Quantcast

USMLE vs. COMLEX

Calculate Required USMLE Score for Your Specialty
This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

OSUdoc08

Membership Revoked
Removed
15+ Year Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2003
Messages
7,684
Reaction score
6
I took the USMLE today and the COMLEX a week ago.

I hereby proclaim that the USMLE is easier than the COMLEX.

Discuss.
 

bigfrank

SDN Donor
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2002
Messages
2,067
Reaction score
9
One final thought: It stands to reason that DOs will tend to believe that their test is the most difficult and MDs will believe that their test is the most difficult one. Different people will find different reasons to justify their beliefs.

However, it is philosophically unsound to believe that allopathic residency directors would prefer the COMLEX -- that's just silly.

Chalk this one up to another topic that people will argue about for 100 pages and no one's mind will be changed.

:)
 

oudoc08

Please pass the gas...
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2004
Messages
1,054
Reaction score
2
bigfrank said:
One final thought: It stands to reason that DOs will tend to believe that their test is the most difficult and MDs will believe that their test is the most difficult one. Different people will find different reasons to justify their beliefs.

However, it is philosophically unsound to believe that allopathic residency directors would prefer the COMLEX -- that's just silly.

Chalk this one up to another topic that people will argue about for 100 pages and no one's mind will be changed.

:)

Amen.
 

goooooober

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2003
Messages
398
Reaction score
9
It makes sense that allopathic PDs favor USMLE over COMLEX, afterall, it is the test that they took and most of their applicants take, thus they know what it is. However, I think depending on the specialty, there are many allopathic PDs that are okay with COMLEX. If you are applying to IM, ER, FM, OB/GYN, Peds then allopathic PDs are probably going to be okay with the COMLEX (depending on the program) both because they are desparate for applicants and because they have traditionally had a lot of osteopathic applicants and are comfortable with translation of COMLEX scores. However, they will probably still favor USMLE if you have taken it. On the other hand, try applying to very competative allopathic residencies like derm or Rads or trying to apply to allo surgery without USMLE. You might as well not apply. That is not to say that none has ever been able to accomplish it, just that it is nearly impossible. Peace out.
 

oudoc08

Please pass the gas...
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2004
Messages
1,054
Reaction score
2
goooooober said:
On the other hand, try applying to very competative allopathic residencies like derm or Rads or trying to apply to allo surgery without USMLE. You might as well not apply. That is not to say that none has ever been able to accomplish it, just that it is nearly impossible. Peace out.


As is common knowledge, history as well as program statistics suggest that most of the most competitive allopathic specialities admit very, very few osteopathic graduates, regardless of whether or not they've taken the USMLE. So I don't know as it's a valid argument as to whether or not the USMLE vs. the COMLEX makes the difference, as I'm fairly sure that most osteopathic graduates seeking more competive MD residencies would have taken the USMLE. On the flip side, as was suggested, most of the noncompetitive residencies who are desperate for applicants such as OB/GYN, psych, path, etc. probably don't give a flip what letters you have behind your name, or what licensure exam.
I would think only the moderate specialties such as anesthesia, EM, etc. would be the debatable point, and even then it would likely be PD specific.
 

Pox in a box

1K Member
10+ Year Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2005
Messages
1,345
Reaction score
1
goooooober said:
It makes sense that allopathic PDs favor USMLE over COMLEX, afterall, it is the test that they took and most of their applicants take, thus they know what it is. However, I think depending on the specialty, there are many allopathic PDs that are okay with COMLEX. If you are applying to IM, ER, FM, OB/GYN, Peds then allopathic PDs are probably going to be okay with the COMLEX (depending on the program) both because they are desparate for applicants and because they have traditionally had a lot of osteopathic applicants and are comfortable with translation of COMLEX scores. However, they will probably still favor USMLE if you have taken it. On the other hand, try applying to very competative allopathic residencies like derm or Rads or trying to apply to allo surgery without USMLE. You might as well not apply. That is not to say that none has ever been able to accomplish it, just that it is nearly impossible. Peace out.

I agree with all of this.
 

