Another question for Ophtho_MudPhud

Discussion in 'Ophthalmology: Eye Physicians & Surgeons' started by rice, Nov 19, 2002.

  1. rice

    rice Junior Member
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    I just happened on this site and wish I knew about it sooner. Anyway, I wanted to get your opinion on my situation. I go to a pretty good med school, did reasonably well on my rotations, and got funded for doing research, but I kind of slacked off studying for the boards and only got a 200. Now, the Ophtho program director at my school told me that board scores aren't a big component of the interview selection process, but I only have 4 interviews so far. I was kind of expecting more interviews, and now I think my step I scores are what's really hurting my chances to get interviews. Now here's the weird part: 3 of my interviews are at USC, Duke, and Mayo, clearly highly regarded programs...and no invitations from lots of places ranked further down...that's quite random, but since they're pretty competitive programs I'm worried that I won't match.:( What do you think?

    I'm remaining hopeful, but I can't help feeling frustrated about this whole process; if I don't match I can't think of any other specialty I'd want to do.
     
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  3. 7ontheline

    7ontheline Member
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    I don't know what advice to offer, since it's a little late to do anything about your application for this year. Unfortunately, from my experience, I was told that Step 1 scores are a big part of the application. Not in the sense that a 260 will beat out a 230 every time, but in that most programs will likely have a minimum score to even consider your app and then a higher minimum to be a serious candidate. It could be different at various places, but that's what I seemed to encounter. Not everyone I met had a great Step 1, but no one had a bad one.

    Anyway, if someone else has better news for you, then I hope what I'm telling you is not totally true. Good luck. If you have to, maybe you can get a research position and re-apply next year.

    7ontheline
    PGY-1 (UIC ophtho next yr)
     
  4. rice

    rice Junior Member
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    Thanks for your input. The Step I certainly doesn't help me - too bad I can't retake it. For some reason, standardized tests have always been my downfall...but yeah, it's probably the case that different programs look at the boards differently. Anyway, I have some interviews, it's just not a ton of them; and I still could get 1 or 2 more, so all is not lost right now. Any other thoughts?
     
  5. Andrew_Doan

    Andrew_Doan Doc, Author, Entrepreneur
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    It's impressive that you landed the USC and DUKE interviews. USC likes to invite people from big name schools with strong credentials. I really liked Doheny and wished that Southern Cali wasn't so expensive!

    Some of the smaller programs will select people to interview primarily by board scores because they have less number of spots to offerand the number of outstanding residents are high. You can count on programs interviewing ~10-12 people for each position. Unfortunately, your board scores of 200 is low considering that the mean is about 215 for all USMLE test takers and 225 for matched residents. When your score is below the mean, and programs need to select between two equal residents, most often the one with the higher score will get the interview. You probably knew this already.

    On the positive note, however, once you get the interview, board scores are not a strong consideration for ranking. Here is where applicants can really shine. Interview well and you will match.

    Good luck!
     

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