Dec 29, 2013
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Hi Everyone,
I'm a MS3 and quickly learning about the subjectivity when it comes to MS3 grades.
I have received grades for 3 clerkships (Neuro, Peds, IM) all of which I received a HP (my school is F/P/HP/H). I'm a little frustrated with the evaluations (which make up the bulk of our grade) because I receive glowing feedback in terms of how strong of a student I am and how well I did, etc. and very little-to nothing in the "improvements" section for how I can improve. Then when it came to numbers, I get straight 4s (out of 5s) in all 7 categories they evaluate us on.

In short, I'm not sure how to improve for my future clerkships and I'm worried I'll never be able to move past the HP --> Honors.

I was hoping that anyone who has insight/has been through this process would be able to advise me about the strength of my application for residency if I were to receive all HPs but no Honors. I feel that I will be able to get strong LORs and my Step 1 is slightly above average. I'm at an MD school in the US and I would like to go an academic center in or close to a city for residency.

I'm still not 100% sure on what I want to do but currently, I am looking at OB/GYN.

Thank you for your advice!
 

Syncrohnize

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Hi Everyone,
I'm a MS3 and quickly learning about the subjectivity when it comes to MS3 grades.
I have received grades for 3 clerkships (Neuro, Peds, IM) all of which I received a HP (my school is F/P/HP/H). I'm a little frustrated with the evaluations (which make up the bulk of our grade) because I receive glowing feedback in terms of how strong of a student I am and how well I did, etc. and very little-to nothing in the "improvements" section for how I can improve. Then when it came to numbers, I get straight 4s (out of 5s) in all 7 categories they evaluate us on.

In short, I'm not sure how to improve for my future clerkships and I'm worried I'll never be able to move past the HP --> Honors.

I was hoping that anyone who has insight/has been through this process would be able to advise me about the strength of my application for residency if I were to receive all HPs but no Honors. I feel that I will be able to get strong LORs and my Step 1 is slightly above average. I'm at an MD school in the US and I would like to go an academic center in or close to a city for residency.

I'm still not 100% sure on what I want to do but currently, I am looking at OB/GYN.

Thank you for your advice!
Just like every other non-ROAD/non-Surgical Specialty field, highly competitive programs may care but there are still many high ranked programs that will not mind. HP isn't amazing but it's still a strong grade that shows you exceeded expectations to some capacity and is nothing to be frustrated about. I'm reading this as a humble brag. Just make sure you get at least HP is OB/GYN, but obv honors would be better.
 
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The white coat trainer

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Hey, I got into OBGYN residency with mostly HP. As you said, grading is extremely subjective. Just let a lot of people know that you are interested in OBGYN when you do the rotation. Personality and knowledge that you are interested in the field will take you a long way.
 
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NickNaylor

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I also had straight HPs in my clinical rotations - had great clinical evaluations but shelf scores that were never high enough to make it into the honors camp.

Granted I ended up going into psychiatry which is pretty uncompetitive, but it was never something that came up as problematic, and I interviewed at some great programs. As mentioned above, all HPs will likely be a hindrance if you're planning on going into something fairly competitive. For most other fields, it likely won't be much of an issue as long as the rest of your application has no significant blemishes.
 

LyMed

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I don't see it being a problem. Best wishes
 

TexasMeds

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Do you go to Mcgovern medical school? Its the same deal over here. Great written evals, get 100s on NBME, still high pass.

Its also easy af to pass with a 65 cut-off. You can pretty much come in as a fresh college graduate, do your pre-rounds, take historys and physicals and just walk away with all 4/5s and pass the clerkship with like 30 on the NBME. Starting to think that this is all a conspiracy to increase the number of PCPs.
 

Styrene

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Do you go to Mcgovern medical school? Its the same deal over here. Great written evals, get 100s on NBME, still high pass.

Its also easy af to pass with a 65 cut-off. You can pretty much come in as a fresh college graduate, do your pre-rounds, take historys and physicals and just walk away with all 4/5s and pass the clerkship with like 30 on the NBME. Starting to think that this is all a conspiracy to increase the number of PCPs.
It's possible to get 100s on the NBMEs but not honor? Now I am worried.
 

username456789

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I don't understand this pervasive thinking by medical students that somehow everyone should be getting honors. By definition, most people should not and will not get honors in any rotation. Unless your school is one of those ridiculous "40% of people get honors so it's meaningless!" schools.

HP is a good score. Honors should be something to strive for, but one should realize that even with tons of hard work, many will fall short. There is no shame in not been in the top few percent of your class.
 

TexasMeds

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I don't understand this pervasive thinking by medical students that somehow everyone should be getting honors. By definition, most people should not and will not get honors in any rotation. Unless your school is one of those ridiculous "40% of people get honors so it's meaningless!" schools.