HoodyHoo

Full Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2003
Messages
472
Reaction score
3
bigfrank said:
One final thought: It stands to reason that DOs will tend to believe that their test is the most difficult and MDs will believe that their test is the most difficult one. Different people will find different reasons to justify their beliefs.

However, it is philosophically unsound to believe that allopathic residency directors would prefer the COMLEX -- that's just silly.

Chalk this one up to another topic that people will argue about for 100 pages and no one's mind will be changed.

:)
I don't recall that anyone did say that an allopathic program would prefer the COMLEX. The point is that you can get a non-competitive residency(psych, internal, family) at a competitive program with just a COMLEX score. maybe they won't prefer it, but nonetheless you can get in, and it's not too difficult.
 

HoodyHoo

Full Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2003
Messages
472
Reaction score
3
oudoc08 said:
As is common knowledge, history as well as program statistics suggest that most of the most competitive allopathic specialities admit very, very few osteopathic graduates, regardless of whether or not they've taken the USMLE. So I don't know as it's a valid argument as to whether or not the USMLE vs. the COMLEX makes the difference, as I'm fairly sure that most osteopathic graduates seeking more competive MD residencies would have taken the USMLE. On the flip side, as was suggested, most of the noncompetitive residencies who are desperate for applicants such as OB/GYN, psych, path, etc. probably don't give a flip what letters you have behind your name, or what licensure exam.
I would think only the moderate specialties such as anesthesia, EM, etc. would be the debatable point, and even then it would likely be PD specific.
You could also state that these same residencies that don't except osteo students are likely not to accept students from lower tier allopathic schools. I have no info for that, just a thought. I would assume doing ortho at harvard, for example, would probably require that you graduate from a top 25 allopathic school regardless of any other criteria.
 

HoodyHoo

Full Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2003
Messages
472
Reaction score
3
I would agree that the USMLE is more difficult. But the COMLEX sucks for that fact that you sit there and ask "WTF are they trying to ask me here?" The questions are very poorly written.

From what I have heard from my classmates, you can study your A$$ for the USMLE and do well. But you can do the same for the COMLEX and still miss tons of questions because they are so poorly written.

Since the USMLE requires much more secondary and tertiary reasoning, it's naturally going to be tougher for most people than taking the COMLEX. I may have had 30 questions on the COMLEX that required secondary reasoning.
 

oudoc08

Please pass the gas...
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2004
Messages
1,054
Reaction score
2
HoodyHoo said:
You could also state that these same residencies that don't except osteo students are likely not to accept students from lower tier allopathic schools. I have no info for that, just a thought. I would assume doing ortho at harvard, for example, would probably require that you graduate from a top 25 allopathic school regardless of any other criteria.

You'd have to look at each specific residency program at each university program in order to determine where each resident came from. Unfortunately, the variables which determine that person's placement, often include variables which aren't black and white. For example, it's difficult to publish data based on LOR's, specific 3rd year grades, or what medical school each person went to. It's also tough to get stats on USMLE scores as they apply to residency placement. First, because there's two steps of licensure exams that factor in, and second, because of the wide range of scores.
Finally, because all of the above plus your interview, factor in to make your complete application "package", it's impossible to stratify the variables.

I don't have the data to back it up, but I'd be willing to bet that if you looked at purely MD students in MD residencies, the general trend would reflect that top residency SITES are comprised of mostly students from top schools, and vice-versa, with considerable overlap.

On the other hand, I was mainly referring to specialty. From top schools to bottom schools, you're going to have rather similar cross section of specialty selection. There's always a section doing very competitive specialties, some doing extremely uncompetitive specialties, and then those in the middle.
But regardless, the competitive specialties are competitive EVERYWHERE. This is mainly due to the extremely rigorous allopathic residency accreditation standards. There are no bad ENT residencies. There are no bad optho residencies, etc. (This is in stark contrast to osteopathic residencies, which crop up and get shut down overnight, and is one of the main problems with that oversight body). So, what that tells me, is the top students at a bottom tier school still are able to get those specialty selections, meaning their application package (USMLE scores, grades, etc.) were obviously important, but the MD behind the name also carries significant weight.
This is in contrast to the DO applicant who can do similarly as well, but not be able to score those SPECIALTY (not site) slots.

