premedk

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So I'm applying internal med and I just found out I'm in the 5th quntile(bottom 20th percentile). Pretty big blow considering I didn't think I was doing that bad. I got 3 C's first year, but have gotten all B's(mostly high B's, not that it matters) in 2nd and 3rd year. Basically, I generally get A's on my evals and mid to high B's on tests, which equals a B for the rotation. The only rotations I've gotten A's are the ones without shelfs. I got a 226 on step 1 and am expecting a higher score on step 2(took it August 31st). I thought I was an average IM applicant, but how big of a red flag is being in the bottom of the class. Also, I considering getting my letter writers who haven't submitted yet to add a paragraph about my knowledge base and grades to convince programs I'm not as dumb as my class percentile makes me look. Is this a good idea or could this back fire? Also, will I get questions about my grades on interviews? How important is quintile when programs start ranking?
 

gutonc

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Well, somebody (about 20% of the class as it happens, because...math), has to be in the 5th quintile. And most of them will match, assuming they're not applying Derm with Ortho and Rad Onc as backups.

Don't put it on your LOR writers to explain. And I don't think I'd even bother with it in your PS. But you need to be prepared to explain it if asked during interviews. And since exams seem to be your downfall (and programs like to tout their board pass rate), be sure to use the fact that you passed your Steps on first try (assuming that continues to be true) when you discuss it.
 
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caseofthemndays

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I have to weigh in cuz I had a really similar application. As and Bs are not bad, and a 226 is pretty solid for medicine. Two out of the three main metrics for evaluating you academically are probably average for medicine. The top places are probably out of reach, but if that's the only red flag, you'll be fine. Also, at least at my school, they didn't put your class rank anywhere on your transcripts, it was mentioned in code, essentially, on your deans letter (excellent, great, good, strong...)
 

Elixir6

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I have to weigh in cuz I had a really similar application. As and Bs are not bad, and a 226 is pretty solid for medicine. Two out of the three main metrics for evaluating you academically are probably average for medicine. The top places are probably out of reach, but if that's the only red flag, you'll be fine. Also, at least at my school, they didn't put your class rank anywhere on your transcripts, it was mentioned in code, essentially, on your deans letter (excellent, great, good, strong...)
Two minor clarifications here, and not to be a d!ck about it, but let's not sugar coat things:

1) Unless you are at an ivy league or other hot-shot medical school, I think we can change the sentence "the top places are probably out of reach" to "the top places are out of reach", especially considering the below average Step 1

2) Regarding the class rank being only on the MSPE/Dean's letter and being in "code" - let's clarify that it's a very well understood format that is on every MSPE from every school and that the PDs eyes are going to hone in on that specific sentence and s/he will know exactly what it means.

So, to summarize. From what you have told us, OP, you will have no trouble matching into medicine if you apply broadly to middle tier academic plus a few non-academic centers, along with the usual reaches and safeties. I would agree with everything gutonc wrote. Nobody will think you are dumb, you are going to be a capable physician. You may be asked about your grades. Just prepare a good solid answer that you aren't the best test taker, but that you have developed good test taking/prepping strategies and you are moving forward.
 
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premedk

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Thanks for the input, this is consistent with what my advisor told me. I guess it's just troubling because my friends who are also applying IM(and to many of the same programs) have much better grades. I do have a handful of "strong community" programs on my list as well as mid-tier academic programs.
 

Elixir6

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Thanks for the input, this is consistent with what my advisor told me. I guess it's just troubling because my friends who are also applying IM(and to many of the same programs) have much better grades. I do have a handful of "strong community" programs on my list as well as mid-tier academic programs.
It's hard. A lot of med school is about test-taking unfortunately. I'm not the best test taker either. I know of several people in my class who are AOA, have very high Step 1 scores etc... but who I wouldn't let treat my family members because they are good test takers and not good doctors. We can only try our best. G'luck with the interview trail.