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Low Step 1 Scores

Discussion in 'General Residency Issues' started by familydocmed, Jan 5, 2010.

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  1. familydocmed

    familydocmed

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    I failed my first attempt on Step 1 and received an 80 on my second attempt (which is still pretty low). What are the chances of a Family Practice residency considering I get a decent Step 2 score? I'm really worried about my scores, but I'm trying to stay positive and just march forward! Thanks.
  2. Noeljan

    Noeljan Senior Member

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    hey there
    I know of a FM resident that is amazing that had to take step 1 twice so I would think it is very possible. This resident is very intelligent, kind and a great teacher, so I'm glad FM would look past that (I don't think all specialties do though unfortunately). Good luck
  3. J DUB

    J DUB Watch my TAN walk!! Lifetime Donor

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    For FM, you will be fine....:)
  4. PostLessOne

    PostLessOne

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    Depends on where you are graduating from. If it's a U.S. medical school, you'll be fine. Carribbean or FMG, you have a serious problem.
  5. familydocmed

    familydocmed

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    I am a U.S. citizen graduating from a Caribbean Medical School...which is why I'm a bit concerned.
  6. jiy76

    jiy76 Where's The Booze?

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    Do well on step 2ck and pass cs before applying and apply broadly. You will still be fine.
  7. tarlovcyst

    tarlovcyst Former PD. Now higher...

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    Believe me when I say you'll be fine.

    You still got Step 2 CK to go, and I advise take it early... in July. Take it early so that the results get back BEFORE you apply in early September.

    If you really want to be more competitive, do an away rotation at the hospital where you want to do the residency at. Family medicine is different than other specialties, because these rotations help significantly. They can also hurt too.

    Family medicine is considered less competitive. I personally know people who barely passed step 1 and are at good programs in internal medicine, which is more competitive than family medicine.
  8. Buzz Me

    Buzz Me Moderator Emeritus Gold Donor

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    It's always tough to answer these "what are my chances" (WAMC) threads...no one knows for sure. All you can do is better your application in whatever way you can now (Step 2, letters of recommendation).
  9. undecided3yr

    undecided3yr Member

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    I would give you >95% if you were willing to apply to less prestigious community programs and am not giving off serial killer vibes at interviews.

    (FP doesnt fill every year)
  10. Physio Doc 2 Be

    Physio Doc 2 Be Supratentorial problems

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    Serial killer vibes are a no go?:eek:
  11. aProgDirector

    aProgDirector Pastafarians Unite! Moderator SDN Advisor

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    Depends on the program and field.
  12. mwest

    mwest

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    My FP program is not in the best location or have the best hours but they are still very picky when it comes to hiring IMGs. For eg. this year we had a flood of high-scoring IMGs with both scores >90s, programs are getting spoiled. We interviewed 120 people for 6 positions & had to reject 2-3 times that many applicants.

    A lot of my IMG colleagues have very remarkable backgrounds in their home countries with high scores. However our program does not filter out by just scores/attempts and have hired residents who had challenges but were able to overcome them.
  13. J DUB

    J DUB Watch my TAN walk!! Lifetime Donor

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    :scared:
  14. howelljolly

    howelljolly

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    K. Theres an NRMP publication which documents the selection criteria for residencies.. blah blah blah...

    For Family Practice - None of the PDs (who responded) report that they disqualify applicants who failed the Step1 on the first attempt. However, 53.4% said that they seldom consider them.

    You won't be so lucky with other specialties. Eg. in internal med, 8.4% disqualify applicants who failed on the first attempt, and an additional 82.6% seldom consider their applications...... general surgery, 37% are disqualified....

    Anyway. You will have to PASS Step2 early - by July of the year you are applying in. It may help, it may not. You have to apply broadly, to hit the 46.6% of programs which readily consider the second attempt at the Step1.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2010
  15. dragonfly99

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    It's not going to help, but you can't do much but forge ahead at this point, and definitely study hard for Step 2. I think taking and passing it early would be good, but the most important thing is not to fail it. You can do it! You passed Step 1 and IMHO step 2 is easier for many...especially if you like clinical medicine and especially if you study hard. I found it helpful to get First Aid for Step 2 and also another book that was a general review book...I think it was called Rx for Step 2. And then do a lot of questions too. You should be able to raise your score, because a fair number of people slack on step 2, IMHO.

    I also agree w/doing away rotations, as long as you are there/totally focused while you are doing it.
  16. howelljolly

    howelljolly

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    Take your entire 3rd year to study for Step2. Every.... single... day. When you are in each core rotation, know that subject cold. Use the comprehensive review books (First Aid, Crush, etc), and review books, or full texts for that particular specialty (Pre-Test, Blueprints...)

    At the end, you should only be reviewing, not teaching yourself. I suspect a lot of Carib students make that mistake.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2010
  17. docshal

    docshal

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    thank u all for the advice
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2010
  18. undecided3yr

    undecided3yr Member

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    Other than in the Caribbean, medical school outside the US doesn't prepare you for the USMLE, they have different emphases in their curriculum. You needed to prepare for the USMLE independently of your regular studies. You need to rock step2 and likely take Step3 by the time you are interviewing for residency.

    Use any connections to do as much clinical rotations in the US, preferably at larger name academic hospitals and get LORs from the faculty there. Try to do research in the US as well. Be advised that US medical students have a lot higher expectation of their clinical responsibilities than those India. Wait until you have clinical experience before you get too worried about your specialty choices. Aside from a few exceptions, board scores, etc usually limit your choice of program rather than choice of specialty.
  19. howelljolly

    howelljolly

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    Allthough FMGs from India pretty consistently get 240+ on Step1 (went on a residency intv. last week where the PD said that every app he gets from Inda and China are 99 and 99)......

    Med school in India teaches things differently than in the US, and very differently than the USMLE. Anatomy for example, is totally different. (as per US profs who do test-prep in commercial courses) Indian exams require you to regurgitate immense amounts of info, whereas the USMLE requires you to understand the overall concept of everything from anatomy to biochem - and then apply. E.g. you learn mol-bio/ genetics in school, maybe learn about the LAC operon, and how it works.... your exam will give you some strange gene that youve never heard and test if you can figure out how it works. If you realize that its kinda-sorta like the Lac operon, and remember how that works.....

    Its all about reverse engeneering......

    Anyway. The only point in finding out what you did wrong is so that you dont make the same mistake for the Step2. Do practice questions to get good at MCQs.

    See above.... my post about family practice. Looking at the NRMP data, you'd have better luck if you applied to Family, Psych, Peds. These specialties, more than the others, will look at a second attempt at the Step1. In the other specialties, more of those programs will disqualify you for failing the first attempt. However, being that your passing score is low as well... you'll still have problems.

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