Supportive community helps TCOM Class of 2019 excel


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By Alex Branch


 
The Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Class of 2019 earned the highest scores on a national board exam since the medical school expanded in 2011.

The students achieved a 99.1 percent pass rate and a mean test score of 594 on the COMLEX-USA Level 1 exam administered by the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners.

Both the class’ pass rate and mean test score rank above the national average rates and mean scores.

The National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners is the leading assessment organization for the osteopathic medical profession.

“We’re all really excited, not just for ourselves but for each other,” said David Schulze, third-year student and President of the Class of 2019. “Probably one of the most important things we did was decide during our first year that we wanted to create a class community that is very supportive of each other.”

That meant students shared class notes and directed each other toward helpful resources. They also created helpful spreadsheets containing information about diseases and distributed them to the entire class.

Students have heard horror stories about other medical education institutions where students reserve from the library so other students couldn’t check them out, just to get a competitive edge.

“We decided medicine is not me beating you,” Schulze said. “It’s about working together to help our patients. Our attitude is ‘If you do well, I do well.’”

Schulze said students appreciated Health Science Center faculty for their willingness to listen to students’ suggestions, such as providing more practice questions before exams, allowing students to video record power point presentations and providing more cumulative feedback on students’ exam performance.

Frank A. Filipetto, DO, FACOFP, Interim Dean of TCOM, noted that Class of 2019 test scores were above the national mean score in all disciplines.

“We are certainly very proud of this class for how they are performing on the national exams,” Dr. Filipetto said. “It is a reflection of the hard work and preparation by the students and the quality of the education they are receiving at TCOM.”

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