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USMLE and COMLEX Merger Implications Updates?

Discussion in 'USMLE and COMLEX' started by oceans, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. oceans

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    I was wondering if there are any updates on how the merger will be affecting the applicants and the pre clinical students taking examinations. I understand that traditionally osteopathic students have always traditionally took both USMLE and COMLEX to stay competitive. But is there any talk of merging the examinations themselves? Because I highly doubt any allopathic students are even thinking about taking the COMLEX.

    Should allopathic students be worried about not taking COMLEX about applying to previously known AOA programs that have merged? Are ACGME programs learning to evaluate both examinations?
     
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  3. broadstreet

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    There will never be an exam merger. You can calculate how much $$ the AOA makes off administering COMLEX exams 1-3 + that stupid PE... they will never relinquish that gold mine. DO students should continue to take USMLE to remain competitive.
     
  4. UnschooledDO

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    With the merger in place, allopathic students still only need to sit for the USMLE exams to have access to what were historically, pre-merger, AOA residencies for osteopathic students (who sat for and will continue to sit for the COMLEX exams).

    Even with the merger in place, I am going to assume that osteopathic students will have to sit for the USMLE exams, in addition to their COMLEX exams, to obtain post-merger residencies. Majority of Ostoepathic students do sit for the USMLE but if there was an exam merger it would make it more fair for allopathic and osteopathic students.

    It will be interesting to see how AOA residency programs that relied on and used the COMLEX exams only, will view and use the USMLE post-merger.... any thoughts?
     
  5. Siqoraaa

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    Does the COMLEX also cover material with the extra stuff that DO's learn about osteopathic manipulation, ect..?
    If not, then isn't the COMLEX and Steps just testing the same material.
     
  6. oceans

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    Generally speaking, yes the information on the exams are fairly the same, except for the osteopathic manipulative diagnoses and treatments. I will say that the COMLEX Level 1 is little more heavy on anatomy espceially Neuro and MSK. I also think the questions stems are slightly different as well.

    I don't blame anybody specific but the AOA should consider how much more harder osteopathic students have to work compared to their allopathic counterparts. Imagine taking every medical licensing exam twice... only to get a lowball on residency spots.
     
  7. OMGOMT

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    I'll present a different POV. You are blessed with the opportunity to take an exam where up to 20-25% of said exam is OMM. Those questions are fairly easy if you take the time to master that content. This can inflate an otherwise average or sub-par score. So, your COMLEX score can look sexy if you take the time to play the game. I know lots of people who crushed COMLEX and then secured very prestigious residency positions as a result of their scores/dominating 20% of their exam on "easy" questions.
     
  8. oceans

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    I 100% agree with you. That is a very good way of thinking about the situation. I actually appreciate that view a lot! Didn't really think about it in that way.

    However, as the merger comes closer and closer, it begs the question if traditionally ACGME residencies will look at the COMLEX or consider evaluating it if you killed the exam. I've been at conferences where program directors will stand up and say they don't know/will not screen for the COMLEX score because there is no adequate way to compare that to USMLE other than percentile. So basically, you need to kill both exams.

    Understandably, change takes time. But the students left in transition (the students applying for residencies in the next 4-5 years) have no idea what to expect. There are program directors who are currently learning to assess COMLEX scores but that still doesn't help compare allopathic student to osteopathic student. So in reality, it just doesn't make any sense. Personally, I think it would benefit everyone if they had the USMLE and add specific section for OMM (and if the AOA really wants the $$, then I'm sure students would pay for that extra, rather than pay for two full exams).
     
  9. OMGOMT

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    USMLE will always carry more weight than COMLEX. But by crushing COMLEX you certainly aren't hurting your chances
     
  10. SalemK

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    The vast majority of people at ACGME programs have no idea what a good COMLEX score even is, nor do they care. All three of my COMLEX exams (but especially the first two) contained a ton of absolutely ridiculous OMM questions to where I would even laugh out loud and just pick blindly. Crazy stuff about treating infants, techniques I'd never heard of. And then there were the typical COMLEX issues of poorly worded questions, multiple odd questions on the same topic (I had four questions on one bug that were essentially exactly the same question), and so on.

    It would be great if students only had to take one test, but I agree that it will never happen. Consider where to spend your time for the most benefit (i.e. studying for USMLE).
     
  11. ButterButter

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    Expect more of the same: DO schools telling their students that PDs value COMLEX when they don't and some students trying to convince themselves that a good COMLEX score will take the place of USMLE. The truth is this: if you want to be competitive for any and all specialties, take USMLE and get a good score.

    As has been repeated in these forums over and over: AOA makes a lot of $ on COMLEX so it's not going anywhere. COMLEX for DOs is only about moving up the ladder and should stop being viewed as a way to secure good residency placement. USMLE is for residency apps.
     
  12. OMGOMT

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    Well said
     
  13. Syncrohnize

    Syncrohnize PGY-1
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    It’s the same content and ya’ll use the same banks, books, and resources for both. They are often taken within days of each other with minimal extra studying required outside OMM. DO schools have much easier access to residencies that are very competitive in the MD world and sorry to say it, but without DO schools many DO students wouldn’t even be at a US medical school in the first place.

    Exactly.
     

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