It's easy to quantify DO's in allopathic residencies. The numbers are available anywhere you look, and unfortunately the discrepancies still show up. The root of the issue may be better applicants, tradition, bias against DO's, a "they can do ours, but we can't do theirs" vendetta, or a more benign cause such as the osteopathic push towards less competitive primary care specialties. Whatever the cause, there's something there, and it's not nearly as simple as COMLEX vs. USMLE.
 

GregsAnatomy

Full Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2003
Messages
284
Reaction score
4
OK I just finished taking the USMLE, having taking the COMLEX a week ago....

I'll preface this post by saying that this thread is for DO students to compare the COMLEX and USMLE, not for MD students to assert the superiority of said licensing exams or training as a whole....

I also think it's pretty much impossible for one student to make an overall generalization about the difficulty of USMLE or COMLEX since everyone has slightly different exams and slightly different knowledge in various subject areas.

For me, I found the exams to be extremely comparable, with the USMLE maybe a little bit more difficult. But here is what I found in comparing my two exams:

COMLEX:
-More "buzzwords" e.g. "spike-and-dome appearance," "Reed-Sternberg cells" that pretty much give away the answer
-More pharmacology, especially CNS
-More neuroanatomy
-More "bugs and drugs"
-Osteopathic principles (obviously)

USMLE:
-In general was more "thought-provoking" and required more time per question
-More likely to require 3rd or higher order reasoning (i.e. the question stem gives the appearance of a bug, give the MOA of the antibiotic used to treat it)
-More "tricky" with extraneous information in the question stem and multiple seemingly reasonable distractors in the answer choices
-More ethics questions
-More physiology/pathophysiology, and more detailed than COMLEX in these areas
-More biochem/genetics, although comparable in difficulty to those on the COMLEX
-More diagrams were used, especially histopathology

Other points:
-I thought the computer interface for the COMLEX was superior to that of the USMLE
-I was really burned out by the 8th block of the COMLEX; thank god the USMLE only had 7
-I had a lot more "WTF" questions on the COMLEX

So I guess I thought the exams were quite comparable in difficulty, but I'll get back to you on that once scores come in :p For now, I've got a pitcher of margarita with my name on it.... :cool:
 

Idiopathic

Newly Minted
Lifetime Donor
15+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2003
Messages
8,362
Reaction score
18
bigfrank said:
However, it is philosophically unsound to believe that allopathic residency directors would prefer the COMLEX -- that's just silly.

I dont recall anyone making that point.

Im just saying that Pox simply cannot know the answers to: a) which is harder, and b) that USMLE is 'way preferred', like he asserts. For him to attest to either statement is pure lunacy, as he has no experience with it on either side.

I never said COMLEX was better.

As far as the requirements, DO's do NOT have to report USMLE scores (although I would do so if prompted at an interview...and be prepared to explain why you didnt submit to ERAS, i.e. dont lie) but they cannot get around submitting COMLEX scores, I dont think.
 

Pox in a box

1K Member
10+ Year Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2005
Messages
1,345
Reaction score
1
Idiopathic said:
Im just saying that Pox simply cannot know the answers to: a) which is harder

I never said which is harder. That's pretty obvious considering I've never taken COMLEX.

Idiopathic said:
and b) that USMLE is 'way preferred', like he asserts.

You aren't quoting me and I never said that. You must have thought I was implying this. I'm not.


Idiopathic said:
For him to attest to either statement is pure lunacy, as he has no experience with it on either side.

Since I'm not attesting to either of these...


Idiopathic said:
I never said COMLEX was better.

I never said USMLE was better either.

