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I just got my step1 score, which is bad (195/80). Can anybody tell me if I still have a chance to match a good EM or IM residency?


Junior Member
15+ Year Member
May 31, 2002
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hey hannah,
I wouldn't sweat it for IM (internal medicine) as long as you are flexible about where you match.
I think EM is more competitive and you probably would have to apply to more places for EM.
Besides, you still have 3rd year to improve your chances. So far I've done 1 week of peds rotation. I could already see who is destined to "honors" and it's not the person with the highest USMLE score or even good grades during the first two years of med school.
Like they say, "third year is the time to shine!" too bad, so far it's not the case for me.


Senior Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Mar 17, 2000
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Hi, I am pretty sure you can find a residency somewhere with that score. If I were you, I wouldn't worry too much about that.
Just curious- what were you scoring on QBank/Qbook before the USMLE? I will be taking it soon and just would like to get an idea.
Thanks a lot! Good luck to you!
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15+ Year Member
Apr 29, 2002
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I'm very sorry your upset about your score, Hannah. After reading that you got 70-75% on QBank, now i'm very scared about getting my score. Do you have any idea what may have happened during the test to affect your performance? When you came out of the test, did you have a really bad feeling or did you expect that you did much better and the score come as a complete shock to you?


Membership Revoked
15+ Year Member
Jul 31, 2000
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Hey Hannah, I'm sorry to hear that you are unhappy with your score too. I've just started third year too, but I know that you will not have a problem matching into IM with your score (IM is still being filled with ~40% non-american medical school graduates, and all residency programs favor american medical school graduates); and I don't think that you will have a problem matching in EM if you do well third and fourth year. When it comes time to apply, just make sure that you sit down with someone (your dean of student affairs, EM residency director at your school) to get some advice about where some good places to apply would be. Unlike the MCAT, board scores aren't even supposed to be used as cutoffs or to measure a student's apptitude according to the nbme (even though they unfortunately are in some of the most competetive residency programs), and I'm sure that your honors in your pre-clinical work will show that you do have a strong grasp of the subject matter. You can also take step 2 early (right after 3rd yr, before you apply) and if you do well on that, that will help your application too. Most things that I've read about residency programs and heard from profs, upperclassmen etc indicate that the average residency program in most specialties is just looking for people that they will enjoy being around for the 3-4 yrs of your residency, not people with the highest board scores. Good luck.
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