Originally Posted by kdburton
I scored about where you were at for Step 1 and I took Step 2 early (September) and scored >270. Its been brought up in every interview I've been on and at one top-tier program the chairman flat out told me that he wouldn't have interviewed me if I had not taken Step 2 early and did well. Furthermore there are some programs (i.e. Orlando) that will not even consider your for an interview unless you've taken Step 2. More and more programs are requiring Step 2 to rank and word on the street from some program directors is that there was a significantly higher number of applicants this year who had early Step 2 scores (and many of them had great Step 1 scores to boot). I didn't even apply to Wash U so I can't speak for them, but your Step 1 score is below average for ortho so it certainly can only help. Like I said I was below the average for ortho on Step 1 and with my Step 2 score I scored interviews at places like Mayo, Brown, etc.
Extension of my questions:
When/if I apply to ortho should I use my research from the other field on the app?
Should I use my letter of recommendation from the faculty member i was in research with? Would I have to ask him for a letter geared toward ortho or just one that is not geared toward the other field?