Please Pay It Forward!

Hello, my name is Danielle Maholtz and I am the National Medical Education Student Representative to the Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents (COSGP). I am reaching out to you today with the hopes of gathering resources, tips and advice from you on any aspect of osteopathic medical education you feel you can contribute to. Our hope is to gather this information to share with all osteopathic medical students nationally, through their student government leaders and our website Please take a few moments to fill out as much of the survey below as you can. All information will be de-identified before sharing and will be grouped into the categories they are listed under.

Thank you so much for your time and assistance to future osteopathic medical students!


Danielle Maholtz, OMS IV (


Advice and Information on 4th Year

Looking for information on the process of 4th year, the timeline you need to follow and the financial planning you should be thinking about? Look no further! Attached is a presentation developed by our Medical Education Committee on the ins and outs of 4th year. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact!

Download (PPTX, 3.34MB)


Presentation on the Past, Present and Future of GME with additional information on the IOM Report on GME developed by the Medical Education Committee in Collaboration with the Legislative Committee. Special thanks to National COSGP Legislative Representative Gabrielle Rozenberg and general council member Frederick Stine! Any questions can be directed to

Download (PPTX, 2.05MB)

7 Reasons to Attend DO Day on Capitol Hill.

  1. Reasons to Attend DO Day on Capitol Hill.


As medical students we get so wrapped up in our own heads that we forget to look around. The world is turning and the wheels of government grind away at the problems of our day. Policy is being made that not only affects your current course of education (student loan funding) but also your future career (loan repayment, Graduate medical education, Medicare reimbursement) Its time you made your voice heard.

Here’s how you sign up!


  1. Because you’re kind of a big deal

Big deal

You are a future doctor. That means you will be put in positions of leadership and people will ask your opinion and expect you to be the expert. We all did tons of research to learn about how to be successful applicants to medical school, how much more time then should we spend preparing ourselves for our careers? The elected officials need to hear from you, they don’t know the reality of your story and they certainly wont find out if you don’t tell them. If you don’t speak up the only other voice they’ll hear is that of dollars and cents. If they don’t see the people behind the student loans they are financing they might stop financing them. Its been proposed before. They need to hear your story.



  1. You are either at the table or on the table:

roast pig

This is the least gross picture I could find of a roast pig about to be eaten and if we don’t speak up the savory flesh of our beloved profession will be picked apart and patient care will be lost along the way. The elected officials need to hear from you, they don’t know the reality of your story and what drives you to pursue the most grueling, time intensive education in America and they certainly wont find out if you don’t tell them. If you don’t speak up the only other voice they’ll hear is dollars and cents. If they don’t see the people behind the student loans they are financing they might stop financing them. Its been proposed before. They need to hear your story.


  1. Your future self will thank you:

Building structure in Lisbon's Nations park train station

We sit here behind our copies of FirstAid stressing about a test when in reality we should be planning our next move. The world is a big place full of opportunity for those who know what they want. The government may not be able to give you what you want but they sure can stop you from getting it. Its time for us to influence the change we want to see.


  1. Your current self will thank you:


Joining over 1000 fellow medical students in a common goal to impress upon our nations leaders the message of a profession is powerful. Its invigorating to see your classmates a colleagues descend on the lawmakers with a united voice, and you can be sure that as the largest single day lobbying contingent, we do not go unnoticed.



  1. Your CV will thank you:


Lets be honest, we all want to bolster that CV with meaningful events about which we can speak at residency interviews. What better event than one that shapes the course of an entire profession effecting both students, doctors and patients. I have not met a student who attended this event and didn’t have an amazing story to tell about the impact they made.


  1. Its super fun!


Anytime you get over 1000 medical students together the possibilities for fun are boundless. You will make new friends and forge relationships that will prove valuable in the future. With the added benefit of social media you never have to lose contact with your new partners in advocacy plus, you never know when you might need a place to crash during an away rotation.


  1. Your school and clubs probably want to give you money to attend! 


Did you ask your school for money to attend? Have you coordinated with other students? Have you asked your SGA or SOMA chapter for funds? My first year I went to DC for 4 days and it cost me $100. By cobbling together funds and sharing sleeping arrangements you can travel on the cheap.


Here’s how you sign up!

Then get smart about the issues here.

Recap of the OMED Presentation on The Continuing Quest for the Elusive Perfect Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) by The NBOME

Written by Harika Kantamneni, Danielle Maholtz and The COSGP Medical Education Committee

The NBOME’s mission is to protect the public by providing means to assess competencies for osteopathic medicine and related health care professions

NBOME began identifying question topics by first identifying key domains and competencies for future osteopathic general physicians

  • Blueprints of these can be found here

About 40% of written and submitted questions make it past the approval and editing process to become used as actual test questions

COMLEX Level 1 focuses more on understanding the basis of medicine and COMLEX Level 2 is more focused on understanding patient management

Miller’s Triangle Hierarchy:

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 9.23.11 PM

Item Architecture

  • Item Stem composed of a Clinical Scenario (bulk of an item) with a Lead In –
    • Clinical Scenario – the first sentence summaries the who, what where, when and why followed by relevant historical information and physical findings
    • Lead In serves as a connector between the clinical scenario and the answer options
  • Answer Options composed of both an Answer Key (correct option) and Distractors

