Saturday, July 19, 2008

An Awesome COMLEX score

What is a "good" score on the COMLEX?

Anything above a 650 is considered very competitive, above a 700 means that you pretty much aced the thing.

Literally speaking, passing is good (means you understand/can apply the minimum amount of medical information necessary to practice medicine), beating the mean is a great score (meaning you beat over 50% of other test takers). Anything above that is gravy.

However, unfortunate though it may be, many programs unofficially (and somewhat illegally) prefer their applicants to have certain scores before they invite applicants for an interview. This is the harsh truth, helping the program directors sort through the deluge of applications they receive starting in late july/early august. More competitive specialties/programs "require" higher COMLEX scores than others. That being said, an application is more than a board score, so if your comlex score does not meet your imagined cutoff, don't let it stop you from applying everywhere you want to go.

Finally, I don't think anyone can honestly answer your question. If you have a question as to your competitiveness for a particular specialty, I would recommend talking to 4th years at your school who are applying in your chosen specialty - what are programs looking for this year. How high are their board scores, how many applications did they submit, how many interviews offers are they receiving? Are they looking at similar programs to those you are interested in?

How to Predict USMLE Scores From COMLEX-USA Scores

Graduates of colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs) frequently apply to residency programs approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

These residency programs commonly use United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) scores among their selection criteria.

Osteopathic medical students take the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA) at the time USMLE is given, during the second and fourth years of medical school.

Osteopathic medical students who apply to ACGME residency programs must either take USMLE in addition to COMLEX-USA or face a potential selection bias.

A correlation between the two examinations would afford ACGME residency directors the opportunity to place osteopathic standardized tests into a frame of reference.

In addition, it would allow a measure of confidence for COM students to understand how they compare with their allopathic counterparts.

Friday, July 18, 2008

USMLE/COMLEX Scores--What is considered good?

It instead of citing specific scores, it's better to think in terms of "passing", "getting the mean", "beating the mean" "top third", and "acing."

Most AOA or ACGME-approved programs for family medicine would be happy with "passing." Most of the more selective ones probably only take students who at least "get the mean."

I think for internal medicine, "getting the mean" is pretty much required, but there are probably lots of program who take students who just "pass." More of the selective IM programs will want students in the "top third."

Surgery, at least "top third."

Neurosurg, at least "top third" and probably "acing." Ditto for ortho.

Peds, probably "getting the mean" or "
beating the mean."

OB/GYN, at least "top third."

Psych/Neuro, just "passing" is fine with the exception of some very top programs who probably only take students who "beat the mean."

PM&R, "passing", more selective programs at least "beating the mean" and probably "top third."