P.S. I'm done with this conversation. I tried to make good discussion but only a couple of people were interested in giving good arguments. No loss of respect for you idio. Good luck next week starting at Vandy. Maybe I'll see you around (as I'm doing a rotation there this coming year).
 

raptor5

Fooled by Randomness
15+ Year Member
Joined
May 28, 2003
Messages
1,070
Reaction score
37
Sometimes I would have been better served reading First Aid for mind reading the First Aid for USMLE. I would haved like more detailed question stems but hey what are you gonna do. My test was neither Pharm or Micro heavy and the OMM was quite easy. The exhibits I had were of excellent quality eventhough sometimes I thought they expected me to be a pathologist or radiologist not a med student. I had quite a few questions that were very easy and others where the question might as well have been word association. I was more fustrated at myself than the test. I did get aggravated at the test enough to type some comments.
They were:
Are you Kidding Me?
I would really like to know how I am supposed to know this?
How is this part of our education?
The only school that teaches this is UNTHSC?
Do you realize the person went from a she to a he mid question?
None of these answers are even close to being right.
John Simelaro, DO @ PCOM told me to to tell you to call him if you ask this question.
 

Idiopathic

Newly Minted
Lifetime Donor
15+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2003
Messages
8,362
Reaction score
18
Pox in a box said:
P.S. I'm done with this conversation. I tried to make good discussion but only a couple of people were interested in giving good arguments.

Hey dont try and make yourself out as some poor abused soul. I certainly make good arguments and write clear and concise opinions. You came in here spouting 'facts' about stuff you really dont know that much about given your frame of reference, and then you expect everyone to hold their commentary? Gimme a break man. I wish you the best, but I think you probably should have sat this one out.

POX's statements:

"If you go into an interview, do you think they give a rats about your COMLEX if you took both?"

"That's the most ignorant statement you've ever made. Think about why." (re: which test is harder)

"Isn't USMLE preferred hands down?"

"I'm just stating facts. The only residency programs that care about COMLEX are osteopath programs."

All you know is that the USMLE is harder than the MCAT (or vice versa). Your thoughts are only speculation, passed off as fact, and its hella-lame.

But good luck :thumbup:
 

Pox in a box

1K Member
10+ Year Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2005
Messages
1,345
Reaction score
1
Idiopathic said:
Hey dont try and make yourself out as some poor abused soul. I certainly make good arguments and write clear and concise opinions. You came in here spouting 'facts' about stuff you really dont know that much about given your frame of reference, and then you expect everyone to hold their commentary? Gimme a break man. I wish you the best, but I think you probably should have sat this one out.

POX's statements:

"If you go into an interview, do you think they give a rats about your COMLEX if you took both?"

"That's the most ignorant statement you've ever made. Think about why." (re: which test is harder)

"Isn't USMLE preferred hands down?"

"I'm just stating facts. The only residency programs that care about COMLEX are osteopath programs."

All you know is that the USMLE is harder than the MCAT (or vice versa). Your thoughts are only speculation, passed off as fact, and its hella-lame.

But good luck :thumbup:

I was going to retire but I couldn't resist coming back. Actually, it's pretty stupid to think that the USMLE is harder than MCAT, but it's easy to see why you think I might say that considering I had to take both. You can't study the material that's on the MCAT. You can on the USMLE. There aren't any writing samples or verbal sections on Step 1. Anyway, you have your opinions and I have mine. It's fine to disagree. If we weren't in an internet forum, I think we'd probably agree much more and not really have seemingly different opinions. Nice chatting with you and good luck.

P.S. It's hard to be a "poor abused soul" on an internet forum. I haven't identified myself to anyone here and could care less outside this URL. Heck, you still don't even know my gender. Good luck in your intern year.
 

OSUdoc08

Membership Revoked
Removed
15+ Year Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2003
Messages
7,684
Reaction score
6
Listen up, MD students!

Some of you are in here because you historically love antagonizing me. Others simply like to bash DOs. Either way, if you have not taken the COMLEX, you have no place in this forum. Arguing with my fellow DO students only embarasses yourself.

If you have not taken both exams you cannot argue how you felt after you took both exams. Period.
 

oudoc08

Please pass the gas...
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2004
Messages
1,054
Reaction score
2
OSUdoc08 said:
Listen up, MD students!

Some of you are in here because you historically love antagonizing me. Others simply like to bash DOs. Either way, if you have not taken the COMLEX, you have no place in this forum. Arguing with my fellow DO students only embarasses yourself.

