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Would a high step 2 score compensate for a low step 1 score?

Discussion in 'Step II' started by kasra138, 01.18.08.

  1. kasra138

    kasra138

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    Hi people,
    First off I want to thank those that are responding to this question. My question certainly pertains to many people. So if you could give some good advice based on personal experience or first hand information from a residency director in any field, please share.

    Just for clarity:

    A low step 1 score: Any number below 218
    A high step 2 score: Any number above average.

    Thank you for your consideration.
  2. arthrodisiac

    arthrodisiac

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    Step I is used for screening. If a program weeds you out with step I, they will not see step II regardless of how high you scored. For programs that don't have a cut off or low cut off, a high step II may help you, but will not equate you with someone who scored well the first time.
  3. jacksparrow82

    jacksparrow82

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    In my opinion a High Step 2 can help you out a lot. Many people who score well on step 1 usually score a little lower on step 2. So, if you're interviewing at a program and competing against other students with a higher step 1, but a lower step 2, your higher score on step 2 can really help you stand out. At the very least it will show continued improvement which is always a positive sign.
    Study hard for step 2, its not an easy exam and doing well can really help you.
  4. arthrodisiac

    arthrodisiac

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    i don't agree with you. I think most people, especially those that score well the first time, go up at least ten points. It seems like everyone at my school went up regardless of what they got on the first one. The only ones that don't are the people who have always been slackers.
  5. Terpskins99

    Terpskins99 Fear... The Stig

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    How is 218 a low score? Sweetie, thats the national average. Most residencies wouldn't consider that low. They would consider that average.

    Just for clarity, why don't you just tell us the score you did get along with what you plan to train in. Not to be sarcastic, but there's a pretty steep difference between wanting to match psych or family practice... versus derm or radiology.
  6. Biscuit799

    Biscuit799

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    I've always been under the impression that if you have a low Step 1, you can help yourself by doing better on Step 2 and doing sub-I's. Granted, you're screwed for derm, plastics, etc, but with anything else you can make up for it in other ways. Am I off??

    As for me
    Step 1: 193
    (Hopeful) Specialty Choice: General Surgery
  7. DogFaceMedic

    DogFaceMedic Member

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    Yes, absolutely, improved scores are viewed very favorably because you are demonstrating a positive learning curve in the clinical environment. Clinical grades are also important.
  8. Terpskins99

    Terpskins99 Fear... The Stig

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    I take issue with the misconception that a poor step I performance eliminates you from any specialty. People match derm and rads with poor board scores every year. A common assumption is that they only did so through nepotism or something similar, but I've yet to see any evidence that supports this theory.

    If you want something bad enough and you're willing to push yourself the extra mile to get there, I think any specialty is within reach. So far, every residency director I've come across has indicated to me that the willingness and ability to work hard are the most important characteristics of a good intern/resident.
  9. raidenxp2005

    raidenxp2005

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    I have done my step 1 last year August and I got 190/77 and an IMG plus i want to do General Surgery

    I was always told even by my dean that General Surgery residency may be hard considering my step 1 score

    I'd hope that by increasing my step 2 grade and maybe even finishing step 3 can get me into a residency in New York....

    I don't want to resort to Family Medicine....It would hurt me not to even suture or cut someone :(
  10. CernerDrone

    CernerDrone

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    I hate to break it to you guys with some "realistic" opinions instead of the head up in the clouds opinions people here give.

    Will a Step I score < 218 hurt you? Yes, only if you want to do 1. a competitive specialty or 2. any specialty in a premier place. If you want to do Gen Surg in some no name inner city hospital in NYC it may not hurt you. If you want to do Gen Surg in a decent place like...a good university program, you're not too well off. Even wanting to do pediatrics or internal medicine at great places, you're at a disadvantage. If you want just go anywhere as long as it's the specialty you want, you may not be at too much of a disadvantage. And yes, < 218 is a low score, no matter how many people want to pretend it's not. Is it the average? Yeah, but who wants to be happy with a below avg score?

    Will a good Step II score help? Yes it will. As stated earlier, it may not in every aspect but definitely will help somewhat, especially in specialties that "care" about it - medicine, peds, maybe gen surg. Forget about uro/ophtho/ortho caring.

    I'm not trying to be mean or misunderstanding because many of my smarter friends and great people have had unfortunate things like this happen. It's reality.
  11. raidenxp2005

    raidenxp2005

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    Okay i'll bite....though it's a true yet heart wrenching reply

    what are some "no name places" that do general surgery residency??

    because at this point if someone were to ask me to run naked in manthattan covered in green jello so i can get a spot in General Surgery ....I'll DO it!!!

    thats how dedicated i am:D
  12. CernerDrone

    CernerDrone

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    Your dedication is definitely admired...and I think you have a shot at a lower tier gen surg program, but you'll still have to work hard for it.

    I would say some places that are lesser known are the community hospitals in the Bronx/Brooklyn and other big cities that have gen surg programs. Why not apply for surgery prelim spots as well? It won't hurt.

    Good luck. To be honest it'll be an uphill climb for you but definitely not impossible.
  13. Biscuit799

    Biscuit799

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    Let me clarify, I definitely do NOT disagree. There is no doubt that while there are very few things in med school that cannot be overcome, a low Step 1 score is probably on the short list. Thus, it is important to have realistic expectations.


    HAHA... ditto here! I'd also love to know some of the less-competitive programs. It's so tough to find this kind of information...

    Correct me if I'm wrong...
    As a general rule, pretty much any community program is going to be "easier" to get into. Not only in NY, but most less-desirable geographies, and other big cities with a wealth of other residency options.
  14. raidenxp2005

    raidenxp2005

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    hey,

    I love surgery.....
    it's my curse...all i want to do with my life is surgery....
    i know i screwed up step 1 score and now i'm working on my step 2 cs and ck
    if i could do over step 1 ...i'd do it!!!...just to get over this bump
    the reason why i screwed up step 1 was because i never knew about things like goljan and kaplan and usmleworld until i started my clinical rotations (yes i am an IMG)
    now i know where on the net to go for information and advice .... i pray just to get into a surgical residency....and I'm more than willing to go over the 80hr. a week law just to prove my worth!!!
    even if it's community and i have to learn things that they won't teach me because it's a sucky program....i'll read the entire schwartz if i have to...as long as i get to call myself a gen surgeon at the end of 5yrs. and do my Certification exam...please, it's all i know to do...surgery is not a job..it's an adventure!!

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