Class Rank--one more time--who cares?

docscience

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    HERE IS AN EMAIL FROM MY STUDENT AFFAIRS OFFICE ABOUT CLASS RANK AND SUCH:


    The AAMC did away with the "dean's letters" back in 2003 and all medical schools do the MSPE. This is a written academic transcript of your medical education and not a "recommendation" letter, it is a template based on recommendations from AAMC.
    In your MSPE, there is one letter paragraph about your first & second years of medical school and it pretty much reads like this:

    Our faculty uses an Honors-Pass-Fail grading system. Within this context, ** successfully completed the basic science curriculum and elective courses. ** overall score for Step 1 of the USMLE is 205.


    If someone honored or failed any first or second year courses it would go in this paragraph and that is pretty much the extent of it. The MSPE is mostly comprised of your third year & fourth year clerkship/rotation evaluations. This is where you really need to shine, so you can have good evaluations on your MSPE.

    You will get your first year class rank at the beginning of your second year. Class rank does not go into your MSPE anywhere.

    I have attached three different MSPEs for you to look over. One is a student who was at the top of their class, then someone who was in the middle, and the other one is a student at the bottom of their class. There are also three graphs that are attached to the MSPE and I have sent you a sample of those as well.
     

    lord_jeebus

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      Your school probably has AOA. AOA does make a difference for some things.

      Preclinical performance probably matters for getting this.

      Your 3rd year evals and grades are more important, and not getting many honors won't kill your residency applications, but there are benefits to doing well during your first two years.
       
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      docscience

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        Your school probably has AOA. AOA does make a difference for some things.

        Preclinical performance probably matters for getting this.

        Your 3rd year evals and grades are more important, and not getting many honors won't kill your residency applications, but there are benefits to doing well during your first two years.


        LordJeebus, Good point...AOA I hear is based on pre-clinical grades mostly. And I am sure that being AOA looks great on applications.

        But I think AOA is only 10-25% of the class? Is that correct?

        Is everyone else screwed for a competitive residency? I don't think so...

        I am still an M1, but it seems that Step I, 3rd year evals, and connections are the key!! (+ AOA as a nice bounce in the application).
         

        lord_jeebus

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          My impression (my school doesn't have AOA so my opinion is limited) is that having AOA is a big edge, but if you don't have it there are other ways to stand out (publications, for instance).

          If you look at the stats (search for "charting outcomes in the match") you will see the percentages of successful applicants in each field that were AOA.
           

          docscience

          AZCOM (Junior Member)
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            My impression (my school doesn't have AOA so my opinion is limited) is that having AOA is a big edge, but if you don't have it there are other ways to stand out (publications, for instance).

            If you look at the stats (search for "charting outcomes in the match") you will see the percentages of successful applicants in each field that were AOA.


            I have seen the "charting outcomes in the match" and AOA does seem to be a big edge in some specialties, but like you said...your school doesn't even have AOA...that is a big disadvantage is you are very deserving of it at your school...

            And a lot of people with AOA also go into "non-competitive" (though they might be top programs) specialties.
             

            lord_jeebus

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              I have seen the "charting outcomes in the match" and AOA does seem to be a big edge in some specialties, but like you said...your school doesn't even have AOA...that is a big disadvantage is you are very deserving of it at your school...

              And a lot of people with AOA also go into "non-competitive" (though they might be top programs) specialties.

              Harvard and Stanford don't have AOA either and they seem to be doing quite well without it...
               

              SeventhSon

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                I was talking to an internal medicine doc a week or so ago who does residency interviews and he said for their program anyway, your class rank + your medical school is probably 75% of your rating... the class rank including clinical + preclinical years, obviously
                 

                docscience

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                  I was talking to an internal medicine doc a week or so ago who does residency interviews and he said for their program anyway, your class rank + your medical school is probably 75% of your rating... the class rank including clinical + preclinical years, obviously

                  Once again...without AOA...how would they gauge your class rank???? As mentioned above, there are no class ranks at our school.

