Resources That Improve Medical Board Licensing Examination Performance

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usmle step 1, comlex-usa level 1, board examination, medical school


Purpose Examine the factors improving performance on national medical licensing board examinations. Rationale Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredited residency programs report the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 and Comprehensive Osteopathic Licensing Examination-USA (COMLEX-USA) Level 1 scores as the most important criteria in selecting candidates to interview. Hypotheses (1) Certain resources are superior for exam preparation. (2) Certain practice tests better assess exam preparedness. (3) USMLE performance will correlate with the COMLEX-USA. Methods One-hundred and two (102) medical students were surveyed regarding preparation for and performance on COMLEX-USA Level 1 and USMLE Step 1. Results USMLE-specific question banks were positively correlated with performance on COMLEX-USA Level 1 and USMLE Step 1 while COMLEX-specific question banks showed no correlation. National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) Comprehensive Basic Science Self Assessment (CBSSA) and National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME) Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Self-Assessment Examination (COMSAE) practice examinations were positively correlated with performance on the USMLE Step 1 and the COMLEX-USA Level 1. Scores on USMLE Step 1 and COMLEX-USA Level 1 were highly correlated. Students who took USMLE Step 1 performed better on COMLEX-USA Level 1 than those who did not. Conclusion COMLEX-specific resources may not adequately prepare students for COMLEX-USA Level 1. Students studying for COMLEX-USA Level 1 may benefit by preparing for USMLE Step 1.