If you have not taken both exams you cannot argue how you felt after you took both exams. Period.


Dude, speaking of antagonizing, note that this thread hadn't been posted in for 6 days. Here you go, we MD students suck, we're stupid. DO students are completely superior because some of you took both exams and... became OMM masters at the same time. Holy crap, we're not worthy. I'm not even worthy to be in the same state with ya. You're my EMS, medical student and personal GOD. I'm so completely embarrased for ever questioning any of the antagonistic crap you spout. Please take everything I own and bask in your superiority. Warm yourself with the burns you've put on those inferior MD's. Dude, we know you like to hear yourself, but seriously man let the thread die.

(and here's a bit of free advice. If you're planning on doing an EM residency or rotating w/ Morningstar in OKC, you better check the sarcasm, and eat a bit of humble pie, or Dr. Askins wil mop the floor with you. I'm actually trying to help here, because in a way, you remind me of a bit younger version of myself. Probably why you annoy me sometimes. I'm pretty sarcastic myself at times, and my mouth's gotten me into infamy, if nothing else. I suspect the same on your end. People like ourselves tend to bother us the most, I think. Anyways, Askin's dealt it to me a few times, so just take it for what it's worth)[/QUOTE]
 

bigfrank

SDN Donor
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2002
Messages
2,067
Reaction score
9
OSUdoc08 said:
Listen up, MD students!

Some of you are in here because you historically love antagonizing me. Others simply like to bash DOs. Either way, if you have not taken the COMLEX, you have no place in this forum. Arguing with my fellow DO students only embarasses yourself.

If you have not taken both exams you cannot argue how you felt after you took both exams. Period.
Way to revive one of your whiney threads.

:thumbup:
 

Pox in a box

1K Member
10+ Year Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2005
Messages
1,345
Reaction score
1
OSUdoc08 said:
Listen up, MD students!

Some of you are in here because you historically love antagonizing me. Others simply like to bash DOs. Either way, if you have not taken the COMLEX, you have no place in this forum. Arguing with my fellow DO students only embarasses yourself.

If you have not taken both exams you cannot argue how you felt after you took both exams. Period.

Hey, one...this isn't the DO forum so nothing you say is going to change that fact. Two, allopaths must compete with osteopaths on the interview trail. Your DO students can share. :thumbup:

P.S. When you make a statement "hereby complain" you should expect to hear a retort.
 

Dr.MISHKA D.O.

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2005
Messages
133
Reaction score
2
Just to throw in my $0.02. I matched to a great residency (that happens to be allopathic), and the attendings have no idea I am a DO until I tell them. I see no difference in my knowledge base compared to the MD interns, except of course I know OMM. So we take different tests, who cares.
I can't speak for step I as I only took the comlex, but I took step II comlex and usmle and I did relatively the same on both tests and better than around 90% of usmle takers and 95% of takers of comlex (in fairness I took comlex II 6 months later than usmle and had learned and studied more). That said I thought that the Usmle II was easier because of its detailed roots and medicine based questions (one of my stronger areas), where as I felt the Comlex was harder as it often left me going back and searching for some small clue in the root routinely not there, and the comlex's preoccupation with Ob/gyn and reproductive medicine (which I suck at - no pun intended).
However, in all fairness if you are applying MD take one of the usmle steps, if osteopathic only comlex. There has to be an equal comparison for PD with the MD student applicants. In comparison would you think it was fair if a canadian grad who only took flex and not usmle, and who got a spot over you who had a good usmle score.
Anyway, it is the DO who has the advantage anyway, you can apply MD or DO. Do you think foreign grads or even US allopthic grads for that matter have that option? I am a proud DO grad and will not stand for someone degrading my degree that I worked hard for, but I don't think that I am inherently better than any other doctor based on my degree nor are they inherently better than me, that determination should be based solely on my ability to take care of my pts, because that is how I judge other physicians DO/MD/MBBS or otherwise.

