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USMLE for DO's necessary in PM&R?...or will COMLEX suffice?

Discussion in 'PM&R' started by Taus, Dec 3, 2005.

  1. Taus

    Taus .
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    With PM&R being such a DO heavy field (%-wise), will a solid score on the COMLEX suffice for most quality programs, or is generally reccommended/necessary to take the USMLE as well?

    Advice from people currently applying or who have applied recently would be greatly appreciated.
     
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  3. electra

    electra SDN Moderator
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    My opinion only.....
    I support osteopathic students taking the USMLE, at least Step I.

    1. When you are getting ready to take Step I, there is no possible way of knowing that something won't turn you on more than rehab. You just never know. Thank god there are people who want to do dermatology.

    2. As there are more and more candidates for PM&R, expect the applications process to become more competitive. The USMLE is a tool that is used to compare candidates. Boards are always the great equalizer.

    3. It isn't right to make the stduent pay for the sin of the father, but if the AOA continues to open more and more schools without opening spots for us to train later, all areas of medicine are going to become competitive within ACGME residencies. It just does not make sense, for 500 bucks, to not be completely prepared.

    electra
     
  4. drusso

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    I agree. I encourage DO students to steps I and II of the USMLE. You can finish your licensure series under the COMLEX pathway---no one will care which board you're ultimately licensed under---but taking steps I and II of the USMLE avoids any "apples to oranges" arguments. That said, I know many DO's who have matched into competitive programs with only the COMLEX.
     
  5. Taus

    Taus .
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    thanks a lot for the advice....much appreciated

    If you dont mind me asking...how much time did you take between the COMLEX and USMLE to brush up on the the biostat/biochem/etc stuff that is emphasized more on the USMLE?
     
  6. beeda

    beeda Junior Member
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    I asked this same question during my second year as I was preparing to take boards. Generally I was told that no, the USMLE was not required. Most people that responded said that no one even asked them about the USMLE on the interview trail (including some big name programs).

    That being said, I did not take it. I have never been asked about it at my interviews. I personally do not know anyone who has. Granted, I was not interested in big and/or really competitive programs -- I applied to a relatively small number of smaller-sized programs, and that may be part of it. But in my case it has not been an issue.

    One the other hand, I do agree that if you are not sure what you want to do specialty-wise, and you recognize that rehab has become much more competitive of late (all the places I have interviewed at have had record #'s of applications and interviewees) it may not be a bad thing to do just in case.

    Bottom line: I don't think that not taking the USMLE will keep you out of PM&R. It *may* close some doors at certain programs. You have to decide if that is important to you or not.
     
  7. electra

    electra SDN Moderator
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    I took one week between exams, and I took the USMLE first both years, giving me adequate time to prepare for the OMM on the COMLEX.
     
  8. Ligament

    Ligament Interventional Pain Management
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    If you've got the energy and money for it, I suggest taking the USMLE. If you want to go into a very competitive allopathic residency take the USMLE. Otherwise don't bother.


     
  9. njdevil

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    When I was a MSIII, I wrote the program directors at UMDNJ-NJ Med (Kessler), Temple, & Jefferson about this. The same response from all three, why would you take the USMLE, your a DO?

    Perhaps, it is regional, but I never had any issue with this and I interviewed at 9 programs I wanted without USMLE.
     
  10. DOctorJay

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    this is very interesting info, these are programs I will be seriously considering. how far along are you now? do you think this has changed based on the competitive atmosphere of today?

    Thanks for sharing (are you a SOM grad?),
    -J
     
  11. njdevil

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    Nope KCOM, alas, I did do my internship at SOM. I am a pgy-3 now.
     
  12. stretch210

    stretch210 Senior Member
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    njdevil...were your COMLEX scores very competitive, or was that not the issue in the reason you didn't "have to" take the USMLE?
     
  13. njdevil

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    I asked them way before I even applied...you may want to recheck though, it has been a few years, and I applied to only a small set list of programs. In other words, at the time, they didnt care that i didnt have the score.
     

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