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Oct 31, 2001
Ontario, CA
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I wanted to ask the DO students what they have heard from 4th year DO students about whether it is necessary to take the USMLE when applying to allopathic residencies. What are the ramifications if a DO student does a lot better on the COMLEX than the USMLE?


Edgar Han, MS-II WesternU/COMP


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Aug 29, 2000
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This questions comes up quite a bit. My advice is to take the USMLE if you are going into a competitive residency or want to train at a competitive hospital/program. If you are not sure, take it anyway. Therefore, you have another weapon in your arsenal when it comes to apply for residency. Generally speaking, DO's I know who took both exams, score slightly lower in percentiles on the USMLE than the COMLEX. There are probably a few reasons why this is, but not to discuss here. I don't see how it would hurt the candidate if there is a slight discrepancy. Obviously, a poor score will hurt. The USMLE allows allopathic program directors, not familiar with the COMLEX, to compare you with the rest of the allopathic world. Simple as that.
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