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  • sdadmin
    February 21, 2019 at 3:08 pm #2339
    1. WHEREAS, the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination
    2. (COMLEX) –USA is required of all osteopathic medical students; and
    3. WHEREAS, the COMLEX-USA has a maximum score of 999, with a historic mean score of
    4. 500-5501; and
    5. WHEREAS, Osteopathic medical students have the option to take the Unite States Medical
    6. Licensing Exam (USMLE), and approximately 58% (3,786) Osteopathic medical students took
    7. the USMLE Step 1in 20172,3; and
    8. WHEREAS, Osteopathic medical students who have taken USMLE have historically been more
    9. likely to successfully match to Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)
    10. accredited programs4,5; and
    11. WHEREAS, there is no official conversion formula for direct comparison between COMLEX
    12. and USMLE scoring systems6–9; and
    13. WHEREAS, in 2018, the American Medical Association (AMA) resolved to “promote equal
    14. acceptance of the USMLE and COMLEX at all United States residency programs,” and “to
    15. educate Residency Program Directors on how to interpret and use COMLEX scores… [and]
    16. promote higher COMLEX utilization with residency program matches in light of the new single
    17. accreditation system”10; and
    18. WHEREAS, by 2020, all residency programs will be governed by a single accreditation system
    19. overseen by the ACGME; and
    20. WHEREAS, the AMA has stated that COMLEX and USMLE should viewed equally, there
    21. currently exists no direct mechanism of comparison for these two exams; and
    22. WHEREAS, despite AMA statements, the Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Program
    23. Directors have recommended osteopathic students take the USMLE in addition to COMLEX “to
    24. allow direct comparison to their allopathic peers” and increase chances of matching into top
    25. residency programs11; and
    26. WHEREAS, the creation of a direct comparison score report would allow directors of both
    27. historically Allopathic and Osteopathic residency programs to more easily and consistently
    28. evaluate all candidates without requiring multiple equivalent examinations; and
    29. WHEREAS, the creation of a direct score report would promote the implementation of the
    30. AMA’s recommendation that these two examinations be viewed as equal; therefore be it
    31. RESOLVED, that SOMA recommends that the AOA instruct the 31 NBOME to make available a
    32. direct comparison examination score report to residency directors for simple and consistent
    33. evaluation of Osteopathic medical students in the new single accreditation system for graduate
    34. medical education.


    1. Scoring Principles — NBOME. https://www.nbome.org/exams-assessments/comlexusa/comlex-usa-level-1/scores-transcripts/scoring-principles/. Accessed February 4, 2019.
    2. United States Medical Licensing Examination | Performance Data. https://www.usmle.org/performance-data/default.aspx#2017_step-1. Accessed February 4, 2019.
    3. McCulloch E. National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners & COMLEX-USA. 2017:101.
    4. Weizberg M, Kass D, Husain A, Cohen J, Hahn B. Should osteopathic students applying to allopathic emergency medicine programs take the USMLE Exam? West J Emerg Med. 2014;15(1):101-106. doi:10.5811/westjem.2013.8.16169
    5. Hasty RT, Snyder S, Suciu GP, Moskow JM. Graduating Osteopathic Medical Students’ Perceptions and Recommendations on the Decision to Take the United States Medical Licensing Examination. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2012;112(2):83-89. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2012.112.2.83
    6. Chick DA, Friedman HP, Young VB, Solomon D. Relationship Between COMLEX and USMLE Scores Among Osteopathic Medical Students who Take Both Examinations. Teach Learn Med. 2010;22(1):3-7. doi:10.1080/10401330903445422
    7. Lee AS, Chang L, Feng E, Helf S. Reliability and Validity of Conversion Formulas Between Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination of the United States Level 1 and United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1. J Grad Med Educ. 2014;6(2):280-283. doi:10.4300/JGME-D-13-00302.1
    8. Sarko J, Svoren E, Katz E. COMLEX-1 and USMLE-1 Are Not Interchangeable Examinations. Acad Emerg Med. 2010;17(2):218-220. doi:10.1111/j.1553-2712.2009.00632.x
    9. Schenarts PJ, Melin A. The Allopathic Program Director’s Dilemma. J Grad Med Educ. 2014;6(2):351-352. doi:10.4300/JGME-D-14-00184.1
    10. H-275.953 The Grading Policy for Medical Licensure Examinations | AMA. https://policysearch.ama-assn.org/policyfinder/detail/955%20?uri=%2FAMADoc%2FHOD.xml-0-1931.xml. Accessed February 4, 2019.
    11. Stobart-Gallagher M, Smith L, Giordano J, et al. Recommendations from the Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors: Osteopathic Applicants. West J Emerg Med. 2019;20(1):111-116. doi:10.5811/westjem.2018.9.39814

    Submitted by:
    Joel Manzi, OMS-II – Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
    Nathan Reynolds, OMS-II – Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
    Shaina Rood, OMS-II – Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
    Gwendolyn Kuzmishin, OMS-I – Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine

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  1. John
    February 25, 2019 at 9:22 pm #2419

    Why not propose every medical student take the USMLE, eliminating the COMLEX-USA, and all DO candidate must take and pass OMM Comat to graduate?

    Charge the same price of the current complex for the OMM Comat.