This post likely does not represent reality for most.It doesn't help ... and it does not compensate for a lower Step 1 score because we evaluate the whole package deal. Actually, to be truthful, I have noticed that some AOA members don't volunteer that information (whether they have high Step 1 scores, average Step 1 scores, or low Step 1 scores) due to modesty. So, we wouldn't even know who they are, without looking at the AOA membership directory.
Yes. You can look at the outcomes and you can also ask what PDs think. When surveyed, PDs care about AOA more than your extracurriculars and research. They care that you got high clinical grades and that you outperform your peers in general. www.nrmp.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/PD-Survey-Report-2014.pdfYou can believe a bunch of anecdotes. You could decide to be modest (an absolute moron) and not include it on your app. OR... You could can check the charting outcomes.
AOA Match rates:
Child neuro: 100%
Derm: 89% (versus 66%)
Gen Surg: 98% (versus 83%)
Neuro surg: 93% (versus 75%)
Ortho: 97% (versus 77%)
ENT: 87% (versus 70%)
Plastics: 87% (versus 64%)
Rad onc: 99%
It doesn't make up for a low step score. AOA is a huge plus, but that is likely because it is undoubtedly highly correlated with at the very least top 25% rank and high grades. Also, I'd guess that applicants with low step scores and AOA are not common.
If you are of the type to believe that AOA has no impact, than you must admit that it is an indicator for a successful match in competitive fields.
Totally agree. Given the choice I would much rather have a high Step 1 than be AOA. And I don't think you can really quantify the effect AOA has on matching because it's awarded based on grades/steps/research/whatever; my guess is that people who have the credentials for AOA but don't get it probably match similarly to those who do have it.There is no doubt that being AOA helps, but Step exam scores are based on all applicants, not just ones from an individual institution. Further Step scores have been shown to correlate with specialty board pass rates. Board pass rates are far more important to PDs than who did well in medical school.
Though I would imagine the number of applicants who are AOA and have low Step scores is small, in the end, Step scores are far more important.