By Ryan Nguyen
Viscerosomatic reflexes (VSR’s) account for up to 20% of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment questions for COMLEX examinations. While VSR’s for the head and neck (T1-4), heart (T1-4), and respiratory tract (T2-7) may make intuitive sense for most DO students, the rest of the visceral organs and corresponding spinal level are easy to confuse. However, these points can be easily memorized with a little effort in order to boost COMLEX Level 1 scores.
Savarese’s OMT Review (“the green book”) provides a chart of all the relevant VSR’s that may be tested on the COMLEX (3rd edition, chapter 10), but there is a better way to ensure you are maximizing your OMT section points on test day: SLP SKU BLP.
What does SLP SKU BLP mean, exactly? Besides the delirious ramblings of second-year deep in board preparation, SLP SKU BLP is a mnemonic I used to increase scores on the OMT portion of my COMLEX Level 1 exam. Each of the letters represents a visceral organ that is linked to spinal cord levels that innervate that viscera. The following table highlights the relationship between these organs and their spinal levels:
By Ryan Nguyen
In a statement released in late February 2014, the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) and the American Council on Graduate Medical Education (AGCME) announced they have finally agreed to a single accreditation system for graduate medical education. The surprising news comes on the heels of previously failed negotiations in July 2013.
From the official press release:
“From July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2020, AOA-accredited training programs will transition to ACGME recognition and accreditation. There will continue to be osteopathic-focused training programs under the ACGME accreditation system. Two osteopathic review committees will be developed to evaluate and set standards for the osteopathic aspects of training programs seeking osteopathic recognition. DOs and MDs would have access to all training programs. There will be prerequisite competencies and a recommended program of training for MD graduates who apply for entry into osteopathic-focused programs. AOA and AACOM will become ACGME member organizations, and each will have representation on ACGME’s board of directors.” (more…)
By Ryan Nguyen
Many osteopathic medical students at the beginning of their second year struggle to come up with a game-plan to prepare for the COMLEX Level 1 and USMLE Step 1. With a disturbing number of resources and study plans to choose from, how can students determine what strategy will maximize their board scores?
Early in my second year, I scoured the depths of the internet pouring over the study schedules and tips of past test takers. I was looking for “the one,” a study schedule that would get me the scores of my dreams. The dirty secret to success? There was no one study plan that triumphs above all. While they all varied in their day-to-day plans, study plans from top scorers all echoed the same two principles: start preparation early and do lots and lots of practice questions.
This post is dedicated to when to start preparing and how many practice questions to do. (more…)
One of the biggest differences between applying for osteopathic residencies compared to allopathic residencies is doing an audition rotation. I was recently on a rotation where the program director told me they had not ranked anyone who hadn’t rotated with them in ten years. Audition rotations allow a program to see if you fit into their system. They also allow you the chance to prove you know your stuff. But they can also sink you in a matter of hours. In the osteopathic world, audition rotations are a must, and the first half of your fourth year is going to be filled with high stress rotations.
This post is dedicated to how to schedule your rotations and how to succeed at them.
While the process of applying to residency can be very stressful, there are resources available through the American Osteopathic Association (AOA®) that make finding residencies a breeze. Researching residencies can be a fun way to kill time. I have found that it gives me something to work for, giving test taking and studying some semblance of purpose. With a fresh batch of third years in the hospitals, I was surprised to see how many didn’t know about various web sites and search engines for AOA-approved residencies. So, this post is just a friendly reminder of what resources are available to make your life a little easier.
With COMLEX now behind you, it is time to start learning some clinical medicine. One area in which many osteopathic students have trouble is using OMM in the hospital. Many students are afraid to ask attendings permission to perform simple techniques. So here are a few tips to help you get the ball rolling.
Congratulations to most of you on finishing the COMLEX Level One exam. But, just when you thought you could take a break from standardized testing, the COMAT exams are right around the corner. The COMAT exams are the osteopathic version of the allopathic shelf exams. While every school uses COMAT scores differently, the goal of this post is to give you some tips for studying and rotations in general.