I don't believe this is a sizeable group of programs. The vast majority will function as you imply. I'm simply saying that some may do that.
 

kenjixshadow

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@hallowmann in that scenario, can't you release COMLEX scores later? I mean of releasing them after the interviews and before the match to prevent any screening. With OP's USMLE scores, I highly doubt that any PDs care what he got on the COMLEX as long they get to see that he passed them and will not have any trouble getting license.
 

IslandStyle808

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I find this highly unlikely. What is your source for this or at least your reasoning why? ACGME programs (mostly) could give a **** what your comlex scores are if you have stellar USMLE scores. As OP does.

I've heard it from one PC. I've also seen people in the residency forums mention that experience at some programs (or maybe being told that they must fulfill both requirements). I'd have to look for it, but I don't think I commented in the thread so it'll be hard to find again. I think @IslandStyle808 did though, so maybe they can find it.

Most programs that put a high COMLEX threshold (e.g. 650) alongside a low USMLE threshold (e.g. 200/210) do so to eliminate the vast majority of DO applicants while still "accepting" them as a population. I wouldn't put it past some to just view it as a way to eliminate more DOs. Also, it would be very easy to incorporate this into a ERAS filter so they might not even notice that they are eliminating someone with a great Step, they might just not see the app at all.

Again though, I want to make it clear that I don't believe this is a sizeable group of programs. The vast majority will function as you imply. I'm simply saying that some may do that.
A lot of what I know about the cut off scores I have read on SDN. I posed this question in the past and have gotten a lot of variable answers. Here is a link to a thread where one of the residents commented about a friend who did have his application filtered out at certain programs (high USMLE, low COMLEX).

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/applying-im-with-usmle-above-but-comlex-below-program-cutoff.1205375/

Certain programs may not give a **** about the COMLEX in terms of boosting an applicant's application, but they give enough of a **** to use it as a weeder tool. However, the problem is we don't know which ones or how many.
 
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hallowmann

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@hallowmann in that scenario, can't you release COMLEX scores later? I mean of releasing them after the interviews and before the match to prevent any screening. With OP's USMLE scores, I highly doubt that any PDs care what he got on the COMLEX as long they get to see that he passed them and will not have any trouble getting license.
It really depends on the program and their screening process. A program might have a filter for DOs who say didn't pass level 1, so any DO with a level 1 below 400 gets screened. OP is a DO, but doesn't submit the COMLEX scores. It looks to the filter as if he has a 0, so he gets screened.

Again, not necessarily common, but its certainly possible for it to happen.

I gotta be honest, all programs I've talked to expect to see the COMLEX scores from all DOs. Without them your app is incomplete at many places. Granted I'm not going for the same specialty as OP, but that's been my experience. I will also say that if you have a USMLE, most only care that you passed the COMLEX, but they want to see that you did.
 
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mashimaroinc

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Gonna pop in since my post is being quoted here.
You cannot game the system by submitting your usmle scores only as a DO. Every other DO student applying for MD residencies (who also tend to be stronger applicants in general) is gonna submit both sets of board scores... it looks sketchy to the PC/PD when you decide to omit your board scores for your medical profession and hurts you in that sense. Plus they will want to know if you will actually graduate from medical school by passing the 3 comlex exams.

Just submit both sets of scores and enjoy interview season. And 4th year :hardy: