Taking both COMLEX and USMLE

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mtDNA

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Hello, I am going to be starting my first year of med school at MSUCOM soon and I have a question about preparing for both COMLEX and USMLE. I have been told that USMLE and COMLEX are slightly different in that USMLE has more biochem and biostatics, while COMLEX has OMM. So, for the people who have taken both: how do you study? Do you just use USMLE books and then add an OMM book? I actually work as a Kaplan teacher, and I noticed that Kaplan has a set of books for COMLEX and a set for USMLE. I opened up both books...and found that they were exactly the same book! So, I am kind of confused about how to study in a way to do well on both tests. Any input would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
 

JayZee

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for me it was depending which I took first. originally i had planned to take COMLEX first, but decided I wanted a week off before we start pre-clinical rotations...sooo I put USMLE first (which is this Friday) My class put a 2-day omm review together a couple weeks ago which I went to (2, 6 hr sessions) but other than that I haven't touched OMM. My school also offered the kaplan live lecture series which we received all the comlex kaplan books (the only diff is that the side margins have some OMM integrative stuff, and the pages in the immuno book are out of order LOL!) also in the COMLEX set you get an OMM & behavioral science book.

After USMLE, I'll spend sat and sun on OMM reading Dr. Simmons review book, look over some anatomy...but that's about it. Everything else I use the same for both exams (FA, step up, etc...)

if you want to, go ahead and buy step up or first aid or both and keep with the sections as you take them in class...just flip through it and make a mental note of what is high yield and what's not...other than that do well in your classes first!

Good luck with your first year, and don't worry about the boards now!
 

OSUdoc08

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mtDNA said:
Hello, I am going to be starting my first year of med school at MSUCOM soon and I have a question about preparing for both COMLEX and USMLE. I have been told that USMLE and COMLEX are slightly different in that USMLE has more biochem and biostatics, while COMLEX has OMM. So, for the people who have taken both: how do you study? Do you just use USMLE books and then add an OMM book? I actually work as a Kaplan teacher, and I noticed that Kaplan has a set of books for COMLEX and a set for USMLE. I opened up both books...and found that they were exactly the same book! So, I am kind of confused about how to study in a way to do well on both tests. Any input would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

I am taking the USMLE one week after the COMLEX. First of all you need to use only USMLE study materials. First Aid for the USMLE and QBook are your best bet. For OMM, you should use Savarese OMM Review. I have studied all of these up until the COMLEX. After the COMLEX, I will review Biochem, Genetics/DNA, Neuroanatomy, and Behavioral Sciences.

COMLEX has more pharmacology, anatomy, and OMM. USMLE has more biochem, genetics/DNA, neuroanatomy, and behavioral sciences, in general.

You don't need to worry about ANY of this until you are a second year student.
 

BPlato

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I was one of those people 2nd year that said there was no way I was taking the USMLE, so I didn't - I just took COMLEX. About 6 months into 3rd year when I started thinking about residency I realized that I need a USMLE score, so I ended up taking it 2 weeks before 3rd year ended.

My suggestion to all DO students is to do the same. I studied a little micro, some pharm, and really hit first aid. I think that it made such a difference in my clinical rotations at the time because I was recalling all of that stupid step one stuff, but also with as clinically oriented as the exam has become my 3rd year rotations made studying so much easier.

When I took the exam it was a world of difference due to the clinical knowledge I gained. There were many questions that as a 2nd year there is no way you could answer them, but after third year they were very basic.

That's just a suggestion from my own experience.
 

HoodyHoo

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mtDNA said:
Hello, I am going to be starting my first year of med school at MSUCOM soon and I have a question about preparing for both COMLEX and USMLE. I have been told that USMLE and COMLEX are slightly different in that USMLE has more biochem and biostatics, while COMLEX has OMM. So, for the people who have taken both: how do you study? Do you just use USMLE books and then add an OMM book? I actually work as a Kaplan teacher, and I noticed that Kaplan has a set of books for COMLEX and a set for USMLE. I opened up both books...and found that they were exactly the same book! So, I am kind of confused about how to study in a way to do well on both tests. Any input would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
Not to sound rude but you don't even have to worry about this for another 1.5 years. Concentrate on passing your classes and learning as much as you can as a first year. Once second year rolls around you'll find that there is hardly any extra time to study for boards. Then once you are a few months away you will start hitting it hard. so for now i would say don't spend any time worrying about boards.
 

