The dreaded comp exams are here. Well, for some they are not
dreaded because they don't really study for them, and others freak
out and study like a maniac. Me, I am in between. This weekend I
freshened up on some topics that I felt I could use some extra work
Comps last two days and kind of remind me of the chiro boards,
but not as intense. The first day is the written portion and the
second is the practical portion. We are told the tests are
pass/fail. The results are given to the student's clinicians in
clinic to determine how much supervision the student will need.
The written test is at least 100 questions and from experience
tests the student on point location, energetics, diagnosis,
accessory techniques (such as moxa, electric stimulation or
cupping), and biomed questions such as lab diagnosis, orthopedics,
rehab, and radiology.
For herb students, there are questions on individual herbs and
formulas. These tests are taken approximately three times during
your education and the last test is called the exit exam. The test
must be passed in order to graduate. It shouldn't be a problem for
students who have studied and passed all their classes. The
practical portion consists of three or four patient encounters.
Each patient has a different condition and a list of diagnostic
tests they must be performed. Outside the room, a S.O.A.P. note
must be written and questions answered based on history
I feel the tests do two things:
- They basically test you on everything you have learned since
you began the program, which is good because you will realize your
strengths and weaknesses. Plus, for those taking NCAOM boards, it's
like a prep course.
- It is a chance to pull together everything you have learned
whether points, foundations, nutrition, or diagnostics and fully
utilize everything together in clinic.
Everything is learned in bits and pieces regardless what
education you have, and it is the student's job to piece it
together and conclude how to best utilize it in practice.