borderline USMLE step 2 score. . .to release or not?

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microbe hunter

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Not a regular SDN poster, but just got my USMLE step 2 score and am facing a dilemma. Scored a 90/225 on step 1 a couple of years ago. This was slightly above the mean back then.

My step 2 score: 90/222. Right ON the mean.

I've scored some interviews at some very strong anesthesiology programs thus far. But not only am i waiting on a few more, I'm concerned about screwing my chances at the places I already am invited to by basically proving that i can't do better and that i'm an average USMLE scorer.

On the other hand, if I dont release my step 2 score, all the programs are going to be wondering. . .did he fail? did he do really poorly? And this is an OK score, after all. Nothing stellar, but still ok.

Any advice from the gurus as to whether i should go ahead are release the scores now, or just wait until after rank list time?
 
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dave262

microbe hunter said:
Not a regular SDN poster, but just got my USMLE step 2 score and am facing a dilemma. Scored a 90/225 on step 1 a couple of years ago. This was slightly above the mean back then.

My step 2 score: 90/222. Right ON the mean.

I've scored some interviews at some very strong anesthesiology programs thus far. But not only am i waiting on a few more, I'm concerned about screwing my chances at the places I already am invited to by basically proving that i can't do better and that i'm an average USMLE scorer.

On the other hand, if I dont release my step 2 score, all the programs are going to be wondering. . .did he fail? did he do really poorly? And this is an OK score, after all. Nothing stellar, but still ok.

Any advice from the gurus as to whether i should go ahead are release the scores now, or just wait until after rank list time?

I'd release it. If anything, its only a further indication that you are capable of passing anesthesia boards. Its certainly not low enough to hurt you.
 

jc237

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you're quite a high expectation dude... that score u got ain't "borderline" by any means and I think many would wish they have your score... release it, no doubt. Some programs will be curious and may wish to know before ranking time anyways
 

microbe hunter

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jc237 said:
you're quite a high expectation dude... that score u got ain't "borderline" by any means and I think many would wish they have your score... release it, no doubt. Some programs will be curious and may wish to know before ranking time anyways

Well it does seem kinda borderline for programs like MGH and Brigham, which are places I'm aiming for, since their average scores are in the 230's. I already have some such interviews most likely thanks to my other credentials, and i'm hoping that since i've passed this hurdle i'm past the score issue, but I dont know how much all these elements are taken into consideration when candidates are being ranked.

I cant help but feel like I've been granted such interviews with the programs hoping that my step 2 score will be better, but it's the same.
 

me454555

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microbe hunter said:
Well it does seem kinda borderline for programs like MGH and Brigham, which are places I'm aiming for, since their average scores are in the 230's. I already have some such interviews most likely thanks to my other credentials, and i'm hoping that since i've passed this hurdle i'm past the score issue, but I dont know how much all these elements are taken into consideration when candidates are being ranked.

I cant help but feel like I've been granted such interviews with the programs hoping that my step 2 score will be better, but it's the same.

what makes you think that school would say "This kid got a 225 on step 1, lets interview him b/c we think hes gonna get a 230+ on step 2. If he doesn't get that, its not worth the interview."

The bottom line is that you step 2 score isn't bad by any means. Its right in line w/your step 1 score which is more than respectable. Any school willing to grant you an interview based on your step 1 score won't be dissappointed by your step 2 score. By the same token, any school not impressed by your step 1 score, won't be impressed by your step 2 score either. You won't be hurt at all by your step 2 score b/c its pretty consistant w/your step 1 score. Withholding it will only hurt you as it may put doubts into peoples mind
 

microbe hunter

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well i guess what you guys are saying does make sense. especially what you said, me45434234, about the program being fine with the step 2 score if they were ok with the step 1 score and vice versa. So, I'll go ahead and release em.
Thanks guys.
 

Monitor

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microbe hunter said:
well i guess what you guys are saying does make sense. especially what you said, me45434234, about the program being fine with the step 2 score if they were ok with the step 1 score and vice versa. So, I'll go ahead and release em.
Thanks guys.


One more thing, pull your head out of your arse... You dumbs#*t. What kind of BS was that? I only got the mean, should I apply... Good God, it's only tough for FMGs and DOs, Anesthesia ain't all that hard to get in... The numbers applying are boosted by FMGs and DOs... US Allopathics are all set - it ain't Neurosurg or Derm...
 

aredoubleyou

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The programs know if you took the exam or not, regardless if you release your score or not. If you dont release your score, I think most people would assume that you did badly. Therefore, if you did badly, then you might not want to release your score. But seeing that you did better than 50% of all medical students in the entire US, you might want to release it.

