• Document: Will Taking the USMLE Step 1 Examination Strengthen My Residency Application?
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Will Taking the USMLE Step 1 Examination Strengthen My Residency Application? Introduction: the students who make Donald Sefcik, DO, MBA appointments to see me ask if and Elizabeth Petsche, JD Medical education is in a rapidly they should take the USMLE. Division of Faculty evolving state of incredible Usually, it’s the very first Development, Learning, change, especially in the area of and Leadership question that I get asked.” graduate medical education College of Osteopathic (GME). As the result of an In fact, not only has the question Medicine at Michigan State University compiled agreement between the of taking the USMLE Step 1 to this primer as a resource American Osteopathic have a score available to share for osteopathic medical Association (AOA), the American with residency program directors students nationwide. Association of Colleges of become more common, students Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) are increasingly questioning and the Accreditation Council for whether or not to complete Graduate Medical Education Step 1 and Step 2CK of the (ACGME), there will be a single USMLE prior to applying for unified accreditation system in residency positions. place by June 30, 2020.1 Between 1985 and 2006, the The dynamic nature of the GME number of osteopathic medical environment includes students enrolled in ACGME quantifiable and substantial training programs increased impact on not only the 419 percent, with more than osteopathic profession and 66 percent of all osteopathic osteopathic postgraduate medical school graduates training (residency) training, but also in ACGME programs.2 From 2002 upon future decisions that through 2012 the number of osteopathic medical (OM) osteopathic medical students students will need to make. taking the USMLE Step 1 exam Most notably, OM students are increased by 280 percent.3 Based increasingly questioning the on these recent trends, current benefits/risks and potential projections are that between 55 consequences of taking or not and 65 percent of all second-year taking the USMLE (United States osteopathic students will take Medical Licensure Exam) Step 1. the USMLE Step 1 examination in 2015. According to Kim Peck, MBA, director of academic and career Peck has noted, “The number of guidance in the College of our (MSUCOM) students who are Osteopathic Medicine at taking the USMLE has essentially Michigan State University tripled in the past three (MSUCOM), “A vast majority of 1|Page USMLE PRIMER for Osteopathic Medical Students (March 2015) Will Taking the USMLE Step 1 Examination Strengthen My Residency Application? years. It is likely that 60 to 70 “good score” can increase a percent of our students will take candidate’s competitiveness for a USMLE Step 1 this spring.” position in an ACGME residency Taking the USMLE program, providing more choices Guideline 1 Why Take the USMLE? of program type and geographic The impact of a location. Although the National The majority (70.2 percent) of USMLE score on Resident Matching Program osteopathic medical students (NRMP) Program Director (PD) whether a student (Class of 2010) who responded to Survey (2014)5 reports that 77 matches into an a national survey reported that percent of ACGME residency they believe that osteopathic ACGME-accredited programs accept Comprehensive medical students should take the Osteopathic Medical Licensing residency can be USMLE.4 The most common Examination (COMLEX) scores, positive or negative. reason cited for taking the certain specialties and some USMLE is to “keep options open.” highly preferred geographic The decision to take the USMLE is locations only consider not binary (i.e., simply yes or no). osteopathic students who have It d

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