mtDNA

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Thanks for all the help guys. This gives me a much clearer picture of what I will need to study. I understand that I don't need to worry about this stuff for a long time still, however I do think I will pick up FA and some board review books to follow along in as I take classes. I just feel like I will be much better off having seen the material in the study books beforehand, so that when I actually study for boards, it truly is a review, with no new content.
 

beastmaster

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BPlato said:
I was one of those people 2nd year that said there was no way I was taking the USMLE, so I didn't - I just took COMLEX. About 6 months into 3rd year when I started thinking about residency I realized that I need a USMLE score, so I ended up taking it 2 weeks before 3rd year ended.

My suggestion to all DO students is to do the same. I studied a little micro, some pharm, and really hit first aid. I think that it made such a difference in my clinical rotations at the time because I was recalling all of that stupid step one stuff, but also with as clinically oriented as the exam has become my 3rd year rotations made studying so much easier.

When I took the exam it was a world of difference due to the clinical knowledge I gained. There were many questions that as a 2nd year there is no way you could answer them, but after third year they were very basic.

That's just a suggestion from my own experience.

1. So what was your score?
2. Can you give some examples of 3rd year experience helping you answer a question?
 

AmaurosisFugax

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OSU's suggestion is fine

Or many students (me included) go this way:
Take USMLE first, then brush up on OMM principles while retaining all the USMLE stuff (minus the biochem), and take the COMLEX second.
Basically, it's not a big deal =)
Just work hard in your classes and you will already be that much closer to doing great on the boards.
 

OSUdoc08

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AmaurosisFugax said:
OSU's suggestion is fine

Or many students (me included) go this way:
Take USMLE first, then brush up on OMM principles while retaining all the USMLE stuff (minus the biochem), and take the COMLEX second.
Basically, it's not a big deal =)
Just work hard in your classes and you will already be that much closer to doing great on the boards.

It really depends on if the USMLE or COMLEX is more important to you. Obviously the more important one should be second so the first one can be a "practice run."
 

JayZee

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AmaurosisFugax said:
OSU's suggestion is fine

Or many students (me included) go this way:
Take USMLE first, then brush up on OMM principles while retaining all the USMLE stuff (minus the biochem), and take the COMLEX second.
Basically, it's not a big deal =)
Just work hard in your classes and you will already be that much closer to doing great on the boards.
That's what I'm doin...
 

smgilles

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OSUdoc08 said:
It really depends on if the USMLE or COMLEX is more important to you. Obviously the more important one should be second so the first one can be a "practice run."

What...? I took the USMLE 3 weeks prior to the COMLEX and glad I did, and I did just fine on both (232/93 and 635/91). If you are approaching either of these tests as a practice run then you are wasting your time. I swear from your posts you speak out of you a$$ because your mouth knows better.

Do them however you want it makes no difference. If you take the COMLEX first, great, purge the OMM and study up on biochem/molecular genetics/statistics. If you take the USMLE first, great, purge the nonrelevant USMLE stuff and memorize the OMM.
 

homeboy

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Yea, do whatever works for you.
I'm taking the USMLE about 3 weeks after my COMLEX, but I don't plan on wasting those 3 weeks...biochem, genetics, biostats, and Goljan RR/audio, NBME practice q's...
Just keep in mind there's more that's emphasized on the USMLE and not on COMLEX than the other way around.
 

OSUdoc08

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smgilles said:
What...? I took the USMLE 3 weeks prior to the COMLEX and glad I did, and I did just fine on both (232/93 and 635/91). If you are approaching either of these tests as a practice run then you are wasting your time. I swear from your posts you speak out of you a$$ because your mouth knows better.

Do them however you want it makes no difference. If you take the COMLEX first, great, purge the OMM and study up on biochem/molecular genetics/statistics. If you take the USMLE first, great, purge the nonrelevant USMLE stuff and memorize the OMM.

You obviously misinterpreted my statement.

In the first test, it will be the first time at the testing center and using the test format. Obviously being more familiar with the testing process will mean you will be more comfortable during the second test you take.

This is why I did so much better on my August MCAT than my April MCAT, for example. It's the same concept. This may not apply to everyone, but it applies to some.
 
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