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Another "am I doomed without honors" thread

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by chemta2006, 04.11.12.

  1. chemta2006

    chemta2006 Resident Lurker

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    I am more than halfway done with my rotations and have not gotten honors on any - high pass on 4 so far, including medicine and surgery. Starting to give up hope that I'll ever get honors on the remaining 2 (peds, ob/gyn). I have pages of rave reviews from rotations which may get on the dean's letter and at least 1 potentially great LOR. Step 1 score of 245. One research abstract, 2 posters, 1 conference presentation but no papers. I go to a top 30 school in the midwest.

    I was told to stop dreaming about top Medicine programs, ie. UCSF, because I didn't honor in Medicine. Would I still have a fighting chance if I honor 2 sub-Is and do great on an away rotation in my strongest subject (hem/onc) at UCSF? I've heard that away rotations don't count for much with UCSF, but what about doing great on an away? I'm not sure if I should be despairing or if I need a kick to the side of the face for worrying so much about this.
  2. officedepot

    officedepot

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    .
    Last edited: 04.12.12
  3. ArcGurren

    ArcGurren only one will survive

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    Getting into cali schools in general is hard, so doing an externship there might help. Either way you have a LOT to brag about, including your step 1 score and your research stuff. So relax.
  4. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 chick magnet

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    Uh what? Dude ucsf is hard to get into for medicine (and most other things). Only two people from my school (top 25) even got an interview there in medicine (although both matched) including people who matched at mgh, bwh, Hopkins, etc all of whom had > 240 and ALL clinical honors. They're probably the most selective medicine program. I'm sure the averages for their matched applicants is well over 230; 245 isn't going to stand out by any means. The OP will probably match somewhere good but I wouldn't be banking on even interviewing at UCSF.
  5. tco

    tco

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    The OP can match at the same programs that you listed (MGH, etc.), so why would they not even interview at the same program that comparable applicants interviewed at? :confused: Or are you saying that those people didn't interview either?

    Some programs are funny. They may require certain applicants that if transposed to other programs or other parts of the country wouldn't get interviewed or matched.
  6. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 chick magnet

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    My point applicants were better than the OP but still didn't even get an interview at SF. I said > 240 step but the lowest had 248 and 3 had step > 250, all were AOA and all honored every clinical clerkship. The two that matched at SF had 260+ and AOA. This year a large portion of our top students went into IM.

    People make incorrect assumptions about IM based on the low averages. The top programs have very high step 1 averages and medicine tends to value clinical grades (ESP in medicine) more than other soecialties in my experience.

  7. Phyozo

    Phyozo

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    This is correct. 3 people from my school (top 25 med school in cali) got interviews at UCSF and none matched. We all honored medicine, had >250 step scores, and reserach pubs.

    It's competitive at the top...you'll see =).

    As for the OP, best bet is to apply and see what happens. You will get a great residency and become a great doc, but please don't get set on the mentality that great doctors only come from UCSF/MGH/BWH/Hopkins.
  8. chemta2006

    chemta2006 Resident Lurker

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    That's about what I expected. I hear that getting an interview is more predictable than matching - low step scores will close doors, and less competitive clinical grades will close doors at top residencies. After actually getting an interview, matching is less predictable.

    I actually don't have any particular interest in MGH, BWH, or Hopkins. I used to work at UCSF and loved the environment there. I would really love to go back for residency, but at this point it seems like a very long shot. I was curious if anyone had stories where an away rotation at UCSF made the difference for an otherwise non-outstanding applicant.

    I am a Cali resident, so I was also wondering if these stats have decreased the chances of interviewing at, say, UCLA or UCSD and if doing great on an away at UCSF would make any difference in terms of possibly increasing those chances.

    Thanks for all the feedback so far.
  9. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 chick magnet

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    Ucla and SD aren't as competitive as sf and Stanford. My classmate interviewed (but didn't match) at la with much worse stats than that. I am not sure if doing an away at SF will put you over the top but it might be worth a shot... Maybe if you kick ass and take names you can pique their interest.


  10. Phyozo

    Phyozo

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    UCLA and Stanford are similar in terms of getting interviews (both get 1500-2000 applicants and interview 200-250 for ~35 spots) though my impression is that stanford puts a bit more stock in research. Matching at either is tough from what I hear. UCSD is a little better. Also don't forget the other academic programs: UC Davis, UC Irvine, USC..they'll be a lot easier to match at, esp with your step score.

    To be honest, I think you'll be hard pressed for an away rotation to help you at UCSF. Unless you have a "hook" on your app through your research or ECs (or you kill step2 / honor sub I's), it will be hard to get an interview. If you DO decide to do an away, try to apply early and do a subspecialty rotation at the moffit and really focus on being excellent but also getting to know the attendings. If you're good at selling yourself, your away will help you more, but UCSF is one of those schools that will infamously blow you off even with an excellent away so manage your own expectations.

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