Bad grades M1 year...can I still match?

guitarplayer85

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Apr 28, 2012
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  1. Medical Student
    I met with the Chief of Surgery at my school and he expressed a lot of concern about my match potential. I'd really love to become a urologist, but do you think I'm out of the running, or is it still worth trying to match?

    M1 year: 4 C's, 2 B's

    M2 year: 4 B's, 2 A's

    M3 year: 2 Honors (including surgery), 2 High Pass, 2 Pass

    Step 1: 235

    CV: 2 clinical research projects in surgery/urology, many volunteer hours, a few leadership positions, lots of research in college

    Assuming a 240+ on step 2 (I'm studying my tail off), is there any chance of me matching?

    I'd love to hear your opinions. Thanks, all.

    -Greg
     

    DocEspana

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      Know what, let me throw my stats down too...

      MS1: 8B's 2A's
      MS2: 1C 5B's 4A's
      MS3: Honors in Peds, Emergency, IM, Surgery, OBGYN, and Family Med, including very strong (obviously, given all honors) STEP scores.

      Research: 1 Medical Education Research that has won 2 "best poster" awards from the NY medical society and the AAMC. Currently attempting to get it published. Multiple national-level leadership positions within the AMA.

      USMLE: 234 (I felt like I could have done better. I was testing in the low-mid 240s under test conditions)
      COMLEX (for those who care): 585

      And I already have a very strong LoR from a urologist that used to train at a major local program and has trained the program directors at two different sites I'll be rotating at (but now he just hangs out in long island cystoscoping people, and he apparently thinks highly of me)
       

      Sol Rosenberg

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        guitarplayer: First of all, why are you talking to a Surg. chief, and not a urologist? Does your school not have a urology dept/division? If this is the case, it is my understanding that you are facing a bit of an uphill, but definitely not impossible battle. What was the Surg. chief concerned about? Your M1 grades? Everything else looks decent to me. Again, if you get good LORs, do 1-2 aways (2-3 if you don't have a home department,) and apply broadly I think you can match.

        DocEspana: The fact that you included a COMLEX score leads me to believe that you are going to a DO school. I can count on one hand the number of DO students that I saw on the [MD] urology interview trail. This, unfortunately, puts you at a major disadvantage for MD programs. There are some DO-only programs that I know nothing about.
         
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        guitarplayer85

        New Member
        Apr 28, 2012
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        1. Medical Student
          guitarplayer: First of all, why are you talking to a Surg. chief, and not a urologist? Does your school not have a urology dept/division? If this is the case, it is my understanding that you are facing a bit of an uphill, but definitely not impossible battle. What was the Surg. chief concerned about? Your M1 grades? Everything else looks decent to me. Again, if you get good LORs, do 1-2 aways (2-3 if you don't have a home department,) and apply broadly I think you can match.

          DocEspana: The fact that you included a COMLEX score leads me to believe that you are going to a DO school. I can count on one hand the number of DO students that I saw on the [MD] urology interview trail. This, unfortunately, puts you at a major disadvantage for MD programs. There are some DO-only programs that I know nothing about.

          Sol,

          Thanks for your reply. I should have clarified. We do not have a home urology program, so it's recommended to get a letter from him. He expressed a lot of concern about my match potential just based on my M1 grades, even though my Step 1 and research experience are at least average, meaning there are a fair number of matchees who score lower. At any rate, thank you for the feedback!
           

          DocEspana

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            guitarplayer: First of all, why are you talking to a Surg. chief, and not a urologist? Does your school not have a urology dept/division? If this is the case, it is my understanding that you are facing a bit of an uphill, but definitely not impossible battle. What was the Surg. chief concerned about? Your M1 grades? Everything else looks decent to me. Again, if you get good LORs, do 1-2 aways (2-3 if you don't have a home department,) and apply broadly I think you can match.

            DocEspana: The fact that you included a COMLEX score leads me to believe that you are going to a DO school. I can count on one hand the number of DO students that I saw on the [MD] urology interview trail. This, unfortunately, puts you at a major disadvantage for MD programs. There are some DO-only programs that I know nothing about.

            Oh I know. My intention is to apply to some decent chance programs (have taken do students or have my relatives in their Urology program in recent years).

            But there are 8ish DO programs and I'm rotating at two of them (and my third rotation is an AUA program two relatives have gone through).

            Make believe I'm not a DO for a second, how does the qualifications sound.
             

            armybound

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              Sol,

              Thanks for your reply. I should have clarified. We do not have a home urology program, so it's recommended to get a letter from him. He expressed a lot of concern about my match potential just based on my M1 grades, even though my Step 1 and research experience are at least average, meaning there are a fair number of matchees who score lower. At any rate, thank you for the feedback!
              are you planning 2-3 aways?
               

              guitarplayer85

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              Apr 28, 2012
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                Yes, I'm going to do 2. Addon question...how many programs should I apply to? If I'm willing to spend the money, would it be stupid to apply to like, 90, to give myself the max number of interviews and increase my chance as much as possible?
                 

                Sol Rosenberg

                Long Live the New Flesh!
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                  Oh I know. My intention is to apply to some decent chance programs (have taken do students or have my relatives in their Urology program in recent years).

                  But there are 8ish DO programs and I'm rotating at two of them (and my third rotation is an AUA program two relatives have gone through).

                  Make believe I'm not a DO for a second, how does the qualifications sound.

                  You're kind of in the same boat as guitarplayer (but your 3rd year grades are better, which definitely helps) Not the greatest app, but I personally know people with stats like yours (or worse) that matched this past cycle. From here on, you just need to do everything that you can to improve your app. Usually the only things that you can do at this point are aways, good letters, and urology research. For you guys, maybe kill step 2. But, I would talk to an advisor/PD to see if you should take Step 2 early (i.e. early enough to submit with your app.)
                   

                  guitarplayer85

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                  Apr 28, 2012
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                    You're kind of in the same boat as guitarplayer (but your 3rd year grades are better, which definitely helps) Not the greatest app, but I personally know people with stats like yours (or worse) that matched this past cycle. From here on, you just need to do everything that you can to improve your app. Usually the only things that you can do at this point are aways, good letters, and urology research. For you guys, maybe kill step 2. But, I would talk to an advisor/PD to see if you should take Step 2 early (i.e. early enough to submit with your app.)

                    Good advice - I'm taking Step 2 early July and I'm taking 1 month to study for it, doing all the Kaplan AND UWorld questions, and also using DIT. lol. I'm running the gamut on this because I want to do as well as I possibly can.

                    OH. This is something I really need advice on - should I address my bad M1 grades in my personal statement?
                     

                    armybound

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                      Yes, I'm going to do 2. Addon question...how many programs should I apply to? If I'm willing to spend the money, would it be stupid to apply to like, 90, to give myself the max number of interviews and increase my chance as much as possible?
                      My "advisor" routinely tells people who are interested in competitive specialties to apply to 100 programs. Thought being that you need enough interviews to match, so if you're not that strong of an applicant, you'll need more applicants to get enough interviews. I'd say 50 minimum (that's how many I'll shoot for -- my 3rd year grades are worse than yours, though my Step and preclinical grades are better), maybe look more like 75-100 if that's feasible for you.

                      I wouldn't mention bad grades in your PS. I'm not planning on really mentioning school at all in mine, but I haven't thought out my PS too much yet.
                       
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