frodobro

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I scored a 480. Anyone here still matched to a decent AOA specialty with a low Comlex? What was your game changer?
 

Ibn Alnafis MD

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Based on information provided by my school about the match for the recent years, people with your stats have matched: EM, FM, IM, Peds, Neuro, OBGYN, PMR, Psych and even GS. Remember that this is purely based off COMLEX and that there are other highly important factors to consider (i.e. auditions, letters, etc...).
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

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The median score on the Comlex is 500. By defintion ONE HALF of all DO's score less than 500.

I assure you the doors are far from closed
I didn't know the median and the mean differ that much. That's a pretty significant skewness or an odd distribution.
 

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I didn't know the average and the mean differ that much.

Oh Boy....

The "Average" and the Mean do mean the same thing.....

The Median is however a different statistical number and is defined as the number separating the higher half of a data sample from the lower half. It is BY DEFINITION the half way marker.

The mean and median are sometimes be the same number, but are actually different statistical values.

Those drug company pharmaceutical studies are gonna LOOOOOOVE you.....
 

IslandStyle808

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I think Madjack knew that and was disputing the median value you posted.
The way HooliganSnail defined median was correct none the less. There are 50% of people who scored at or below the median number and vica versa. The 520 means that the a portion of that 50% pushed the score higher than the 500 mark (meaning the ones that score above 520 did).

EDIT: I take back what I stated about the 500 (HooliganSnail is correct about his definition of median though). The median seems to be around 512 based on the score conversion chart on the NBOME site. The mean is 500...
 
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Mad Jack

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Oh Boy....

The "Average" and the Mean do mean the same thing.....

The Median is however a different statistical number and is defined as the number separating the higher half of a data sample from the lower half. It is BY DEFINITION the half way marker.

The mean and median are sometimes be the same number, but are actually different statistical values.

Those drug company pharmaceutical studies are gonna LOOOOOOVE you.....
As far as I know, the AOA does not, nor have they ever, published median scores. I assumed you had made a mistake and referred to the mean as the median, side median data is not available to the general public. The AOA publishes a tool that allows one to calculate the percentile rank of a given score. That places a 500 at the 44th percentile, which, unless percentiles work different in your world, would mean that 44 percent of people scored a well or less.

Edit: I misread your post, that's my bad, thought you'd replied to me with the mean/median reply that went to Celty and was like, whoa, what a dingus. My apologies!
 
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jw3600

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As far as I know, the AOA does not, nor have they ever, published median scores. I assumed you had made a mistake and referred to the mean as the median, side median data is not available to the general public. The AOA publishes a tool that allows one to calculate the percentile rank of a given score. That places a 500 at the 44th percentile, which, unless percentiles work different in your world, would mean that 44 percent of people scored a well or less.

Regardless, the time of your reply was highly disrespectful and a violation of the ToS and has been reported.
I mean they obviously publish the median if they give percentiles. The median is the 50th percentile.
 
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Mad Jack

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I mean they obviously publish the median if they give percentiles. The median is the 50th percentile.
You can figure it out from the tool- 50th is 513, if I weren't at a bachelor party right now I'd figure out the SD and such. But there's no paper they release with the median, unlike the mean and SD for the mean, which the publish in multiple places.
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

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Oh Boy....

The "Average" and the Mean do mean the same thing.....

The Median is however a different statistical number and is defined as the number separating the higher half of a data sample from the lower half. It is BY DEFINITION the half way marker.

The mean and median are sometimes be the same number, but are actually different statistical values.

Those drug company pharmaceutical studies are gonna LOOOOOOVE you.....
Thank you. I accidently wrote average instead of median and then went on to correct it when I saw that. Can you like not be so snarky?

p.s I'm pretty good at statistics and research methods.
 
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Drrrrrr. Celty

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You can figure it out from the tool- 50th is 513, if I weren't at a bachelor party right now I'd figure out the SD and such. But there's no paper they release with the median, unlike the mean and SD for the mean, which the publish in multiple places.
This makes more sense to me. Elsewise you'd have a very convoluted skewness as opposed to a Gaussian distribution.
 
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gergles

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If you say so...
I actually don't get what your problem is... We're talking about a standardized exam here. Idealistically the mean and median should be the same value (normal distribution) so its actually really easy to make the error of saying one and meaning the other.
 