                  Good point about Harvard and other Ivy leagues that don't have rankings...I guess their reputation pulls them through?
                  It doesn't matter if you were last in class at Harvard?
                   

                  lord_jeebus

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                    Almost every MSPE has a magic adjective that implies your class rank, even if your school does not have an official one. I remember one residency interview where they gave each interviewer a little card about me:

                    Name: XXX
                    School: XXX
                    Step I: XXX
                    Step II: XXX
                    Grades: (insert adjective here)
                     

                    kdburton

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                      HERE IS AN EMAIL FROM MY STUDENT AFFAIRS OFFICE ABOUT CLASS RANK AND SUCH:


                      The AAMC did away with the "dean's letters" back in 2003 and all medical schools do the MSPE. This is a written academic transcript of your medical education and not a "recommendation" letter, it is a template based on recommendations from AAMC.
                      In your MSPE, there is one letter paragraph about your first & second years of medical school and it pretty much reads like this:

                      Our faculty uses an Honors-Pass-Fail grading system. Within this context, ** successfully completed the basic science curriculum and elective courses. ** overall score for Step 1 of the USMLE is 205.


                      If someone honored or failed any first or second year courses it would go in this paragraph and that is pretty much the extent of it. The MSPE is mostly comprised of your third year & fourth year clerkship/rotation evaluations. This is where you really need to shine, so you can have good evaluations on your MSPE.

                      You will get your first year class rank at the beginning of your second year. Class rank does not go into your MSPE anywhere.

                      I have attached three different MSPEs for you to look over. One is a student who was at the top of their class, then someone who was in the middle, and the other one is a student at the bottom of their class. There are also three graphs that are attached to the MSPE and I have sent you a sample of those as well.

                      They may not use your class rank as something they put in your MSPE, but if you have AOA at your school they most definitely still rank your class to determine whether or not you you'll get inducted (even if they never tell you your class rank). The criteria for AOA is different for every school but I believe it ends up being people in the top 10-15% of the class who get inducted and it can either be awarded early (after your 2 preclinical years) or late (after you complete your 3rd year).

                      About AOA and competitive residency programs: Obviously when one looks at "charting out comes in the match" its going to look like people with AOA have an edge, but that doesn't mean that AOA is what gave them a primary advantage. You have to kick *** in the first 3 years of med school to get inducted into AOA in the first place and regardless of the selection criteria at your local chapter the inductees are most likely going to have good preclinical grades, great boards scores, shining rotation evaluations, etc. Those are the things that give you a primary advantage when applying for residency (some more heavily than others), and being inducted into AOA comes secondary to those things because thats what AOA looks at when choosing who to induct. So when you look at the % of US MD grads getting an ortho spot who are AOA+ then its going to be high because they had to have all of those outstanding marks on their "transcript." You can't really be a sh1tty medical student and get inducted into AOA, just as you can't be a sh1tty medical student and get a top residency spot. Its like when you applied to medical school... Do you think the admissions committee cared that you made the deans list every semester? Hell no, because when they see that you got a 3.9 cumulative GPA then its pretty much a given that you made the deans list (and if your school didn't have a dean's list for whatever reason they know that you would have been on it if it were there)
                       

                      Ashers

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                        My school doesn't have ranks, but on the first day of orientation they said that they track each of our exam scores and see how we did in relation to the rest of the class, and I believe (not 100% sure) that they look at that for the MSPE. A bunch of my friends forgot about that little detail about being compared to the rest of the class and got quite upset when we were reminded 3rd year. I was more upset M2 year when one of out path tests was totally jacked up, and after grade changes, my score went up, but I went from being one of the top scores and 24pts above average to a few points below average. Yep, I'm not bitter.

                        AOA at my school also involves a popularity contest where we get to vote for 34 people that we think should be in AOA. It tends to turn into, who people's friends are.
                         

