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USMLE recommended?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by kpax18, Nov 18, 2002.

  1. kpax18

    kpax18 almost there
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    Hello
    I will be starting my 1st yr as a DO student next yr. I was wondering whether it is recommended to take the USMLE in addition to COMLEX. Will the USMLE score help me to have a better chance at allopathic residency?
    Thanks
     
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  3. Bull's eye

    Bull's eye The Gunslinger
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    First of all kpax, this is a great question. The answer, on the other hand, is not an easy one. The answer is..... it depends. There are all sorts of allopathic programs in every specialty that will take just your COMLEX and call it good, but there are also other programs that won't even look at you without the USMLE as an even comparison. There is a saying that if they don't except your licensure, they won't except your degree. I am here to say that some in some places this is true, but in MOST cases they just want an even comparison. For example, two years ago a well known allopathic residency program (rads) in my area turned down a friend from my school saying no USMLE no consideration (his LOR writer asked for him), this year another friend from my school matched at the same place and he took the USMLE. Both DO's trying for an allopathic program and one was taken by the program the other was not. If I were you, if you feel good about doing well on the USMLE (practice tests, Kaplan Q-bank, ect,), take it. If not, don't. You will open doors for yourself if you do well on it and you may close doors if there is a descepancy between your COMLEX and USMLE. Another factor to take into consideration is, what do you want to do? If the answer is FM, IM, Peds, Gen Surg, or psych, I would say forget about the USMLE. If it is Neurosurg, derm (good luck and God speed), rads, or orthopedics, I say go for it.
     
  4. drusso

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    Take steps 1 and 2. No one, I mean no one, will care about your step 3 score which you take during your internship year. Having USMLE scores eliminates one POSSIBLE reason for competitive programs to eliminate you from the competition. The material on each exam is 90% identical (usually a little more biostats and clinical ethics on the 'smelly versus OMT on the COMLEX). As my grandmother used to say, "It's better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it..."

    --Dave
     
  5. kpax18

    kpax18 almost there
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    Thanks for the info. Really helps.
    One more question, will the DO students be expected to score higher on the USMLE if they choose to take it? Meaning, since DO students need to work a little harder to be competitive in an allopathic program, would the residency programs want to see a higher score from DO students?
    So far I am thinking of doing FM, however, also considering gen. surg., just concerned about getting into a decent residency program.
    Thanks again.
     

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