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The median is 511-512, the mean which I don't remember being explicitly published is 500-520 targeted every year (they claim a 520 mean and 85 SD for right now, but they use terms like "approximately" everywhere I've seen). The standard deviation is somewhere between 75 and 90. Each exam cycle is different though. You won't know your percentile until like May of next year if you took it just now, because they group each year together.

Last year they made a huge change so the median went from 526-527 to 511-512. They do this periodically every 3 years or so to keep the mean and median in that same range of 500-520.

Realistically it makes sense that the distribution is not perfectly Gaussian, because I don't think many are taking it and getting below 350 in the first place, certainly not 2.5% of test takers. Plus you've got people getting like 800 on it.
 
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By the way, last year someone from my school matched at a very competitive surgery subspecialty with scores lower than yours. It was a new program, so I'm sure that helped but still...
 

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Drrrrrr. Celty

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Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

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The amount of biostats a person in medical school needs isn't really something that one needs to spend 2 years teaching. Ex. a basic introduction into reading statistics and then a follow up on basic research design, methods, and how to extrapolate data would at most take a semester with maybe an hour of lecture every other week tops. There's no reason to bother ppl to learn how to calculate confidence intervals, or how to not make type 1 or 2 errors.
 
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NontradCA

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So. The arguing of simple statistics on this thread should tell you that your competition is not that steep. Don't count yourself out of anything just yet.
 

IslandStyle808

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The amount of biostats a person in medical school needs isn't really something that one needs to spend 2 years teaching. Ex. a basic introduction into reading statistics and then a follow up on basic research design, methods, and how to extrapolate data would at most take a semester with maybe an hour of lecture every other week tops. There's no reason to bother ppl to learn how to calculate confidence intervals, or how to not make type 1 or 2 errors.
There have been doctors and statisticians who have actually written books on this subject. Having only that one semester course in biostats/epi is inadequate when the field of medicine keeps changing through the years. A large amount of the stuff learned in medical school will either be obsolete or proven incorrect by the time that student practices as an attending. This is why being able to effectively evaluate journal articles is important, since it is the most recent information.

There are doctors till this day who do procedures that either have weak evidence or almost no evidence at all. For example, arthroscopic knee surgery was done for joint pain for decades. However, a large scale randomized clinical trial in NEJM showed that this surgery was as effective as the placebo. So doctors have been doing this surgery based on weak evidence for years. Then you have doctors who have no problems with weak evidence as long as they can make money off of the procedure.

Then there are those docs who rely so much on mechanistic knowledge that they are in denial when a treatment doesn't work on a prescribed pathway (ex. cholesterol medication that doesn't reduce mortality). I'm not say that people need to be experts to the point of setting up their own studies. What I am referring to is having the knowledge to correctly interpret those confidence intervals, strength of study designs, and knowledge of correct clinical end points. This knowledge is what has the potential to save lives.
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

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There have been doctors and statisticians who have actually written books on this subject. Having only that one semester course in biostats/epi is inadequate when the field of medicine keeps changing through the years. A large amount of the stuff learned in medical school will either be obsolete or proven incorrect by the time that student practices as an attending. This is why being able to effectively evaluate journal articles is important, since it is the most recent information.

There are doctors till this day who do procedures that either have weak evidence or almost no evidence at all. For example, arthroscopic knee surgery was done for joint pain for decades. However, a large scale randomized clinical trial in NEJM showed that this surgery was as effective as the placebo. So doctors have been doing this surgery based on weak evidence for years. Then you have doctors who have no problems with weak evidence as long as they can make money off of the procedure.

Then there are those docs who rely so much on mechanistic knowledge that they are in denial when a treatment doesn't work on a prescribed pathway (ex. cholesterol medication that doesn't reduce mortality). I'm not say that people need to be experts to the point of setting up their own studies. What I am referring to is having the knowledge to correctly interpret those confidence intervals, strength of study designs, and knowledge of correct clinical end points. This knowledge is what has the potential to save lives.

Again, the ability to read a research, understand its design, the limitations of the findings, and to understand what future research should be hypothesized to cover deficits does not take significant amounts of time. What does take time is spending time teaching you how to learn how to use softwares for statistics and or the actually math. Which is utterly useless for doctors.

Likewise learning that your procedures aren't doing crap is a problem in all fields of healthcare. You're legitimately pretending that there is malicious intent and or that it is driven ignorance.
 

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There have been doctors and statisticians who have actually written books on this subject. Having only that one semester course in biostats/epi is inadequate when the field of medicine keeps changing through the years. A large amount of the stuff learned in medical school will either be obsolete or proven incorrect by the time that student practices as an attending. This is why being able to effectively evaluate journal articles is important, since it is the most recent information.

