4th year scheduling advice

Discussion in 'Emergency Medicine' started by OptionMirror, Apr 3, 2012.

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  1. OptionMirror

    OptionMirror 5+ Year Member

    Dec 24, 2009
    Hey everyone, I'm trying to schedule my 4th year elective. I need to submit my schedule by Friday. I wanted to meet my advisor for EM before then but unfortunately she is out of town, so I'm kinda stuck figuring out whats the best plan. One of the problems though is that my step 1 score sucks (216/91) so I wanted to take Step 2 Ck early.

    I was thinking:
    1. EM subi #1 in July
    2. EM subi #2 (away) July-Aug
    3. Step 2 cs-early august
    4. Step 2 Ck-Aug-Sept
    5. either required course at this time (but I am shooting for another away EM rotation)

    Because applications opens up in Sept, I'm not sure if I should take Step 2 ck in between my two EM subi rotations or after the two EM rotations.

    Also, in regards to SLORs and LOR, from what I read, you need two slors and one LORs. Do these letters have to be submitted at the same time with your applications?

    any advice much appreciated
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  3. RPedigo

    RPedigo Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    I think taking your CK early is a great idea, as it will help secure interviews if you improve on your score. Kill your CK and it'll be much easier to get interviews. Your CS can be whenever -- nobody even looks at it and you'll pass it anyway (but make sure to secure a date early if there's one near you so you don't have to fly across the country).

    As far as your letters -- they do not have to be submitted with your application. You can add them later. You should have two SLORs and one or two LORs. I had two SLORs and two LORs and sent all of them to all programs I applied to.

    Your early EM subIs seem good. Two is fine, you can do a third rotation away if you want to check out a specific program to see if you'd like to match there and to get your name out there, but you certainly don't need more than two.

    Overall, I think you have a good plan! Just concentrate on doing well on your EM subIs and your Step 2 CK and everything else will fall into place. Good luck!
  4. JacobMcCandles

    JacobMcCandles 5+ Year Member

    Jan 22, 2012
    I'd recommend taking CS around August or September for several reasons:

    1.) You'll be at the top of your patient interaction and interview game so you'll find things more comfortable than if you took it in the spring after 2 months of vacation.

    2.) Take it just to get it out of the way. You won't be in the mood to take it in the spring of your 4th year and for the off chance you fail (yes, some people do), you'll have plenty of time to correct it.

    Everything else looks pretty good.
  5. SepulvedaMD

    SepulvedaMD 2+ Year Member

    Nov 27, 2010
    I suggest scheduling CS right after one of your EM months. I will be extra cake for you after being in the ED for a month.
  6. OptionMirror

    OptionMirror 5+ Year Member

    Dec 24, 2009
    So from this schedule, I will plan to take Step 2 CK around mid September. Will this be earlier enough that my score will be seen on my app since it usually takes about 1 month for the score to come back...Or should I try to push taking it earlier (around August)?
  7. Mudpile MD

    Mudpile MD 2+ Year Member

    Sep 27, 2011
    With your low step 1 score I think you should take CK early enough that your score is in before your application goes out (sept 1). I would take CK by Aug 1 if I were you. Why not take it end of June? It is a 3rd year exam and you'll be closest to the material, will get it done early, and won't have to edit your schedule for 4th because of it.
  8. Dane07MD

    Dane07MD 10+ Year Member

    Sep 6, 2006
    Yep. I would recommend just taking CK as early as possible. Studying for the exam will double up in preparing you for the EM months too since a lot of the material in the exam is pertinent in the ED. EM months in August and September are certainly not too late. I had a similar step 1 score and took CK in late July. Studying was a breeze since I just came off third year.
  9. gman33

    gman33 Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Aug 18, 2007
    I'd vote for taking CK as early as possible.
    Maybe even before your first EM rotation.

    Your knowledge from third year will start to go away the further away you get.
    At least it did for me.
    I took it in November and I wish I took it earlier.

    BTW - I don't think your Step 1 score is all that low.
    It's only a 6-7 points below the avg for matched candidates.
    I guess it's a little low for the most competitive places.

  10. yossarian444

    yossarian444 7+ Year Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    My vote is to take CK in August. Ideally, you want your score to come in sometime in early September. That way, on September 1st when you submit your app, you can go ahead and release your USMLE transcript with the app, which will only contain your step 1 at that point. If, in early September, you find out you got a great score on CK, you can update your usmle transcript on the eras, possibly before any of the residencies have even downloaded your eras yet. If you didn't do so hot on CK, well, then wait as long as possible before updating your usmle transcript on the eras. Take CS whenever, just don't let it make you delay anything else - you'll only need about 2 days to study for CS.

    Though I caution you to be a little careful on relying on the advice on timing from anybody ahead of you: the dean's letter comes out a month early this year, which could result in some programs that traditionally waited until November to send out interview offers speed up their process, and some programs that had a history of handing out offers in September might go ahead and wait until after Oct 1 this year.
  11. gutonc

    gutonc No Meat, No Treat SDN Administrator 10+ Year Member

    Wise advice...especially since ERAS will open later this year as well (9/15)...so the early August Step 2 date that allowed you to release Step 1 alone on 9/1 may no longer be in play.

    The only thing worse than a mediocre Step 1 score is a Step 2 score that's the same or worse.
  12. jbar

    jbar Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Dec 18, 2005
    If part of your plan is to boost your step 2 score, I would give yourself enough time to study. Ie make sure you have 3-4 weeks to work on it full time. Some would say that's overkill, but if your goal is a 230 on step 2 you have to put in the time. From your schedule it looks like you are planning on taking it soon after that second ER month.

    I'd also point out that many places are more flexible on ER rotation scheduling than the website make it appear. I wasted 2 weeks waiting for an away rotation to start because their school and mine were out of synch with rotations. When I showed up I found a bunch of people had started a week earlier because they had asked to.

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