Can anyone offer advice? MS3, Step 1 low 230s

Discussion in 'Neurosurgery' started by jbs125, 05.16.14.

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  1. jbs125

    jbs125

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    I'm starting third year and just got back my step 1 score and it was 232, a surprising disappointment given my practice scores, but what's done is done. I became interested in neurosurgery late last year, and therefore I do not have any research, other that some poster presentations in an unrelated, non-surgical field.

    Where I realistically stand? What do I need to do to be able to match? I'm obviously not gunning for top tier residencies, but should I start looking into back-up fields? (I do have other interests, but NS has recently become my #1). Any help at all would be appreciated, a lot of the data I've been looking into is from years ago.
     
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  3. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels Gold Donor SDN Moderator 7+ Year Member

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    It might be worth it to apply to a less competitive field as well, but definitely try to shine on your sub-is and consider trying to do a case report or two.
     
  4. jbs125

    jbs125

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    What would your benchmark be for feeling more confident in applying to just NS and no backup field? Is it a certain number of pubs or type of research? Is it a certain number of sub-Is or something? Sorry if these are nitpicky questions, its just that there isn't a ton of advisement at my school so I'm trying to get second opinions. Is it possible for someone with these stats to match without having some wild connection like a parent in neurosurg or whatever?
     
  5. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels Gold Donor SDN Moderator 7+ Year Member

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    I mean, 240 would be better but there is no golden ticket. Plenty of people match below that though and not all of them are from top schools/have connections. A fist full of pubs from a research year is helpful.
     
  6. ram006

    ram006 Godina Complex 2+ Year Member

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    If your pre-clinical and clinical grades are solid I would think you're still in a pretty good spot. A 232 certainly is no red flag. Just don't back out, if you want to apply to NS then apply to NS. If you'd be ok doing GS then use that as a back-up but my personal opinion is that it's not a great idea to start residency and try to switch (as I did). You eat up your GME funding and it's pretty stressful all around(thank God my PD was supportive in pursuing my goals). I backed out of Ortho last second for geographic reasons and, as a competitive person, I think it was more difficult to get over not trying than it would have been to get over not matching. I did get over it eventually, though, so try not to get too high or too low on NS either way.
     
  7. neusu

    neusu Staff Member SDN Moderator 2+ Year Member

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    232 is below average. Do you have publications? What are your pre-clinical grades? You should do well in your clinical rotations and your aways and get a strong feeling from both your home program or your aways. If you don't, then apply for a back-up. With a score like 232, gen surg/ED/IM or Family might be good back-ups. Alternatively, take some time off, do some research, get published.

    Second this notion.
     
  8. jbs125

    jbs125

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    How essential do you guys think a research year would be? My preclinicals are OK - some honors, some pass, most likely will not get AOA since Step 1 counts for a lot at my school. I guess I'm trying to get a feel for what a "fist full of publications" looks like - 2 or 3 case reports? A year off doing basic science? First authorship on something big? A few small pubs/not first author? I want to shoot for the best - try and honor as much as I can in MS3, try and get some research - but assuming I only honor SOME rotations, what else do I need to do? Ideally I would not want to apply to a back up field, and would be happy in lower tier/programs that do not focus as much on academic medicine.
     
  9. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels Gold Donor SDN Moderator 7+ Year Member

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    A couple of case reports is good but not a fistful. Five non review and non case reports with one first author would be a very strong showing imo, especially for a non research year student.
     
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  10. Hawked

    Hawked

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    Hey man I've wanted to enter NS since forever and recently got a 225 which felt crushing! After talking to a large number of people scores are quite lower this year than others. So wait for the national average to be released in October.
     
  11. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels Gold Donor SDN Moderator 7+ Year Member

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    I dont think that is true
     
  12. Hawked

    Hawked

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    I guarantee you I scored a 225. lol

    I don't have a large enough data set to say with certainty. But that test was weird. I guess we really will have to wait until October.
     
  13. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels Gold Donor SDN Moderator 7+ Year Member

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    Given the way the test is scaled, the minimum pass score, etc it is unlikely that the mean or sd is going to change much. Im not saying that you score disqualifies you, but i dont want you to have false hope that 225 is going to be near the neurosurgery average this year
     
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  14. MinitorV

    MinitorV 5+ Year Member

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    According to the charting outcomes data it seems like more must go into it than just step 1 though. Clearly you aren't going anywhere highly competitive, however it seems like they still had a decent match rate in both the 220-230 and 230-340 range. Does this just speak to the varying competitiveness at different programs?
     
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  15. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels Gold Donor SDN Moderator 7+ Year Member

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    More or less.
     
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  16. VCorp

    VCorp Est. 1985 2+ Year Member

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    @mmmcdowe I was given the opportunity to work with a NSG while I'm doing my core rotations. I'll be working with him for the next 3 months, while I do my core rotations. Whenever there is downtime, I'll shadow him seeing his patients and have had the opportunity to scrub into a procedure already. Granted, it's only been one week so far. I was hoping to get a LOR from this guy, however this is in a community hospital. He's not affiliated with any US university, since he did his residency in Canada.

    Do you think getting a LOR from a community hospital NSG, is pointless? I figured it should have some strong weight, since I'll be working with him for about 4 months.
     
  17. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels Gold Donor SDN Moderator 7+ Year Member

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    It never hurts to make a friend. Worst comes to worst you dont use it.
     

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