Why does everyone hate on the NBOME? What about constructive feedback?

genessis42

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So yeah. I wanted to ask, what is your main reason for not liking NBOME? Do you think the COMLEX is badly written? Is it because of how they handled Level 2 PE during the COVID pandemic? I always thought their main job was to certify docs. And now after the merger, it is to maintain that DO identity?:shrug:

We're always gonna have to deal with them and the AOA anyways. But what is some constructive criticism you would give them?
 
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Dr. Death

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Main reason for not liking the NBOME is that they are a time and money suck while providing no appreciable benefit to students that can't be attained via the more widely accepted NBME. Furthermore, the COMLEX is both a poorly written and poorly structured exam. This is all without saying anything about how they are handling the PE
 

Ho0v-man

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I’ve read about how vague and terribly written it was. I’ve only taken level 1 and they did revise it starting last year so maybe that’s the disconnect. But it was pretty straightforward. It had very high resolution images. And I felt like most of it (minus omm) was actually pretty useful tbh, even if it was easier than step. My only complaint on test day was that there were just too many questions for the allotted time but they’ve apparently reduced the amount of questions this year so that’s actually pretty awesome.

My beef?

-the scores dont matter. I’ve taken the dang thing and I can’t even interpret what a score means. The percentiles change, often drastically, every year. I have no clue what a score below 600 even kind of means.

-the PE exam is trash. Why do we have less time per pt/note despite having omm?

-the way they’ve handled the whole PE fiasco really shows where their interests lie. Don’t blame anyone who chooses to complete the step series instead.
 
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My problem is 100% how they handled the PE. I know most people don't agree but I actually thought that level 1 was a decent test covering the first two years of med school. The whole PE thing made it painfully obvious that the NBOME cares about money more than the best interests of osteopathic medical students. I really hope what I've read on here about completing the step series to gain licensure will be possible for us.
 

genessis42

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I also hate it when schools try to discourage people from writing the USMLE. It gets a little misleading. But at the same time, no one in my class likes having to write like 5 exams in med school (when you include Steps 1-2, and the COMLEX levels).

But for the COMLEX levels, I've always heard more people complain about the PE than Level 1, and that was also before the COVID hassles happened
 
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Scrubs101

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Agree with most of the above but since we’re listing issues/mistakes they’ve made. (My biggest is with how theyre handling PE rn)

To add something to the list, the amount of anxiety and panic that comsae they released last year that under predicted by like 200pts. Half my class failed that thing and my school and many others previously used those exams as a road block for people at risk of failing
 
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Scrubs101

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I’ve read about how vague and terribly written it was. I’ve only taken level 1 and they did revise it starting last year so maybe that’s the disconnect. But it was pretty straightforward. It had very high resolution images. And I felt like most of it (minus omm) was actually pretty useful tbh, even if it was easier than step. My only complaint on test day was that there were just too many questions for the allotted time but they’ve apparently reduced the amount of questions this year so that’s actually pretty awesome.

My beef?

-the scores dont matter. I’ve taken the dang thing and I can’t even interpret what a score means. The percentiles change, often drastically, every year. I have no clue what a score below 600 even kind of means.

-the PE exam is trash. Why do we have less time per pt/note despite having omm?

-the way they’ve handled the whole PE fiasco really shows where their interests lie. Don’t blame anyone who chooses to complete the step series instead.
Yeah I’d agree that comlex qs are straight forward. My biggest issue with level 1 was the timing and the break set up, only getting to take a break every 100qs was rough for my caffeinated bladder. Also the fact that they test trash OMM concepts heavily (chapmans/cranial).

But even though it wasnt the worst exam ive ever taken, step was def a wayyyyy more enjoyable experience. I felt quite lost during my comlex, it could have been the fatigue of a 400q exam though.
 
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genessis42

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But I've always been told that the OMT questions help inflate the COMLEX score for Level 1. But some people hate having to do OMT during Level 2 PE.

But wouldn't a numerical COMLEX score benefit us since Step 1 will be P/F?
 

dabo52

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I hate the NBOME because of the way they have handled PE. Level 1 was not that bad but the NBOME shouldn’t be ruining residency placements by forcing people to take the Level 2 PE. This puts us at a massive disadvantage compared to US MDs and foreign grads.
 
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AnatomyGrey12

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We're always gonna have to deal with them and the AOA anyways.
I'm not convinced this is true. They are behaving like an organization that is fighting to remain relevant. SOMA is voting on a national resolution this fall for a unified exam series, I.e. USMLE, with DO schools having an OMM exit exam. The fact that has gotten to the point of being a real SOMA resolution is telling. Whether or not it passes this year it shows that the idea is gaining steam with a lot of organizations, and the NBME and FSMB have stated they are ready for such an event. It's only a matter of time at this point, the same way a merger of GME was always inevitable. Their continual gross mistakes during COVID, from PE to the Prometric fiasco, have highlighted just how poorly they are run. The calls for an overhaul will only get louder.
But wouldn't a numerical COMLEX score benefit us since Step 1 will be P/F?
Lolololoolololololololololololololololololol

No.

COMLEX is a worthless test that doesn't actually test anything. Level 2 is about 30-40% biostats, ethics, legal jargon, and OMM and no way a test of clinical skills gained during rotations. PE has zero evidence for it. Level 1 is probably the "best" of the COMLEX series but, as stated above, the scores are meaningless because the stats on them fluctuate widely from year to year. The USMLE series is just a better written exam that actually tests what you should have learned in that academic stage and it's readily apparent to anyone that has taken both.

