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A Review of OMT Review (and others)

OMT is one of those topics that most DO students either love or they straight up hate. The big issue with this is that when it comes time for boards, it doesn’t matter if you like OMT or not, you need to know the high yield information and you need a succinct straight forward way to do an OMT Review.

Fortunately, there are some good resources for OMT review, and probably the most popular one that everyone knows, because it has been around for  a long time is the green book titled “OMT Review”.

Why is OMT Review (The Green Book) a good option

Alright, so “the green book” is awesome because of a few reasons. These usually center around the topic of the simpleness and how easy it is to go through the content.

So, lets jump into why OMT Review by Savarese is so simple.

The book is laid out in a pretty straightforward format. The text goes through each major section of OMM and even has a few decent chapters on how to perform certain tests and what not.

The content is described in a pretty simple way too. The writers of the book give just the bare bones information that you need in order to get a good amount of questions right on your COMLEX tests. They don’t overdo it with so much information that you feel like you are sitting in your OMM lab with the OMM teachers. The book is a decent balance between not enough information and too much information.

The second point of discussion with why OMT Review is pretty awesome, has to do with how quick and easy it is to go through the material.

It is so important that whatever resource you use for OMT and even all your other topics in medical school be quick and easy to go through. You don’t have a lot of time to mess around with review resources that don’t just present the material in an upfront and straightforward manner.

When talking about OMT and its review resources, it is even more important that the material be easy and quick to consume. Most students spend a week or two reviewing OMM, some spend a few months. Regardless, being able to go over the material quickly and easily is important, especially for those students that want to review the material over a week or a weekend.

OMT Review is a pretty short book and a great option to get through the material really quick. Many of the students in my class were able to get through the book in just a couple of days.

Now that we have talked about a few of the good things to do with OMT Review, let’s have a quick discussion about some of the not so perfect things about OMT Review.

Why is OMT Review a bad option

Despite the fact that OMT Review has been the best option available for so many years, after you go through it a few times, the deficiencies become fairly obvious.

To expand on a few things we have already talked about, osteopathic medical students just don’t have the time to deal with inefficient sources, or sources that don’t give enough.

We also need resources that are test relevant, we can’t be wasting our time with something that just doesn’t get you more points on test day.

Alright, let’s jump into the details of where OMT Review falls short.

The first area that OMT review falls short is in the relevancy of the material. OMT Review does a good job of what OMT on the COMLEX used to be, as in like 15-20 years ago. Now, I know exactly what you are thinking. Well, OMT hasn’t really changed much in kind of forever right?

Well you are right, OMT hasn’t changed much. The issue is that the way OMT Review presents the material is not how it is tested now a days.

The way OMT Review was put together was to help you answer first order questions. A few examples of this would be “what is the diagnosis” or possibly “what Chapman’s Point is this”,  Questions on COMLEX back in the day were very straightforward like this.

Questions on today’s COMLEX tests are much more integrated and focused on how to properly set up treatments, diagnose, and how to take a patient through the treatment sequence.

So, the first problem with OMT Review is simply that it just isn’t geared towards today’s exams like it is for the exams it was originally made for.

The second issue with OMT Review is that there is a lot of information in the book that is not needed, and it is missing some crucial stuff. It does a pretty good job of finding a decent middle ground of the content you need, and some content you don’t, but it is just a DECENT job. I found myself doing questions and none of it was explained in OMT Review. Sometimes I read OMT Review and wasted time on stuff that just wasn’t pertinent to the exam.

There are some anatomy things in the book that just aren’t needed for the test. There are also some things that are missing and not explained super good like the sacral OMM.

All in all, OMT Review has some content that you just don’t need.

Then there are a few confusing topics or areas that are lacking, these are the ribs section, sacral OMM, and cranial sections.

So, in summary OMT Review does a fairly decent job of getting you the material you need in a short and concise way. The issues with OMT Review are the fact that it was made for COMLEX tests of the late 90’s early 2000’s. The book just doesn’t focus on the set up and execution of OMM treatments, which is the BIGGEST topic of OMM on COMLEX tests. Much of the material just isn’t relevant, and it is missing some crucial details.

Overall, you would be fine to get it and read through it. Before you make that decision you might want to read further. The next section will discuss other options for reviewing OMM for your COMLEX tests.

Another Great option for reviewing OMT.

Let’s go through CPM OMM with the same scrutiny that we did OMT Review.

First and foremost, the good things or the areas that CPM OMM is better then OMT Review.

The test relevancy. CPM OMM was created by me, a fourth year medical student at the time of this article. I absolutely destroyed my COMLEX tests and I made CPM OMM shortly after I finished with COMLEX Level 2 CE. I was not an instructor of OMM, I didn’t specialize in OMM, I am not a practicing doctor, well, not yet. This is good for the content because I was able to use what I experienced and make the content reflect my experiences with COMLEX.

Truth be told, the COMLEX was full of questions focusing on set up and execution of various treatments. Despite what some may have you believe the days of just recalling Chapman’s Points or Facilitation Levels to get questions right are gone. The NBOME has really integrated the questions with OMM (making OMM part of it), and they have tried to write questions that are really geared towards the practice of OMM.

CPM OMM focuses hard on treatment set up, diagnosing, and proper identification of somatic dysfunctions, in relation to questions. It doesn’t just tell you how to diagnose, it walks you through diagnosing and treating all major OMM topics/areas.

Or in other words, CPM OMM was created not to just teach you OMM, but to get you more points on test day.

CPM OMM is short and sweet. It can be consumed in a weekend fairly easily. And with the pricing structure if you only want it for a week, it is about half the price of OMT Review.

The content includes both clinical and didactic videos. I wanted to make sure clinical videos were a part of it because there are so many questions on COMLEX that involve clinical diagnosing of somatic dysfunctions.

Also, the content includes 10-15 practice questions per lecture.

Alright, so obviously I am a fan of CPM OMM.

Let’s talk about some of the not so good things about CPM OMM.

It can be a little dry. I am not an entertainer by any means, I put forth the most simplistic and easy to understand OMM. Because of this, the videos are some what dry.

I am just a fourth year medical student. Some people really want the person that has been in the field for 20 years teaching them. I studied hard for OMM, I learned as much as I could about it. I scored very well on my COMLEX sections for OMM, but I am not your OMM lab professor. I did not specialize in OMM.

To some this may be a good thing, because it means I won’t waste your time with a lot of the nonsense. I just get to the test relevant material.

In summary, I strongly believe that CPM OMM can help raise your COMLEX score. By focusing on the test relevant OMM and doing it in a quick and concise way you will be able to spend more time on the tougher topics too. This means not only will CPM OMM raise your OMM score, but it will free up time for you to go raise you score in other sections too.

Check out CPM OMM here.

You can also check out OMT Review on Amazon here.

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