                        nevercold

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                          Class rank might not be specified in the MSPE, but what will be there is how you did in each clerkship and in the basic sciences and graphs of how your whole class did. A simple glance will tell a person reviewing your application whether you were at the tip-top, above average, average, a little below average, or at the bottom of your class--and for all practical purposes any more stratification is not useful.

                          AOA is a recognition of the things already in your application. It is a nice thing, but it is not the reason people get accepted into residency programs. It's the things that got them AOA that get them into residency programs. (If you have an IQ of 190, you don't need to be in Mensa to be considered a genius.) Since it varies by school, it has limits as a screening tool.
                           
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                          Ashers

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                            I don't understand why some chapters do it this way. Doesn't it just make a farce out of the society?

                            When we were handed the sheets, we were given a lecture about how:

                            This is not a popularity contest. Vote for those people whom you think are DESERVING of AOA, not just your friends.

                            The mini-lecture that I paraphrased lasted about 5 min. Of course my friends and I are deserving -- we're that awesome. I wouldn't hang out with non-awesome people. I should get some of the other MCWers in here to confirm that. ;)
                             

                            Dedikated2liftn

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                              I don't understand why some chapters do it this way. Doesn't it just make a farce out of the society?

                              Are you ****ing kidding me?? I find it hard to believe that membership isn't based off of something more objective (i.e. class rank). You think the popularity BS of high school would be only a vague rememberance at this point.

                              BTW: I was waitlisted at MCW...if this is how they do things up there, I'll consider myself lucky to have already been accepted elsewhere.
                               

                              Ashers

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                                Are you ****ing kidding me?? I find it hard to believe that membership isn't based off of something more objective (i.e. class rank). You think the popularity BS of high school would be only a vague rememberance at this point.

                                BTW: I was waitlisted at MCW...if this is how they do things up there, I'll consider myself lucky to have already been accepted elsewhere.

                                It's not all of it, it's a small portion of the process. The majority is M1/M2 grades and Step 1, and probably whatever M3 grades are available.

                                Oh, and the mini-essays we have to write on our CV that include a service project idea.
                                 

                                DwyaneWade

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                                  At our school Junior AOA is completely objective (grades and Step 1) but Senior AOA is a ton of politics, actually AOA members do get to give some input about their classmates who are up for induction.
                                   

                                  sprinkibrio

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                                    HERE IS AN EMAIL FROM MY STUDENT AFFAIRS OFFICE ABOUT CLASS RANK AND SUCH:


                                    The AAMC did away with the "dean's letters" back in 2003 and all medical schools do the MSPE. This is a written academic transcript of your medical education and not a "recommendation" letter, it is a template based on recommendations from AAMC.
                                    In your MSPE, there is one letter paragraph about your first & second years of medical school and it pretty much reads like this:

                                    Our faculty uses an Honors-Pass-Fail grading system. Within this context, ** successfully completed the basic science curriculum and elective courses. ** overall score for Step 1 of the USMLE is 205.


                                    If someone honored or failed any first or second year courses it would go in this paragraph and that is pretty much the extent of it. The MSPE is mostly comprised of your third year & fourth year clerkship/rotation evaluations. This is where you really need to shine, so you can have good evaluations on your MSPE.

                                    You will get your first year class rank at the beginning of your second year. Class rank does not go into your MSPE anywhere.

                                    I have attached three different MSPEs for you to look over. One is a student who was at the top of their class, then someone who was in the middle, and the other one is a student at the bottom of their class. There are also three graphs that are attached to the MSPE and I have sent you a sample of those as well.

                                    I don't believe it. They might give a list of grade distributions for each class, and of course they will have your grades next to that. That's about the same as class rank.

                                    ALSO, there are euphemisms in these "written academic transcripts" that makes it EXPLICIT which quartile or third you are in... Justin is an outstanding/excellent/stong/consistent student.
                                     

                                    docscience

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                                      I don't believe it. They might give a list of grade distributions for each class, and of course they will have your grades next to that. That's about the same as class rank.