HP is a good score. Honors should be something to strive for, but one should realize that even with tons of hard work, many will fall short. There is no shame in not been in the top few percent of your class.
No one is saying "everyone should get honors". At my school the first batch of 50 students are done with their surgical rotation, and not one of them honored. Think about what I'm saying- 0% honored in a batch of 50+ students! Even if you made 100 on the NBME you would not make an Honor.

Its one thing to be entitled enough to say that 40% should honor each rotation, its another thing to reasonably complain when it truly is a dumb and ridiculous grading system. By your logic nobody should complain even in a truly unfair system and their would be no Civil Rights Movement or Women's Suffrage.
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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By your logic nobody should complain even in a truly unfair system and their would be no Civil Rights Movement or Women's Suffrage.
Oh come on. Really?
 

username456789

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No one is saying "everyone should get honors". At my school the first batch of 50 students are done with their surgical rotation, and not one of them honored. Think about what I'm saying- 0% honored in a batch of 50+ students! Even if you made 100 on the NBME you would not make an Honor.

Its one thing to be entitled enough to say that 40% should honor each rotation, its another thing to reasonably complain when it truly is a dumb and ridiculous grading system. By your logic nobody should complain even in a truly unfair system and their would be no Civil Rights Movement or Women's Suffrage.
I wasn't replying to you.

I would also delete that embarrassing last sentence in your post.

It is a pervasive theme on SDN ( and perhaps, by extension, among most medical students) that if one is not getting honors, he or she is doing something wrong. While it is noble and certainly encouraged to strive for a grad of honors, no one should view it as a personal failure if they come up short there. Every school seems to have a different view of what "Honors" should mean. I happen to view it as . . . Wait for it . . . an honor. One that is reserved for the outstanding and highest achieving select few. There are clearly schools and students who seem to view it as a grade given for achievement that is "slightly above average". That philosophical difference notwithstanding, one must work within the framework they are given. Continuous self evaluation and self reflection can help you to identify weaknesses or areas for improvement.
 

TexasMeds

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I wasn't replying to you.

I would also delete that embarrassing last sentence in your post.

It is a pervasive theme on SDN ( and perhaps, by extension, among most medical students) that if one is not getting honors, he or she is doing something wrong. While it is noble and certainly encouraged to strive for a grad of honors, no one should view it as a personal failure if they come up short there. Every school seems to have a different view of what "Honors" should mean. I happen to view it as . . . Wait for it . . . an honor. One that is reserved for the outstanding and highest achieving select few. There are clearly schools and students who seem to view it as a grade given for achievement that is "slightly above average". That philosophical difference notwithstanding, one must work within the framework they are given. Continuous self evaluation and self reflection can help you to identify weaknesses or areas for improvement.
That all makes sense, but let me ask you- if 0% of your class honored surgery would you be okay with that? You'd be at an disadvantage if you're trying to go into a surgical field, no matter how pds read the mspe.
 

Shams al Deen

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I think at that point you just gotta look at your school's previous match lists and see what's up. you'll probably match at a program of the same caliber as most of students at your school historically match.
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Extreme and harsh comparison, my bad. But you get my point and literally everyone in my class is complaining about it to our clerkship director. @username456789 im glad you go to a fairer school but if you're in my class you'd be complaining too.
Is it an ongoing problem? Like did it happen last year too?
 

TexasMeds

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Is it an ongoing problem? Like did it happen last year too?
Last year they had a 1-5 evaluation by the attendings so it was slightly better. You'd have to be very lucky to get an attending that gives all 4/5s and do well on boards to get Honors, so Honor rate was <5% which still sucked. This year they changed it to 1-3 evaluations and surgery attendings don't give 3/3s, so everyone ended up with 2/3 which is equivalent to 75%. This made it impossible for anyone to honor no matter how well you do on the NBME.
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Last year they had a 1-5 evaluation by the attendings so it was slightly better. You'd have to be very lucky to get an attending that gives all 4/5s and do well on boards to get Honors, so Honor rate was <5% which still sucked. This year they changed it to 1-3 evaluations and surgery attendings don't give 3/3s, so everyone ended up with 2/3 which is equivalent to 75%. This made it impossible for anyone to honor no matter how well you do on the NBME.
That's kind of ****ty. What's the criteria for a 3/3? Acting as an intern?
 

Hyahh15

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Yeah, I also go to McGovern, but I know people who are/have been honoring other rotations on the 1-3 scale. The scale isn't ideal, but maybe this is just an issue with our surgery clerkship?

I do agree that MS3 clinical grades seem pretty subjective.
 
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TexasMeds

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Yeah, I also go to McGovern, but I know people who are/have been honoring other rotations on the 1-3 scale. The scale isn't ideal, but maybe this is just an issue with our surgery clerkship?

I do agree that MS3 clinical grades seem pretty subjective.
We also have historically much, much lower honor rates for every other clerkship. Internal medicine and neurology are like ~5%, just to name two. I get it, it is a privilege to get honors and blah blah blah. Bottomline is, going to McGovern puts us at a disadvantage when you're not trying to anything else besides primary care.
 
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