If they were any other organization in any other field the way they have handled PE during this would have led to multiple executives losing their jobs and complete overhaul of the company.
 
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Goro

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What I love about this thread is that FINALLY instead of pissing and moaning, we're seeing some valid criticisms all at once, listed like an indictment. This is what you and your more senior allies take to the Powers That Be to eventually get rid of COMLEX.

I have been agitating for years to make COMLEX a med school exit exam, and have USMLE be the clinician silencing requirement.

This thought just occurred to me...I'll field test it now: find out who the individual members of NBOME. Work on them individually (except Gimpel). Start with the youngest members. Look for chinks in thier armor.

This will have to be a multi-year process, alas, and be done from the inside and out....kind of like activists buying one share of stock to collectively get enough people in on shareholder's meetings and force a company to change its direction.

OK, enough musing for now. I have some online training to do.
 

popopopop

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A bit off topic, but funny story. When I took level 1, I was listening to a murmur on a pop-up video. I didn't know I had to exit out of the pop-up, and I guess it was active in the background.

i was press for time and didn't want to take any chances since I've heard of people crashing while the timer was still going. I ending up taking the majority of my test with a thumping heart murmur throughout.
 

AnatomyGrey12

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What I love about this thread is that FINALLY instead of pissing and moaning, we're seeing some valid criticisms all at once, listed like an indictment. This is what you and your more senior allies take to the Powers That Be to eventually get rid of COMLEX.

I have been agitating for years to make COMLEX a med school exit exam, and have USMLE be the clinician silencing requirement.

This thought just occurred to me...I'll field test it now: find out who the individual members of NBOME. Work on them individually (except Gimpel). Start with the youngest members. Look for chinks in thier armor.

This will have to be a multi-year process, alas, and be done from the inside and out....kind of like activists buying one share of stock to collectively get enough people in on shareholder's meetings and force a company to change its direction.

OK, enough musing for now. I have some online training to do.

I will admit, it's been kind of satisfying to see them make such poor decision. It has basically confirmed everything I've ever thought about them.
 

Sardonix

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Everything about the NBOME shouts "me too!" And I don't mean the valid social movement supporting sexual assault victims, I mean the NBOME and COMLEX are perfectly encapsulated in the trope of a whiny, snot-nosed little brother who scream cries "Me! Me too!" and takes every activity and makes it longer and more expensive without adding any value. Oh and if you say something like, "No you can't play Xbox with me, I can literally see the feces on your hands (PE exam)!" they wet their pants and run away crying and your parents (COCA) force you to play with them. While you may put up with that as a child because that's the job of an older sibling, as a med student you have no reason to give a crap about them.

The NBOME knows COMSAEs are inferior test predicting tools, but we still have to pay for them and we still don't get to see any answers after taking them.
The NBOME knows COMLEX is inferior to the USMLE and is not respected by PDs across the nation, yet they are just fine with it being more expensive and scores having the predictability of an coke addict's EKG reading in the ER.
The NBOME knows that COMLEX PE is more expensive and more inconvenient since there are fewer testing sites and we have to do fake OMM (cranial) with less time.
And the NBOME knows that only 5% of DOs actually practice OMM and they likely won't associate with the AOA after they enter practice.

But they're fine with all that because they get paid and/or their cognitive dissonance requires them to worship "the DO difference" instead of realizing they actively make DO student's time in medical school worse.
 
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genessis42

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The comments on "the DO Difference" always bugged me. I mean, the good match results are based off the work you put into it as a student really

I'm guessing the AOA and NBOME want to retain that DO identity after the merger while assimilating into the MD world at the same time.
 
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Basically their handling of the PE, their poorly written questions on the COMLEX exams, the insistence that we shouldn't take USMLE even though most residency programs want it in order to interview applicants, and the lack of diversity on their board. I could go on and on.
 

Osminog

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The real purpose of the NBOME is to contribute the illusion of a "DO difference" in a world where the vast majority of DOs do their jobs in exactly the same manner as their MD counterparts do. "Look at how different we are from those allopaths! We have our own standardized tests! Sure, they're of inferior quality and the score scaling shifts drastically year to year—but these exams are all ours, and the MDs can't have 'em!"
 

Sardonix

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The real purpose of the NBOME is to contribute the illusion of a "DO difference" in a world where the vast majority of DOs do their jobs in exactly the same manner as their MD counterparts do. "Look at how different we are from those allopaths! We have our own standardized tests! Sure, they're of inferior quality and the score scaling shifts drastically year to year—but these exams are all ours, and the MDs can't have 'em!"
Every MD student and physician: "Ohhhhh noooo! This is such a travesty. Alexa, play Despacito to celebrate matching into literally whatever we want."
 
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Sign the Petition! Lets get the PE cancelled!
not sure if you are the author of the petition or just forwarding it, but i suggest rewording the line "only DO students are being forced to travel". The NBOME has specifically stated "no students are forced to travel if they don't feel safe". All it would take to refute this point is to show the COCA resolution (which we all know is bull shark). The rest of it is good.
 

dabo52

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not sure if you are the author of the petition or just forwarding it, but i suggest rewording the line "only DO students are being forced to travel". The NBOME has specifically stated "no students are forced to travel if they don't feel safe". All it would take to refute this point is to show the COCA resolution (which we all know is bull shark). The rest of it is good.
I’m not the author of the petition. I just saw it on the internet yesterday and thought to spread the word so we get the PE cancelled. The NBOME has to budge eventually b/c COVID is getting worse again. There is no way it will be safe to administer the exam in September.
 
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