Why We Do What We Do

Our Purpose

COMBANK exists because of the thousands of osteopathic students, colleagues, and faculty who embrace our mission to better advocate for the osteopathic community. Although the COMLEX-USA exam series was not created to serve as a selection tool for residencies, it remains the as the number one factor (along with USMLE Step 1) for selecting applicants to interview for residency positions nationwide. We realize this is a reality and have made it our mission to better advocate for osteopathic students and residents by helping individuals to perform to their absolute highest potential on their COMLEX-USA exams. By using active learning methods to establish effective problem-solving methods, we believe that all students can increase their level of performance on licensing exams. It is our mission to serve the osteopathic community by helping every individual to realize their own learning potential.

The Reality We Face as DO’s

For years, osteopathic students have been forced to prepare for COMLEX-USA exams using USMLE-based resources. Companies specializing in USMLE test preparation often have little-to-no familiarity with the COMLEX-USA, however recognize the opportunity to market their materials to a growing market of osteopathic students. Often these materials are not consistent in any way with current osteopathic practice, and therefore can place osteopathic students at a disadvantage when preparing for COMLEX-USA exams. The reality is that the COMLEX-USA and the USMLE are two very distinct tests written by two very different organizations. Any student who has taken both exams will echo this statement. As the level of competitiveness within medicine continues to rise at a rapid rate, it is more important now, than ever, for osteopathic students to perform to their highest potential to maximize opportunity for success in “The Match.”

The Beginning

COMBANK was founded in 2007 by Joshua Courtney, DO. While on rotations as a medical student, Dr. Courtney had the unique honor of sitting for one of the first-ever computer-based COMLEX-USA exams when he sat for his COMLEX Level 2 CE. Before testing was shown to be a superior way of learning, Dr. Courtney intuitively built his own study schedule around taking practice questions. At the time, osteopathic students were forced to use USMLE-based resources to study for their COMLEX-USA exams. The only practice questions available were geared toward the USMLE. When Dr. Courtney sat for both the COMLEX Level 2 CE and the USMLE Step 2, he recognized the drastic differences between both tests, particularly in the way in which test items were written. Everything from timing, to question syntax, to the testing interface was very different between the two exams. On that day, Dr. Courtney vowed to unite a talented team of osteopathic physicians to build a Qbank specifically geared for students to use in preparation for their COMLEX-USA exams. After its initial launch, COMBANK was quickly embraced within the osteopathic community and soon became engrained by both students and faculty as the most trusted resource for COMLEX-USA preparation.

The Now

To date, more than 35,000 osteopathic medical students have utilized the test items and analytics within COMBANK to better prepare themselves for their COMLEX-USA examinations. COMBANK continues to thrive because students and faculty value the osteopathic-distinctiveness of the test items contained within our question database. For 2014, we have put great effort into further refining all levels of COMBANK to optimize performance to ensure that every osteopathic student is able to prepare to their maximum capability. We place supreme emphasis on the concept of evidence-based learning. Over the past decade there have been landmark articles published in Science and other peer-reviewed journals documenting the positive impact that testing, in and of itself, has on learning. We are honored to accompany osteopathic students nationwide in the journey of becoming an osteopathic physician and take great pride in being the single most effective resource for maximizing scoring on the COMLEX-USA.