Best Wishes

The Mish
 

bigfrank

SDN Donor
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2002
Messages
2,067
Reaction score
9
JohnnyOU said:
Tell us !!!!!!! Tell us!!!!!! :D
He likes to bait allopathic medical students by making claims that cannot be disproven and also [attempt to] elevate his osteopathic education.

It is extremely consistent with his postings and obvious personality.

Methinks he protests too much.


:)
 

JohnnyOU

Slow like Honey
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2003
Messages
1,471
Reaction score
1
bigfrank said:
He likes to bait allopathic medical students by making claims that cannot be disproven and also [attempt to] elevate his osteopathic education.

It is extremely consistent with his postings and obvious personality.

Methinks he protests too much.


:)
Oh heck.... I thought you had a secret...not common knowledge :laugh:
 

docmd2010

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2005
Messages
523
Reaction score
2
Idiopathic said:
One of which he knows absolutely nothing about. Thats my point. No program would overlook a top notch applicant with a top COMLEX score because he/she didnt take the USMLE and no program would value a DO more because he took the USMLE. Some may like the test for comparison purposes (who wouldnt?).


Now, I took the test because I felt that having done well on two standardized exams (as opposed to one) was much better for my residency app. It showed versatility and adaptability. I also have encouraged DO students not to take USMLE if they didnt think they could do very well on it (i.e. not beating the mean not very helpful). Just opinion, again, but at least I have some evidence.


I tend to agree with what most of you said-but I don't necessarily agree with you saying that "no program would value a DO more because he took the USMLE" . If an applicant takes the USMLE and does really well (also does well on COMLEX), than that PD is going to recognize the value of that applicant. He most likely being an MD, knows the difficulty of the exam because he/she has been through it himself, and a high score on the USMLE speaks higher than a high score on the COMLEX. my dad is the director of pediatric residencies at a prestigious program and that is exactly what he told me. he told me flat out that DO's have a better chance if they post a good USMLE score. Sure, if you have only COMLEX, you may still have a shot, but if someone that has the same comlex score but also a good usmle score-will probably given preference. this is just information that is coming from my dad, an MD, who is a director or an allopathic residency.

;)
 

bigfrank

SDN Donor
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2002
Messages
2,067
Reaction score
9
surrender903 said:
thats the reason i PM'ed you bigfrank, i thought it was like he is a leper or something..
I can neither confirm nor deny this assertion.
 

OSUdoc08

Membership Revoked
Removed
15+ Year Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2003
Messages
7,684
Reaction score
6
Off in Mexico for 8 days and I had forgotten how friendly you guys are...

oh...wait.....
 

ar do

New Member
10+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2006
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
DHMO said:
These tests are both standardized, which means that the 'difficulty' of each test is based on the population that takes it, not the material covered by the test. Without trying to start a flame war, I would argue that the average allopathic student scores higher on standardized tests than the average osteopathic student. I would bet the weaker osteopathic students do not elect to take the USMLE, and even with this selection bias, the passage rate is still higher for MD students than DO students on the USMLE. So, I would think that the USMLE is harder to pass/get a great score on the the COMLEX, however I do not have any numbers to back up these statements, only logic. Maybe the COMLEX has only a 50% pass rate while the USMLE is ~90%.


You can't just assume that DO students taking both tests are approaching the usmle with the same effort that they are giving to the comlex. After all, All DO studnets must pass the comlex to graduate from their school and get their degree. USMLE is just an additional extension of the torture-- which for some means everything in the world. I mean, ideally, if you're going to sign up for it, you should try to do your best. But for others, is just not as important when it comes down to the day. I know many people who just lost their momentum after taking one test; many others who cancelled the usmle altogether after making it thru comlex. And yet others who just didn't strategize their studying around usmle as their main focus--- passing the comlex is more important. So, you really can't get a fair comparison of do vs md med students' performance on the usmle.
 

