American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

OMS IV Resources

Resources for a Successful Fourth Year

Make studying, doing well on your rotations, and passing your exams your priority, second only to taking good care of your health and well-being.

Tips for Rotations

  • Do audition rotations at programs where you are interested in interviewing for residency.

  • Consider doing an international rotation; DOCARE International offers rotations at its clinics in Guatemala and Nicaragua.

  • You may be interested in doing a research rotation, like those offered by the  Centers for Osteopathic Research and Education (CORE).

  • Investigate doing an "acting internship" or "sub-internship," where you and another student are paired to do the work of one intern.

The Match: Know Your Options

  • Familiarize yourself with the AOA Match and learn how the match will work as the AOA and ACGME move toward a single GME accreditation system.

  • The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) Match, also known as the allopathic or ACGME match, follows the same basic procedures as the AOA Match but occurs approximately one month later. You can register for both matches, but if you match in the AOA process, the NRMP drops you from its process so that there is no chance of matching in two concurrent programs.  If you do not match into an AOA program, you continue seamlessly into the NRMP Match.

  • The Military Match is for students already on active duty; DOs and MDs who graduate from medical school fill first-year graduate medical education (FYGME) positions in the military, which are equivalent to internships. Since the Military Match occurs first and the military doesn’t have a surplus of FYGME openings, you may still register for the AOA or the NRMP Match. 

COMLEX: What to Expect

  • You will take the COMLEX-USA Level 2-Clinical Evaluation (Level 2-CE), a one-day, computerized, multiple-choice examination, which is taken in two four-hour test sessions, and contains questions related to clinical presentations and clinical disciplines.

  • You will also take the COMLEX-USA Level 2-Performance Evaluation (Level 2-PE), which tests clinical skills in the context of clinical encounters with standardized patients. COMLEX-USA Level 2-PE is only administered at the NBOME’s National Center for Clinical Skills Testing in Conshohocken, Pa., near Philadelphia.  In each meeting, you will have up to 14 minutes to evaluate and treat the patient, and up to nine minutes to complete a written SOAP (Subjective, Objective, Assessment, Plan) note.

  • Passing COMLEX Level 2-CE and Level 2-PE is required for graduation. 

  • You will take the COMLEX-USA Level 3 during your residency; it must be passed before the third year of postdoctoral training.  It is a one-day, computerized, multiple-choice examination, covering the clinical disciplines to solve medical problems in an integrated fashion. The exam consists of two four-hour test sessions. All questions are related to all clinical presentations and disciplines.

Additional Resources 

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