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Chances of matching in dermatology with a 242 on Step 1

Discussion in 'Step I' started by Osaka_Sun, Apr 10, 2018.

  1. Osaka_Sun

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    Dermatology is my dream. There isn’t really any other field I’m as passionate about. I’m extremely hard working and willing to do whatever it takes. Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks!
     
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  3. Dr. Opout

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    You've left out several key details, like if you're a US student or IMG for starters. That's kinda key..
     
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  4. OutRun

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    How hot are you? That’s the real question.
     
  5. Osaka_Sun

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    IMG...I attend SGU. Will be starting rotations soon in New Jersey. You can be brutally honest it’s ok. I just wanna know if there’s at least a chance and what I should be doing.
     
  6. Osaka_Sun

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    Maybe an 8.5 on a good day haha
     
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  7. sovereign0

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    The median* step for US MDs matching dermatology was a 251 while the median* unmatched USMD had a score in the low 240's.

    A US MD with your Step 1 would be in a very tenuous position applying to derm with that step score.
     
    #6 sovereign0, Apr 14, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
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  8. anonymousdoctobe

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    You can apply derm but make sure to have a backup plan. Make sure to do rotations and make connections. Get some pubs and apply broadly. Maybe apply IM (or whatever youd pick as second choice) as well.
     
  9. Dr. Opout

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    Well you're facing an uphill battle for sure. But the key for IMGs in derm is research. In 2016, I believe 9 total IMGs matched into derm. Their scores were average (~220s, 230s) but the average number of research publications/presentations was like 16-17. This data may have changed in the past few years, but I'm quoting from memory from Charting the Outcomes for IMGs which you can Google and peruse at your leisure.

    So long story short, if it's something you're truly passionate about and don't want to do anything else, then I'd be prepared to buckle down and do a minimum of 2-3 years of research at a program that either historically accepts IMGs or has enough heavy hitters to make calls/write letters on your behalf to get you interviews. And while there, destroy every assignment and task. Make them see that you'd be an asset to them and the field. But even then, there's no guarantee. The tough part about this would be to put off paying your debt for a few years with nothing promised at the end. But if it's truly your dream, I'd at least go all in on it for a few years and live with the results. It's a tough path, not gonna lie. But somebody's gotta do it, why not you? Best of luck.
     
  10. Osaka_Sun

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    Yes I see what a tough battle I’m in for. Thank u so much for your honest feedback!
     
  11. Osaka_Sun

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    I will keep that in mind. Thank you !
     
  12. Osaka_Sun

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    Firstly thank u so so much for your very detailed,honest and constructive post. I really appreciate you taking the time to help me! I think you’re absolutely right,no doubt it will be extremely tough. But it is my passion and I should at least try. I feel like u need to have a delusional way of thinking sometimes to achieve your dreams lol I believe it is still possible if you have the right mindset and make connections with the right people. I’m only 22 so I don’t mind taking some years off to do some amazing research. Hopefully if time permits I can get started in third year. I really hope it works out, something in my gut it saying it will because I know how I determined I am, but if not, well that’s ok too I guess :) at least I tried and gave it my all.
     
  13. DubbiDoctor

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    Where'd you get 251. Believe 2016's charting outcomes lists 248 or 249.
     
  14. DubbiDoctor

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    Why didn't you reapply, using the gap years to strengthen your application, to get into a DO or MD?
     
  15. sovereign0

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  16. Osaka_Sun

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    I think I left out some other important info I’m sorry lol I’m not a US citizen. Another dent in my profile. Education in my country is really strange. We do things at a really young age. I went into 1 year of pre med straight after high school, then 2 years of med. Never took the MCAT either. In my country we have our own standardized tests that SGU accepted. Being rushed into medicine at that age I wasn’t aware of the stigma associated with attending a Caribbean based medical school. At that age I was just excited to move to a new country where I could study on the beach lol Otherwise I would have definitely waited and tried to get into a US medical school. I did really well at sgu though, made honor society and everything. Guess that’s pretty useless as they only recognize AOA. I really thought I would have scored higher on my step but such is life. Maybe if kill my step 2 they will think I’m smarter haha who knows. I know all the odds are against me right now.
     
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  17. sovereign0

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    Not being a US citizen is also going to pose a huge issue for you.

    I'd encourage you to consider the consequences of trying for Derm and failing to match and having to re-apply. The match rate for independent applicants / re-applicants is lower than that of first-time IMG's, which is already low for non-competitive specialties. I'm not trying to dissuade you from doing whatever you want, just want to make sure you have the facts and know what you're getting into.

    A non-US citizen Caribbean grad with a below-average-for the-specialty Step 1 score applying to Dermatology is statistically insanity.
     
  18. Osaka_Sun

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    Yes I completely understand what you’re saying and thank you so much for your honest feedback. This thread has really convinced me that I may delusion disorder mixed with some manic episodes lol . It’s just a feeling in my gut I can’t explain it. I will definitely still try and give it 100 %... whatever it takes. Even if I get burned in the end... honestly just the opportunity to work towards such a big dream gives my life so much meaning. I will at least try!
     
