DOCpa

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What is your opinion on the importance of preclinical grades in getting a general surgery residency. I am a first year student and i already will have maybe 2 C's the first semester (not anatomy). I am getting mixed signals about how this will affect one's chances. I've heard that residency programs dont care much about preclinical grades and have also heard that you should try to get all A's and B's. Should I really step it up or am I being rediculous.
 

Ergo

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Hi, Do what you can the first two years to be above average. Honestly though, I got mostly Bs and C's the first 2 years, even anatomy, but my high board score overshadows that completely. I got a 2 digit score in the 90's, which isnt amazing either, however, that plus research, high clinical grades, and strong LOR are what its really about. Dont worry about the gunners with perfect applications, theyre few in number and many ruin their chances when they interview anyway. You'll get your spot.

Interviewing at: Vanderbilt, Harvard, Emory, UW Seattle, Loyola, etc.

PS: That doesnt mean be lazy, man! Try to be in the top half and at least get B's if possible.
 

toofache32

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GPA is a measure used to evaluate applicants. 1st-year courses are included in GPAs. That's why pre-clinical grades are important.
 
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Ergo

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GPA is a measure thats used to determine class rank, which results in AOA or not as a Junior and senior. Of course, its difficult for progams to objectively compare applicants based on class grades - which is why many put the greater emphasis on Step 1.
 

shag

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I wouldn't worry about a C or two. What matters most is where you land within your class. Being in the top 1/4 of your class would be great, but you can be still be competitive as long as you "run with the pack" (i.e hanging in the middle 50% of your class). Life becomes more difficult if you are in the bottom 1/4, so board scores become even more important.
 

UDgerl

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I have wondered this as well. My preclinical grades are middle of the road..a couple honors but no failures or near-failures. My step I was average, too. My clinical performance was far better and my LORs are all from VIPs. Interviewing at MGH, the Brigham, etc. Every applicant is appraised on his own merits. Doing well ALWAYS helps and doing poorly ALWAYS hurts...but those in the middle have other things that set them apart. Preclinical scores, STEP scores and the like are used to differentiate those with similar records.

And don't get worried so early. Likely you'll change your mind a few times before you apply. Enjoy it, make good contacts, and take good care of your patients. The rest will all come together.
 

ivan lewis

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Preclinical grades don't mean much (even anatomy, gasp!!!). Pass all your classes the first two yrs, do very well on step I, honor surg and medicine in your 3rd yr, and try to get some research in. If you do all this you should be golden for surg or anyother field that you end up choosing.
 
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