Another day on SDN - people with good board scores worrying about getting into Harvard, people too buff and too ravishingly good looking for interviews,...cant wait to see whats next :)
 

chicamedica

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Monitor said:
One more thing, pull your head out of your arse... You dumbs#*t. What kind of BS was that? I only got the mean, should I apply... Good God, it's only tough for FMGs and DOs, Anesthesia ain't all that hard to get in... The numbers applying are boosted by FMGs and DOs... US Allopathics are all set - it ain't Neurosurg or Derm...


says the guy with scores of 240s. . . :rolleyes:

I hear the OP. some people dont want to just "get in" to any ol' community program, but are going for the top--those programs ARE gonna be a lot more competitive than the general statistics indicate, even in the field of anesthesia, and especially this year. And i dont see anything wrong with aiming high. No need for name calling, just cause you dont have to worry about your scores.
 

Idiopathic

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Hell, some of us DO's are set too you know ;)

And I hate to tell you, but US grads are applying in MUCH larger numbers than previously. Dont kid yourself into thinking that this surge is all due to DO/FMG grads, cause it isnt.
 

Idiopathic

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To follow up, I dont know your Step 1 score, so its tough to advise. I wouldnt release your score unless you have to, like if you feel that beating the mean (which you did) would help your case. Also, if a program requires it, you should release it to them. I would contact everyone on your ROL after interviews and ask if they have to have your score prior to ranking you (some do). Otherwise, I wouldnt worry about it.
 

Megalofyia

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Idiopathic said:
To follow up, I dont know your Step 1 score, so its tough to advise. I wouldnt release your score unless you have to, like if you feel that beating the mean (which you did) would help your case. Also, if a program requires it, you should release it to them. I would contact everyone on your ROL after interviews and ask if they have to have your score prior to ranking you (some do). Otherwise, I wouldnt worry about it.
How's it going?
Anyways his step 1 score was 90/225.
 

chicamedica

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Idiopathic said:
To follow up, I dont know your Step 1 score, so its tough to advise. I wouldnt release your score unless you have to, like if you feel that beating the mean (which you did) would help your case. Also, if a program requires it, you should release it to them. I would contact everyone on your ROL after interviews and ask if they have to have your score prior to ranking you (some do). Otherwise, I wouldnt worry about it.

can scores only be released to a few programs, but not others? I thought retransmission of scores automatically goes out to all the programs that originally got them. Am I wrong?
 

jc237

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aredoubleyou said:
Another day on SDN - people with good board scores worrying about getting into Harvard, people too buff and too ravishingly good looking for interviews,...cant wait to see whats next :)

:laugh: :laugh: yeah, I used to be a professional model. People call me Fabio all the time. I have a face that could launch many many ships and I'm more ripped than Usher. Do you think I should tone it down a little before the interview. I mean, I don't want them to think I go to the gym all the time and look at every mirror I come across, right? I really don't want the interviewers and my fellow interviewees to feel intimidated by my physical presence, but boy you should see me in my scrubs. It's a sight to behold. But really, should I start eating, like, fried chicken with gravy or something like that to make myself flabbier?

Furthermore, I have 260 on Step 1 and I'm only gunning for the mid- to second-tier programs. Should I intentionally do a little worse on Step 2 like a 250 or something? I don't want these mid- to second-tier programs to think I'm too good for them and have them not rank me at all. Sorry for all the questions. Please help a brother out.
 

microbe hunter

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jc237 said:
:laugh: :laugh: yeah, I used to be a professional model. People call me Fabio all the time. I have a face that could launch many many ships and I'm more ripped than Usher. Do you think I should tone it down a little before the interview. I mean, I don't want them to think I go to the gym all the time and look at every mirror I come across, right? I really don't want the interviewers and my fellow interviewees to feel intimidated by my physical presence, but boy you should see me in my scrubs. It's a sight to behold. But really, should I start eating, like, fried chicken with gravy or something like that to make myself flabbier?