  19. Osaka_Sun

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    I really want to commend all you guys for being so respectful and honest in all your responses. I was really expecting some rude comments , especially for a post like this lol I always browse sdn threads when I’m looking for advice so I know how abusive some of the members on here can be. But you all communicated your thoughts beautifully! You guys were really helpful and I truly appreciate all the constructive criticism. So my delusional plan is.....1)still go for derm! it is possible, extremely rare but still possible (ps. thank you to the person that posted the img article the stats were really helpful)...2)Hopefully meet a kind soul out there that will be my mentor!....3)research research research!! may take a year or 2 off for it, I’m young I have time!! I won’t view this as chore but as an opportunity to make beneficial contributions to the field of dermatology. Once there is passion in my research I’ll be able to kick butt in my interviews! 4)Away rotations are a must! 5)Make good connections! Somehow I always manage to meet nice people in life willing to help me.6)I don’t really want to entertain this thought, I’m not really passionate about any other field, but like someone previously said have a backup! Maybe anaethesia idk we’ll see. I believe I will end up wherever I’m supposed to, my light will shine brightly ! :) I will update this post in the future even if I’m a complete failure lmao
     
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  20. Medstart108

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    These people were probably true IMGs who did research years in the US.
     
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  21. sovereign0

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    And likely had doctor relatives with money or connections to the programs or hospitals, if I had to guess. Definitely not a typical IMG with a 220 churning out a ton of research and matching derm.
     
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  22. Dr. Opout

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    Looking forward to hearing about your progress. This sounds like as solid a plan as you can have for such a tough endeavor. Just to expand upon #6, I know it's never fun to think about backup plans. But I think human beings have a certain degree of plasticity when it comes to interests. Even if derm checks all your boxes far more than other specialties, there is still meaningful and fulfilling work in other branches of medicine. Even if you fail to be that one in a million IMG that matches derm, you'll still have the opportunity to provide quality care to patients in dire need of it. By all means, continue to pursue derm with conviction and vigor and you may be successful. But just know that when the dust You'll still have the chance of being a great doctor
    I'm not sure how you could say it's definite, unless you happen to know a few who did it that way. The way I see it, churning out a ton of research and succeeding at a program is what allows you to make your own connections and not depend on rich doctor family members' connections. It's not the same field, but I personally know an IMG who did years of research and failed to match twice before finally getting a spot in ophthalmology (also a highly coveted and ultra competitive field). So it's possible, albeit unlikely. I think the OP knows the odds are stacked against her, but if there was a way for her to break into the field, this would be it.
     
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  23. Medstart108

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    I wouldn't be so sure about that. There are always a few true IMGs who come from places like the UK, India, Pakistan where they were top of their class and came to the US with the sole intention of matching. True IMGs are also the least likely group to have connections. Connections fade fast when you leave the immediate vicinity. Unless your dad or mom is in the same department at the same hospital connections lose their pull. They can also only help so much, no one wants to work with someone who they don't like or who isn't good enough for 5 years just as a favour unless they are a close friend or their boss/immediate colleague. Not to mention that if your mom is an ENT in the department you are applying to but the PD hates her? It could even hurt you in the application.
     
    #22 Medstart108, Apr 16, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
  24. sovereign0

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    You've confused IMGs with FMGs.

    IMG usually refers to a US citizen who went to an offshore school like the Caribbean. Many IMGs have physician or otherwise wealthy parents but were unable to get accepted into a US MD/DO school.
     
  25. Medstart108

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    True, I meant FMGs when I said true IMGs. But yeah, most of these people who match to derm spots are FMGs, of course with connections some IMGs may match but connections unless very direct are harder to utilize.

    I remember a time during my clerkship where the PD anesthetist mentioned how she received an email from a doctor asking for her for special "consideration" for this person's IMG son. She told us this story and said, this doctor's email made her less likely to consider the applicant saying, what happens if I accept this applicant and he doesn't like a rotation schedule I give him, will his dad send me another email about this issue?
     
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  26. BlueArc

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    You have a very high chance of matching with that score. I know somebody who works with the PD at one of the top medical schools in the US and the requirement is only 230+ for FMGs to be considered. PM me if you want any details. Good luck!!!
     
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  27. Osaka_Sun

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    Thank you so much I definitely will! Really appreciate it
     
  28. Dermpire

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    Not to burst your bubble, but the number of FMG/IMG matching derm each year is likely countable on one hand. Not to mention these people often have very strong personal connections.

    I would give you a 5-10% chance of matching US Dermatology at best. Unless you happen to be related to some PDs or know some very important people.
     
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  29. Osaka_Sun

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    Yeah I know it’s gonna be really challenging. Near impossible lol But no harm in trying right! Your dreams should scare you. I’ll also explore other fields in 3rd year and have a back up.
     
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  30. Medstart108

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  31. Dermpire

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    Also note that she was a research fellow for 2 full years at Stanford before matching there. Again supporting the trend of Connections>>>>Everything else for IMGs
     
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  32. Osaka_Sun

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  33. Medstart108

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    Connections, yes, but not the "my mom is the chief of derm at stanford" so I can waltz in type of connection, but more so, this girl worked hard and was incredibly productive for 2 years, she'd make a good resident, kind of connection.
     
  34. Dermpire

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    Well actually I meant both types of connections. Yes, most of them are the latter case that you point out, but there are definitely cases where phone calls are made or parents are on faculty and people get into programs without the legwork.

    I agree 100% that that girl probably worked her butt off to get where she was and I think she likely earned her spot through unimaginable effort and dedication.
     
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  35. Pityriasis Rosea

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    Reach out to people from your school who are in dermatology residencies and ask what they did to get there.
     
  36. Lnsean

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    Be real and honest with yourself. I think you have like 5-10% chance optimistically. US Carib is gonna hurt you alot. Obviously have a backup like everyone is saying...it's highly unlikely you will match derm
     

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