acceptedMD18

I got in!
Oct 24, 2013
28
22
Status
Pre-Medical
So it seems that grades aren't that important in the preclinical years, but they are for year 3. Most schools have a honors/high pass/pass system, but I am wondering if different schools have rules on how those grades are distributed. Like at school A only 15% can get honors in a given rotation, but at school B 30% can, etc.
 

mmmcdowe

Duke of minimal vowels
Staff member
Administrator
Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Sep 13, 2008
9,782
1,580
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Yeah, it varies a lot from 10% getting honors all the way to up to 40+% at some top programs. Usually they provide some kind of ranking system or break down to help residency programs figure out what it means to have gotten 2/7 honors at school A vs B, but the fact of the matter is that it's probably better to be in the 50th percentile of a program where 50th percentilers get 4 honors out of 8 than a place where 50th percentilers get 2 honors out of 8 since it isn't a sure thing that they will take the time to interpret that when deciding on interviews.
 

SouthernSurgeon

Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Dec 17, 2008
4,363
8,300
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Yeah, it varies a lot from 10% getting honors all the way to up to 40+% at some top programs. Usually they provide some kind of ranking system or break down to help residency programs figure out what it means to have gotten 2/7 honors at school A vs B, but the fact of the matter is that it's probably better to be in the 50th percentile of a program where 50th percentilers get 4 honors out of 8 than a place where 50th percentilers get 2 honors out of 8 since it isn't a sure thing that they will take the time to interpret that when deciding on interviews.
This is true.

Actually all med schools that I've seen (as an interviewer/application reviewer) give you a key with the Dean's letter that shows the breakdown of what percentage of students get honors/hp/p/etc

That said, do interviewers really closely examine that code? Or do they just look for "honors"? I'd guess the vast majority do the latter.
 

iceman55

7+ Year Member
May 9, 2010
284
103
Status
Pre-Medical
Yeah, it varies a lot from 10% getting honors all the way to up to 40+% at some top programs. Usually they provide some kind of ranking system or break down to help residency programs figure out what it means to have gotten 2/7 honors at school A vs B, but the fact of the matter is that it's probably better to be in the 50th percentile of a program where 50th percentilers get 4 honors out of 8 than a place where 50th percentilers get 2 honors out of 8 since it isn't a sure thing that they will take the time to interpret that when deciding on interviews.
is it mainly dependent on what you scores on shelf exams?
 

mvenus929

10+ Year Member
Jul 6, 2006
6,856
1,630
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
Not only will it vary from school to school, but it can also vary significantly within the same school. At mine, almost everyone gets an A in Family Medicine, because the experiences students experience with different preceptors can vary significantly. On the other hand, it's almost universal to get a B in Neurology, and you have to really impress someone in order to get an A.
 

NickNaylor

Thank You for Smoking
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
May 22, 2008
16,886
7,782
Deep in the heart of Texas
Status
Attending Physician
As others mentioned, grading is highly variable. My guess is that most institutions base grades on the following factors with different weights for each institution/rotation:

-formal evaluations from attendings/residents
-some kind of exam, be it a shelf, OSCE, etc.
-some kind of mini project during the rotation - in our case, it's usually been a case presentation in front of the faculty

This is not something you should worry about, because the reality is that third year grading is a complete joke in that it is highly subjective and not reproducible. Worry about it when you get there. The only thing I would be concerned about with respect to third year as an applicant is understanding how med students usually function and what they typically do.
 

Law2Doc

5K+ Member
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Dec 20, 2004
30,981
9,888
Status
Attending Physician
Too variable to say. I've seen quoted ranges from 20% to 80% of the final grade.
In my experience most programs put the lions share of the grade on the more subjective faculty evaluation component. Th shelf matters, but usually only in the 10-20% range. You can still get a decent grade in a rotation with a weak shelf, although probably not honors. And you can certainly ace the shelf and do poorly in the rotation. Your days of being evaluated based primarily on classroom skills are winding down. How you conduct yourself as a hardworking member of a team becomes much mor important from this point on in your career.
 

Espadaleader

7+ Year Member
May 27, 2010
1,434
780
Status
Medical Student
My PI went to a top 10 school and everyone can get honors. There is not a cut off. She was a residency adcom at a very prestigious hospital and she said thats all that matters. Residencies understand the different rubrics but a honor is a honor. She said that schools that make those cut offs hurt their students. Especially if that school is not well know by the program.
 

NickNaylor

Thank You for Smoking
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
May 22, 2008
16,886
7,782
Deep in the heart of Texas
Status
Attending Physician
My PI went to a top 10 school and everyone can get honors. There is not a cut off. She was a residency adcom at a very prestigious hospital and she said thats all that matters. Residencies understand the different rubrics but a honor is a honor. She said that schools that make those cut offs hurt their students. Especially if that school is not well know by the program.
Nice fellow status. Solid.