(nicedream)

Fitter Happier
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2004
Messages
2,042
Reaction score
1
ar do said:
You can't just assume that DO students taking both tests are approaching the usmle with the same effort that they are giving to the comlex. After all, All DO studnets must pass the comlex to graduate from their school and get their degree. USMLE is just an additional extension of the torture-- which for some means everything in the world. I mean, ideally, if you're going to sign up for it, you should try to do your best. But for others, is just not as important when it comes down to the day. I know many people who just lost their momentum after taking one test; many others who cancelled the usmle altogether after making it thru comlex. And yet others who just didn't strategize their studying around usmle as their main focus--- passing the comlex is more important. So, you really can't get a fair comparison of do vs md med students' performance on the usmle.

Don't buy that because to do well on the COMLEX you just need to study for the USMLE and spend a day on OMT from what I hear. Most DO students use First Aid for the USMLE and all the other review books geared towards the USMLE don't they? Or do they spend their time cracking backs to prepare? :rolleyes:
 

bigfrank

SDN Donor
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2002
Messages
2,067
Reaction score
9
OSUdoc08 said:
Off in Mexico for 8 days and I had forgotten how friendly you guys are...

oh...wait.....
Playing the martyr role now, are we?
 

oudoc08

Please pass the gas...
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2004
Messages
1,054
Reaction score
2
ar do said:
You can't just assume that DO students taking both tests are approaching the usmle with the same effort that they are giving to the comlex. After all, All DO studnets must pass the comlex to graduate from their school and get their degree. USMLE is just an additional extension of the torture-- which for some means everything in the world. I mean, ideally, if you're going to sign up for it, you should try to do your best. But for others, is just not as important when it comes down to the day. I know many people who just lost their momentum after taking one test; many others who cancelled the usmle altogether after making it thru comlex. And yet others who just didn't strategize their studying around usmle as their main focus--- passing the comlex is more important. So, you really can't get a fair comparison of do vs md med students' performance on the usmle.

Also this doesn't seem valid, as the main reason for DO students to take the USMLE is to be on a level playing field for some MD residencies. Why would you put yourself through having to take another board exam unless you were serious about pursuing those residencies? And to further develop that question, if you were seriously pursuing those residencies, you would understand that you would need to do very well on the USMLE in order to be competitive. (i.e. - it wouldn't look good at all to do well on the COMLEX and poorly on the USMLE, and actually would probably reflect more negatively on you than if you hadn't take the USMLE at all.)
 

coyotelove

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
PLease! Is there a thread for just the comlex? Does it really ignore biochem and test heavy on OMM and neuro/musculoskel?

Can I pass it without knowing shiite about sacroiliac dx? or iliosacral or whatever the f*&k that's all about?

I just want to know if the Kaplan comlex questions are worth doing for the real test. They are really ******ed. It seems like some good ole boys club of DOs in plaid jackets are trying to prove to the world that they actually do structural exams on all their patients. "Helicopter crash victim has a t4FSRRS, besides being 2 minutes from going to the light...which Chapman reflex would you test?" GIVE ME A BREAK!!!! Is anyone under the age of 60 involved in writing the comlex?

Is the real COMLEX this osteopathetic?





(QUOTE=OSUdoc08]As always, thanks for the helpful contributions!

Please----tell us more.....

:laugh:[/QUOTE]
 

homeboy

I'm super cereal.
15+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2006
Messages
525
Reaction score
6
coyotelove said:
PLease! Is there a thread for just the comlex? Does it really ignore biochem and test heavy on OMM and neuro/musculoskel?

Can I pass it without knowing shiite about sacroiliac dx? or iliosacral or whatever the f*&k that's all about?

I just want to know if the Kaplan comlex questions are worth doing for the real test. They are really ******ed. It seems like some good ole boys club of DOs in plaid jackets are trying to prove to the world that they actually do structural exams on all their patients. "Helicopter crash victim has a t4FSRRS, besides being 2 minutes from going to the light...which Chapman reflex would you test?" GIVE ME A BREAK!!!! Is anyone under the age of 60 involved in writing the comlex?

Is the real COMLEX this osteopathetic?





(QUOTE=OSUdoc08]As always, thanks for the helpful contributions!

Please----tell us more.....