Furthermore, I have 260 on Step 1 and I'm only gunning for the mid- to second-tier programs. Should I intentionally do a little worse on Step 2 like a 250 or something? I don't want these mid- to second-tier programs to think I'm too good for them and have them not rank me at all. Sorry for all the questions. Please help a brother out.

well, you know. . .it's a shame that applicants with ok but not great scores who are trying to aim as high as they can have to worry about asking for advice on here for fear of being shamed for it. I think as current applicants, aredoubleyou and jc237 (and monitor for that matter), you should NOT be the ones responding to this particular question or even making your unuseful belittling comments. This was a simple question regarding the wisest choice to make with my step 2 score. and not a worry about "will i get into Harvard". I am asking this question simply because it's not clear cut to me what I should do. If I did worse on step 2, it would be obvious to me that I shouldn't release them. If I did better, obviously i'd release them right away. And I am asking this question of the more senior people here, NOT the currently applying folk, cause obviously you guys will not know.
 

pmichaelmd

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I would release the scores. I doubt that many programs would dismiss your application for scoring at the mean. True, anesthesiology has become more competitive in recent years and using this board as a litmus test is tough because everyone who posts is a 250+ scorer, or so it would seem. I think it'll be more important how you distinguish yourself once you get the interview. Scores are good and fine but proving to the program that you are a normal person and not some inept misanthrope will be more telling.

Good luck to you...you'll do fine.

Cheers,
PMMD


microbe hunter said:
well, you know. . .it's a shame that applicants with ok but not great scores who are trying to aim as high as they can have to worry about asking for advice on here for fear of being shamed for it. I think as current applicants, aredoubleyou and jc237 (and monitor for that matter), you should NOT be the ones responding to this particular question or even making your unuseful belittling comments. This was a simple question regarding the wisest choice to make with my step 2 score. and not a worry about "will i get into Harvard". I am asking this question simply because it's not clear cut to me what I should do. If I did worse on step 2, it would be obvious to me that I shouldn't release them. If I did better, obviously i'd release them right away. And I am asking this question of the more senior people here, NOT the currently applying folk, cause obviously you guys will not know.
 

sleepdeprived

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If this is the big dilema you are facing then life must be good. Personally, i resent the fact that you consider the mean borderline. So if you score the mean you are borderline. What is it called to score a just passing score then? seriously, anything above 220 is a good score even in anesthesia. :rolleyes:
 

microbe hunter

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sleepdeprived said:
If this is the big dilema you are facing then life must be good. Personally, i resent the fact that you consider the mean borderline. So if you score the mean you are borderline. What is it called to score a just passing score then? seriously, anything above 220 is a good score even in anesthesia. :rolleyes:

Well thanks. Sorry i didn't mean to ruffle any feathers with the word "borderline". . .what I meant was that it's borderline between weak and strong. as pmmd mentioned it does seem on SDN that the majority of applicants have 240+. Like i also said in my original post, i do realize the score is good. It's not great though. There also may be some truth to the high score predominance. Not to freak anyone out, but I heard a PD of a top tier program say that he got so many applications this year that he could theoretically fill the class with applicants who scored >240. Dont know if this is how applicants will be selected, but it does make 220 seem pretty darned average.
 

microbe hunter

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pmichaelmd said:
I would release the scores. I doubt that many programs would dismiss your application for scoring at the mean. True, anesthesiology has become more competitive in recent years and using this board as a litmus test is tough because everyone who posts is a 250+ scorer, or so it would seem. I think it'll be more important how you distinguish yourself once you get the interview. Scores are good and fine but proving to the program that you are a normal person and not some inept misanthrope will be more telling.

Good luck to you...you'll do fine.

Cheers,
PMMD

Thanks so much PMMD, after reading this I went ahead and released them. . .and I feel ok about it.
 

me454555

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Microbe,

I think the big reason people don't like thses types of posts is b/c there no way to give you the correct answer. On top of that you've gotta realize that what you call decent board scores, are scores that some of us, myself included, would love to have. By saying posting, "I don't know if my scores are good enough for schools x, y, z" etc etc etc, its almost like an unintetional slap in the face to some of the posters here.

I made a post a few months ago about this but since the search function is disabled, I'll rehash it. Posting your scores and asking if you'll match is like posting your measurments and asking if you'll get to marry someone. Scores, like measurements, only tell half the story. There is much more to application that just those 2 numbers. Your numbers a good enough to show PDs that you're competant and smart enough to pass any board exam. The rest of you application is what will make or break their decision on interviewing you. Your ECs, research, auditions, LORs and such are going to make your decision for you.

Like I said in my first post, I don't think it really helps you to not release your step II score b/c the school will have already seen your step I score plus the rest of your app. You step II score won't change their minds either way so save yourself the trouble and just release it.
 
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