There are doctors till this day who do procedures that either have weak evidence or almost no evidence at all. For example, arthroscopic knee surgery was done for joint pain for decades. However, a large scale randomized clinical trial in NEJM showed that this surgery was as effective as the placebo. So doctors have been doing this surgery based on weak evidence for years. Then you have doctors who have no problems with weak evidence as long as they can make money off of the procedure.

Then there are those docs who rely so much on mechanistic knowledge that they are in denial when a treatment doesn't work on a prescribed pathway (ex. cholesterol medication that doesn't reduce mortality). I'm not say that people need to be experts to the point of setting up their own studies. What I am referring to is having the knowledge to correctly interpret those confidence intervals, strength of study designs, and knowledge of correct clinical end points. This knowledge is what has the potential to save lives.
I suppose a semester would be ok, no more than that. it is too much! You should have an exam on it though before going off to residency.
 

IslandStyle808

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Again, the ability to read a research, understand its design, the limitations of the findings, and to understand what future research should be hypothesized to cover deficits does not take significant amounts of time. What does take time is spending time teaching you how to learn how to use softwares for statistics and or the actually math. Which is utterly useless for doctors.

Likewise learning that your procedures aren't doing crap is a problem in all fields of healthcare. You're legitimately pretending that there is malicious intent and or that it is driven ignorance.
I've had multiple courses in epidemiology where I haven't touched programing software. I'm not saying that doctors have to be able to use softwares for statistics. They need to realize the limitations of the studies that they are using. In the majority of cases, doctors are fine and there is not much that can be done with limited evidence. The problem is there are some doctors who push for treatments that have limited evidence when it is better to do nothing at all. As stated by the linked article, arthroscopic knee surgery is still used widely even today (even with this article and others as strong evidence).

I have not inferred in my statement that there is malicious intent amongst these doctors (there are some who believe in these treatments with weak evidence to a fault, they still care about their patients). However, yes there is ignorance amongst some. At the same time, there is no incentive in making sure a current practice is effective. By learning how to interpret the evidence, even in the early stages of learning, only helps to reduce mistakes made in health care. It is definitely a problem not pretend.

This article shows of the 360 studies reaffirming care, 146 or 40% were already in practices but then advised reversal (stopping of practice).
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23871230
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

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I've had multiple courses in epidemiology where I haven't touched programing software. I'm not saying that doctors have to be able to use softwares for statistics. They need to realize the limitations of the studies that they are using. In the majority of cases, doctors are fine and there is not much that can be done with limited evidence. The problem is there are some doctors who push for treatments that have limited evidence when it is better to do nothing at all. As stated by the linked article, arthroscopic knee surgery is still used widely even today (even with this article and others as strong evidence).

I have not inferred in my statement that there is malicious intent amongst these doctors (there are some who believe in these treatments with weak evidence to a fault, they still care about their patients). However, yes there is ignorance amongst some. At the same time, there is no incentive in making sure a current practice is effective. By learning how to interpret the evidence, even in the early stages of learning, only helps to reduce mistakes made in health care. It is definitely a problem not pretend.

This article shows of the 360 reaffirming care, 146 or 40% were already in practices but then advised reversal (stopping of practice).
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23871230

And I have a year of research design and statistics that make me think that these things have less to do with the capacity to interpret as much as their training, the convention, and what others are doing around them.
 

IslandStyle808

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And I have a year of research design and statistics that make me think that these things have less to do with the capacity to interpret as much as their training, the convention, and what others are doing around them.
What I have realized is that this education should be happening at the medical school level. It is important to know how to effectively combine study design/statistics with the clinical knowledge (ex. heart attack, heart failure etc. are strong clinical end points; but high cholesterol, high blood pressure are not). Its knowing how to interweave the two that will help medical students know how to better interpret journal articles. It is not to say that medical education is not good, but it still need to be improved especially in this area.
 

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Virtually everything I've used in any research and to analyze any articles is information I learned in my high school (granted it afforded college level credit) stats course. 1 semester of basic statistics is sufficient. I took another 2 years of related research methods, statistical analysis, epidemiology, etc. and while useful for using SPSS, SAS, Prism, or other stats software I've since forgotten, and I suppose useful in my own personal research and project design, its really not essential for the type of data interpretation the average doc needs.

