In a lot the identical method the Step 1 of the US Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) moved to a pass-fail setup, the primary stage of the Complete Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination of the US (COMLEX) started administering the examination as pass-fail earlier this month.

A webinar hosted by the AMA appeared on the adjustments to the COMLEX Stage 1 examination and the way they may affect osteopathic medical college students. Listed below are a few of the key nuggets supplied by the three college presenters.

The transfer to take COMLEX Stage 1 pass-fail was one aimed toward pupil wellness.

“Nationally now we have an enormous concern that we put our college students by means of an incredible quantity of stress, and we really feel like we lose them within the spring of their second 12 months,” mentioned Isaac J. Kirstein, DO, a dean on the Cleveland campus of Ohio College Heritage Faculty of Osteopathic Drugs. “The nationwide consensus of medical faculties was to push again and begin the dialog {that a} licensing examination shouldn’t be so disruptive for medical training.”

Dr. Kirstein identified that each the USMLE and COMLEX exams had been misused as a instrument in residency choice. Their authentic and validated function is for medical licensure.

Discover out the solutions to medical college students’ prime questions concerning the USMLE Step 1 rating change.


A COMLEX Stage 1 rating was a key metric in acquiring residency interviews for DO college students in some circumstances. With that rating shifting to pass-fail, the components that would substitute it embrace a COMLEX Stage 2 rating and evaluations of medical efficiency such because the dean’s letter, additionally known as the Medical Pupil Efficiency Analysis (MSPE).

“There are plenty of other ways to evaluate you within the medical area,” mentioned J. Aaron Allgood, DO, chair of the medical science training division at A.T. Nonetheless College. “That’s the place I see the emphasis going an increasing number of is your medical efficiency, with the MSPE, which takes all the performances … after which after all your Step 2 and Stage 2 [exams], which switches from fundamental science over to medical.”

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4 important ideas in your ultimate weeks of Step 1 examine

Osteopathic faculties require college students to move the COMLEX Stage 1 and Stage 2 exams for commencement. The USMLE isn’t a part of the required path for DO licensure or commencement, however many DO college students nonetheless take the examination to assist their probabilities throughout the residency-selection course of.

Those that plan to take COMLEX Stage 1 and USMLE Step 1 want to ensure they’re assured they will move each exams, mentioned Jody Gerome, DO, senior affiliate dean for medical training at Ohio College Heritage Faculty of Osteopathic Drugs.

“It is determined by your capacity and your ability set,” Dr. Gerome mentioned. “One of many largest mistake a pupil could make is to elect to take each COMLEX Stage 1 and USMLE [Step 1] and fail one examination.”

A failing rating on both examination, even if you happen to go on to move on the second try, will probably be famous to residency program administrators if you apply for positions, and can possible put you at a drawback, Dr. Gerome famous.  

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USMLE Step 1 rating change: Solutions to medical college students’ prime questions

Osteopathic medical college students typically really feel they need to take each board exams to compete with medical college students from MD faculties who take the USMLE sequence. With each first exams within the COMLEX and USMLE sequence going pass-fail, how may that affect the second part of these exams?

“Focus on along with your residency advising employees at your school the specialty that you’re focused on, the geographic space you’d prefer to go to, what your complete CV and resume bundle seems like and decide on Step 2 test-taking based mostly on all that info,” mentioned Dr. Gerome.
“I apply drugs in Ohio, which has numerous historically osteopathic coaching packages and plenty of of our graduates are nonetheless profitable matching into a lot of these aggressive packages with out taking USMLE.

Find out about AMA coverage on COMLEX and USMLE equivalency in residency choice, final modified in 2021.



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