:laugh:
[/QUOTE]

Ha!
Well, I thought much of it WAS that pathetic. Ask around about the question about what the first step you should take in setting up your new clinic: A.) buy a thermometer B.) buy a lock for your fridge to lock up your immunos C.) buy a fridge D.) buy insurance.... or whatever the hell it was.
Seriously, it is that bad (minus a few good questions here and there).
I'm not saying it was a ridiculously hard test, just ridiculous.
 

Idiopathic

Newly Minted
Lifetime Donor
15+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2003
Messages
8,362
Reaction score
18
docmd2010 said:
I tend to agree with what most of you said-but I don't necessarily agree with you saying that "no program would value a DO more because he took the USMLE" . If an applicant takes the USMLE and does really well (also does well on COMLEX), than that PD is going to recognize the value of that applicant. He most likely being an MD, knows the difficulty of the exam because he/she has been through it himself, and a high score on the USMLE speaks higher than a high score on the COMLEX. my dad is the director of pediatric residencies at a prestigious program and that is exactly what he told me. he told me flat out that DO's have a better chance if they post a good USMLE score. Sure, if you have only COMLEX, you may still have a shot, but if someone that has the same comlex score but also a good usmle score-will probably given preference. this is just information that is coming from my dad, an MD, who is a director or an allopathic residency.

;)


My quote was "no program would value a DO more because he took the USMLE". No reference to doing well on the test implied. I also followed up with "some may like the test for comparison purposes", attesting to what your father says.

Obviously, scoring a 260 on USMLE will help you, regardless of the letters behind your name. But, to say that an average applicant to a not-terribly-competitive specialty (i.e. >50% of all applicants) will not be able to be evaluated without a USMLE score is simply not true. Just taking the test to get a 190 wont help you anywhere. Just taking the test (i.e. rite of passage, for "evaluation's" sake) may not be the best plan unless your goal is to do very well on it. Ive been pretty consistent with this claim over the years. I think that adage that says that a program who wont look at a DO without the USMLE likely wont look at a DO realistically anyway. Obviously if a shining star falls into their laps, theyll grab it and just chalk it up to an outlier effect, but when I applied, I noticed a clear distinction between programs that couldnt wait to interview me/communicate with me and programs that wouldnt even reply to my app, even though I feel that my scores/app in general were at least on a par with most interviewed applicants. So in those cases, taking (and doing well on) the USMLE didnt help me or hurt me, it simply didnt matter. Again, "no program would value a DO more because he took the USMLE"...if they dont value them without it, they wont value them with it.
 

Idiopathic

Newly Minted
Lifetime Donor
15+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2003
Messages
8,362
Reaction score
18
(nicedream) said:
Don't buy that because to do well on the COMLEX you just need to study for the USMLE and spend a day on OMT from what I hear. Most DO students use First Aid for the USMLE and all the other review books geared towards the USMLE don't they? Or do they spend their time cracking backs to prepare? :rolleyes:

They do use those sources, because they have to, as no real comprehensive COMLEX source material exists. That does not mean that it covers all the material or that the question sources can approximate the ridiculousness of the exam. Its not harder because it borrows from a more difficult selection of material (medicine is medicine is medicine) and the OMT isnt that hard, but the question writing styles and the lack of uniformity between instruction makes the test very difficult.
 

(nicedream)

Fitter Happier
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2004
Messages
2,042
Reaction score
1
Idiopathic said:
They do use those sources, because they have to, as no real comprehensive COMLEX source material exists. That does not mean that it covers all the material or that the question sources can approximate the ridiculousness of the exam. Its not harder because it borrows from a more difficult selection of material (medicine is medicine is medicine) and the OMT isnt that hard, but the question writing styles and the lack of uniformity between instruction makes the test very difficult.

I wasn't arguing that COMLEX is easy. What I was saying is that a study focus on COMLEX is not an excuse for doing worse on the USMLE, because in effect studying for them is one and the same since the sources are the same.
 

omn

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2009
Messages
241
Reaction score
13
I took the USMLE today and the COMLEX a week ago.

I hereby proclaim that the USMLE is easier than the COMLEX.

Discuss.
FYI, this is at the top of a Google Search for this topic... someone should just erase this thread, it's totally subjective and old and banned people
 
Top