What I would really like to see is a more specific course related to the limitations of methods. While thinking analytically was important at both my high school and university, it seems this was not the case for many others. Too many times I see students cite news articles or single studies with low external validity as if they are absolute truths. It has nothing to do with their understanding of statistics, and everything to do with how they interpret anything around them (including commercials, infomercials, etc.).
 
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W19

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It's weird that 400 is passing score for COMLEX and yet one can score >800...

145-150 is nowhere a passing score for step 1.


If the average score for COMLEX is 513 (per MadJack), I wonder what the standard deviation (std) is. Let say the std is 70, so someone who got 800 is >3 std above average. WTF is wrong with that picture?
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

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It's weird that 400 is passing score for COMLEX and yet one can score >800...

145-150 is nowhere a passing score for step 1.


If the average score for COMLEX is 513 (per MadJack), I wonder what the standard deviation (std) is. Let say the std is 70, so someone who got 800 is >3 std above average. WTF is wrong with that picture?

Want to play calculate the Z-score?
 

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It's weird that 400 is passing score for COMLEX and yet one can score >800...

145-150 is nowhere a passing score for step 1.


If the average score for COMLEX is 513 (per MadJack), I wonder what the standard deviation (std) is. Let say the std is 70, so someone who got 800 is >3 std above average. WTF is wrong with that picture?
You're talking single digit people who get 800. That's kind of consistent with the .13% of DOs above 3 SDs. An 800+ is pretty much the same as a 280+, so while such people exist, we're still talking handfuls.

It's unheard of for people to get <170 on the step. It's also unheard of for people to get <350 on the COMLEX. The low pass rate is usually a little less than 2 SDs below the mean. Same is true for the USMLE. Neither are perfectly normal distributions.
 
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Drrrrrr. Celty

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You're talking single digit people who get 800. That's kind of consistent with the .13% of DOs above 3 SDs. An 800+ is pretty much the same as a 280+, so while such people exist, we're still talking handfuls.

It's unheard of for people to get <170 on the step. It's also unheard of for people to get <350 on the COMLEX. The low pass rate is usually a little less than 2 SDs below the mean. Same is true for the USMLE. Neither are perfectly normal distributions.
Do you know if the percentile scores actually amount to concrete % answers right? I.e i've heard that a 400 = 70% correct.
 

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Do you know if the percentile scores actually amount to concrete % answers right? I.e i've heard that a 400 = 70% correct.
There is a correlation, but its nowhere near that high. I think 400 is like 45-48% correct. ~63% corresponds to the average/median (500-520). I think 600+ and you're at ~75%. I think 700 gets you into the 90s. I'm sure it varies though, but those are the rough numbers floating around.
 

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There is a correlation, but its nowhere near that high. I think 400 is like 45-48% correct. ~63% corresponds to the average/median (500-520). I think 600+ and you're at ~75%. I think 700 gets you into the 90s. I'm sure it varies though, but those are the rough numbers floating around.
That's very generous! Based on NBME self assessment exams, 80%+ corresponds to average on step1... I guess USMLE step1 questions might be a lot easier than COMLEX....
 

Ibn Alnafis MD

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That's very generous! Based on NBME self assessment exams, 80%+ corresponds to average on step1... I guess USMLE step1 questions might be a lot easier than COMLEX....
Step1 is also very generous when compared with NBMEs. I'm sure that I missed enough qs to score ~20 points lower than my real score had it been an NBME test.
 
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There is a correlation, but its nowhere near that high. I think 400 is like 45-48% correct. ~63% corresponds to the average/median (500-520). I think 600+ and you're at ~75%. I think 700 gets you into the 90s. I'm sure it varies though, but those are the rough numbers floating around.
I was freaked out by horror stories of people with high COMSAE's and USMLE's failing COMLEX. My USMLE was relatively higher than my COMLEX-- more so than the majority of posters here-- yet I did not come anywhere remotely close to failing. The most disparate scores I have seen here is high 400's/~230.
 

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I was freaked out by horror stories of people with high COMSAE's and USMLE's failing COMLEX. My USMLE was relatively higher than my COMLEX-- more so than the majority of posters here-- yet I did not come anywhere remotely close to failing. The most disparate scores I have seen here is high 400's/~230.
I think the people who fail either never got used to the COMLEX question style which is completely different, as in when I would switch from UWorld to Combank/Comquest my percent correct would drop by like 15-20%, OR they just didn't study OMM (easily 30% of the questions).
 
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