I am 3rd year student, strongly considering Med-Peds. Although I received honors in medicine (and several other honors and near-honors grades) and have excellent Step 1 scores, I only received a pass for my peds rotation. Our grade is determined by our written clinical evaluations and a written exam (not the shelf). Unlike all of our other rotations, we are required to get a minimum score both on our clinical evals and the exam to honor the course. I had fantastic clinical evals. Unfortuntaly I missed the honors cutoff by 2 questions on the written exam. How much will this hurt me when applying?
05-08-2008, 01:55 PM
Hi I am only an MSIII who has decided on medpeds and after lots of research, I dont think you only passing peds will be a big problem as long as you have a good evaluation from that clerkship on your MSPE. It sounds like you did well on other clerkships so you should be fine. You might also want to pick up a peds ICU subI or just peds subI and try and honor it in the beginning of your fourth year and maybe even get a letter. That should help.
05-08-2008, 04:27 PM
Med/Peds is not that competitive. There were several good programs that went unfilled in the match this year in Med/Peds. Duke specifically comes to mind as well as VCU/MCV and Indiana. Those are all pretty good programs as I understand it. I think a lowly pass in Peds is just not going to be an issue at all. I'd be surprised if anyone even asked about it on the interview trail.
05-08-2008, 07:41 PM
I matched in Med-Peds this year and I definitely interviewed at competitive programs with others who didn't have honors in one or the other. Like jones173 said, just try to do well in a PICU/NICU/Peds Sub-I at the start of fourth year and make sure your MSPE includes language reflecting your evaluations in your Peds clerkship as well as how close you were to the Honors cutoff on the exam. In fact, if you get a glowing letter of recommendation from a person you worked with in Peds, then that will likely outshine the P on your transcript.
Our Psych clerkship had a cutoff for clinical evals and the shelf exam and I had near perfect evals but missed the cutoff for the shelf exam by a single percentile to get honors. This was noted in a favorable way in my own MSPE.
05-10-2008, 05:06 AM
I think the strength of a candidate rests in the well-roundedness of an application, for the exception of the Step 1 score which can be used as a screening tool by residency programs--which you did well on. If you are strong on the whole, I don't think one single factor will make or break your application--but I understand the anxiety you are experiencing headed into the great unknown of applying for residency. Make sure you have extracurriculars demonstrating your interest in Peds and Medicine (I was active in the Peds Interest Group and also saw adult patients at a walk in clinic). Also, while the Personal Statement isn't the most important thing, it can certainly bolster your application by showing your humanistic side and your ability to work with others. Once you get to an interview, I really think that they are evaluating whether or not you are someone that is likeable and a team player. At that point, you have already proven to them that you are strong academically. So your goal is to get pass that round onto the interview.
Two things that I highly recommend doing to put your mind at ease and further increase your chances of obtaining an interview. One, take your Sub-I early in Peds and do well on it. If you can do it in the PICU, it really looks like you are stepping up to the plate and taking the most challenging rotation. Get a glowing letter of recommendation from one of those Attendings.
Two, consider taking Step II early. If you did well on Step I, you are a good board test taker. I was sure that I was going to go down after having 240 on Step I and people advised me to put off Step II as long as possible. But, I didn't and actually went up by 10 points and I waited probably longer than I should have to take them. You are freshest after your 3rd year clerkships. My school has a deadline for taking Step II by January, so residency programs are probably going to see them soon or later, unless you block their release--which I personally don't think is a good idea. You should never leave a residency program with a question in their mind about your candidacy, give them as much information as possible. If you take Step II early and do well on it--which I presume you will do if you study an ounce like Step I--then that casts any doubt in a program's mind that you will pass both boards.
This is just advice from someone who has just gone through the process, but feel free to PM me with any further questions you may have!