                                      ALSO, there are euphemisms in these "written academic transcripts" that makes it EXPLICIT which quartile or third you are in... Justin is an outstanding/excellent/stong/consistent student.


                                      The office sent me some examples ....and sure, there are some adjectives that differ between the top applicant and the bottom applicant. That is very true. The bottom applicant's MSPE said something about how even though he had trouble with a few classes, he was able to successfully finish medical school. Whereas the top applicants MSPE said he was an outstanding academic student.

                                      As far as grade distribution, there were some graphs attached to the end of the MSPE. They had a bar graph of every class and it showed how many passed, honored, and failed the course. There was a big arrow above your category (honors, pass, or fail).
                                      I will try to attach a pic if I figure out how to copy it from ppt.
                                       

                                      nevercold

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                                        I don't know if a residency director can get too much out of that.

                                        I dunno, looking at the chart I see that there were four courses in which a number of honors were awarded. The student represented received honors in two of them, with honors in each representing about 20-30% of the class. Typically there will be a group of students who just excel always and are in the honors group for each applicable course. Then there are the students that get some honors but not all honors. Then there are the students that might get one honors grade. This student falls into that second group, which resides somewhere in the 60-90th percentile. Add in the one failing grade and that probably pushed him down in that group. I would guess that this student would come out at about the 70th percentile. Without the failing grade the student might be at the 80th percentile.
                                         

                                        alwaysaangel

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                                          HERE IS AN EMAIL FROM MY STUDENT AFFAIRS OFFICE ABOUT CLASS RANK AND SUCH:


                                          The AAMC did away with the "dean's letters" back in 2003 and all medical schools do the MSPE. This is a written academic transcript of your medical education and not a "recommendation" letter, it is a template based on recommendations from AAMC.
                                          In your MSPE, there is one letter paragraph about your first & second years of medical school and it pretty much reads like this:

                                          Our faculty uses an Honors-Pass-Fail grading system. Within this context, ** successfully completed the basic science curriculum and elective courses. ** overall score for Step 1 of the USMLE is 205.


                                          If someone honored or failed any first or second year courses it would go in this paragraph and that is pretty much the extent of it. The MSPE is mostly comprised of your third year & fourth year clerkship/rotation evaluations. This is where you really need to shine, so you can have good evaluations on your MSPE.

                                          You will get your first year class rank at the beginning of your second year. Class rank does not go into your MSPE anywhere.

                                          I have attached three different MSPEs for you to look over. One is a student who was at the top of their class, then someone who was in the middle, and the other one is a student at the bottom of their class. There are also three graphs that are attached to the MSPE and I have sent you a sample of those as well.

                                          This is true to a point, but remember that how they write that MSPE makes a huge difference.

                                          My school only ranks in sections, top 10%, then next 15%, then like 50% and then the last 25%. Then they write that MSPE differently depending on which section you're in. I've seen a sample of each of the 4 sections and it is SOOOO obvious where in your class you rank, even if you aren't a residency director.

                                          Don't get me wrong, I don't think preclinical is all that important and I have fully embraced P/F and studying to the boards not the test. Every doctor I talk to is like "everything you need to know you learn in 3/4th year and residency."
                                           

                                          AK_MD2BE

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                                            Class rank only matters if you are gunning for AOA and want to get in to Plastics/Derm/other top fields. Otherwise, rock Step 1 (at least 230) and get a mix of Honors and Near Honors in 3rd year and you're golden. :)
                                             

                                            docscience

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                                              Class rank only matters if you are gunning for AOA and want to get in to Plastics/Derm/other top fields. Otherwise, rock Step 1 (at least 230) and get a mix of Honors and Near Honors in 3rd year and you're golden. :)

                                              This is what everyone has been telling me.

                                              But the poster above you makes a valid point about "different templates" they use for the MSPE though.

                                              Maybe it does matter?

                                              I do try pretty hard to do well...but why kill yourself on an inane/esoteric fact that you won't use as a clinician? Sorry to offend you academicians....
                                               
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