Steps to write a question

  1. Define the concept to test
  2. Develop the scenario
  3. Write the lead-in
  4. Identify the key and design the distractors

Requirements for every item submitted to the NBOME

  • Item Concept that is non-controversial and requires high-order thinking on a high-impact element of a topic
  • Clinical Scenario
  • Lead-In
  • Answer Options
  • Reference that is a current and NBOME recognized source
  • Media (if applicable)

Questions must require reading of the scenario and lead-in for the item to be answered, but should be able to be answered prior to looking at the answer options

Bad Lead-Ins are avoided, where an item has a vague and unfocused lead-in, which forces the examinee to guess the objective of the item and therefore negates the concept being tested in the exam

The NBOME doesn’t use phrases/clues unnecessarily

Distractors highlight the understudying students through common misconceptions
, faulty logic
, content associated with the items in the questions

Bad answer choices

  • Paired Options – two options that are visually similar, are closely related or are complete opposites
  • Overlapping options – when two or more answer options coincide
  • Word repeats – the presence of a term in the key that matches a term used in the stem
  • Incongruous options – one or more option(s) that stand out from the others in terms of length, specificity or classifications

Key Takeaways on Question Preparation

  • Draw examination content from your content outline or blueprint
Define meaningful item concepts
Use content that requires examinees to interpret it
Write lead-ins that are clear and focused and require reading the scenario
  • Select attractive, plausible distractors

AOA Career Compass Competition

The COSGP Medical Education Committee would like to announce their AOA Career Compass Competition! Starting today, 10/28 we are asking the students at each COM to donate resources to the AOA Career Compass. The COSGP Representatives from your school should reach out to you to gather a list of the topics you share. This is a wonderful resource developed by the AOA to allow students, interns, residents and physicians to share advice and information with one another, organized so it is shared with those who need it when they need it. The competition will end at the beginning of January, prior to the next COSGP meeting at Campbell. The school with the most resources of the best quality will win, so please participate!

Medical Education Committee Updates

The COSGP Medical Education Committee was hard at work in Seattle at the recent COSGP meeting. We are continuously dedicated to representing all osteopathic medical student concerns in regards to their medical education. We are making a big push to represent 3rd and 4th year issues in addition to 1st and 2nd year issues this year. We have gathered 3rd and 4th year contact information from each of the COMs and are working on gathering information from them on issues students are facing at their school. We are also in contact with COMSSO (student services) to provide more information on the services they already offer and collaborate with them to make sure students know these services are available.

In addition to this, we are working to provide information in the future on the topics of Interprofessionalism, Applying to Residency, Financial Planning and Loan Repayment Options, the IOM Report on GME and International Osteopathic Medical Education.  We are currently gathering updated COMLEX preparation and outcomes research and research on the differences in curricula at the COMs.

We are working to develop an online webinar series to offer all osteopathic medical students covering topics important to students but not always covered in the osteopathic medical curricula such as nutrition and leading a health care team. Please let us know if you have any speaker recommendations or topics you would like covered by emailing

As always, if you have any concerns or questions please reach out to the COSGP Medical Education Committee through

Licensing Exam Preparation – Resources, Research and Advice

Hello! Attached you will find a powerpoint from the COSGP Medical Education Committee outlining resources for licensing exam preparation from study tools to preparation courses, research performed by COSGP on student study methods and outcomes and finally, advice from 3rd/4th years, interns, residents and physicians who have already taken the exams.


Download (PPTX, 1.34MB)

This Just In NBOME UPDATE (Sept 2nd, 2014)

The NBOME has responded to students concerns voiced by COSGP, SOMA and educational leaders surrounding the recent COMLEX-USA Level 2 CE score reports. In June 2014 a scheduled “Comprehensive Psychometric Review” was implemented (NBOME took a look at the math behind the test scoring). As a result many students saw a large drop in their three digit score causing much consternation and out cry.

After a careful review of the circumstances, NBOME has released a new set of scores.

NBOME acknowledges students concerns about the “secondary uses of COMLEX-USA scores, most notably in residency program applications.


And the need for COMLEX to be consistent over the course of our education.

“The NBOME is intent that the score scaling be as consistent and applicable as the pass/fail determination has proven to be.”


Going Forward the NBOME offers the following PLAN.


Based on the comprehensive psychometric review, the NBOME will begin reissuing score reports for the 2014-2015 test cycle of the COMLEX-USA Level 2-CE examination on September 2, 2014. The scaling process will be modified to provide a scale where the mean is not fixed to a pre-specified value. This will provide better comparability from year-to-year across the score range. The new scale will maintain the criterion-based passing score of 400. All COMLEX-USA Level 2-CE Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) reports to residency program directors from August 14, 2014 have been retracted and new reports will be transmitted beginning September 2, 2014.


An extensive communication plan will continue to directly inform candidates, deans, program directors and key stakeholder groups.”


Full information and mathematical details available here


COSGP would like to thank

You all for your openness and patience,

The NBOME for listening to and addressing students concerns,

SOMA Executive board and  The Student AOA Trustee for standing united with us on students behalf

And the COSGP Council for their tireless communication with their upper classes


Remaining respectfully at your service,


TimLemaire ,  National First Vice Chair and

COSGP Executive Board