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Clinical grades

Discussion in 'Otolaryngology' started by kilroth, Mar 5, 2007.

  1. kilroth

    kilroth Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 9, 2003
    For those of you with admissions experience, how important are 3rd year grades? My first two years were mostly Honors/High Pass w/ slightly more Honors, great step 1 score, some CV surgery research (not yet published), but then 3rd year grades are so far: Pass (Psych), Pass (Family), High Pass (Medicine).

    I'm concerned that this will be interpreted as a downward trend and not just a couple of bad grades in a mix of good. I'm not quite sure what is different this year other than being married.

    Perhaps I should just quit reading about how competitive ENT has become and study. :)
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  3. RS6

    RS6 Junior Member 5+ Year Member

    Aug 15, 2005
    You sound like a strong candidate. You have obviously done very well the first two years. So congrats. You will probably get a bunch of interviews with a "great" step 1 score. When you say that, I'm assuming 240+ (although that might be average now).

    However, third year grades do matter. I wouldn't be surprised if you get asked about why you got only passes and high passes. You will have to explain it very well. "I wasn't interested in the subject matter" or "I didn't get along with the attending" are definitely not what you want to say. I think the marriage excuse is a double edged sword. They will interview many candidates that are married, some with kids, and they are getting all third year honors.

    What you need to do now is seriously figure out why you are not getting honors and fix it. If it is because of the shelf, then you need to study harder or in a different way. If it is because of evaluations, try and understand why you are not getting along with attendings and /or residents (ie...are you late, do you ask too many questions, too little, do you always leave early, are you too loud, or quiet, are you annoying, do you try too hard). If you come away with nothing, it could just be a case of bad luck.

    Your goal is to def honor surgery and ob. Two surgical fields. This will make third year grades less of an issue. You still have a long way to go and like I said you have other strong points in your application. Just buckle down now and try your best. Apply and see what happens. Most likely you will match (75% of US seniors do). Good luck to you.
  4. kilroth

    kilroth Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 9, 2003
    Step 1 was 256. I also have a strong geographical interest which I guess is why I am more worried than I should be. I haven't had any negative written evaluations that I know of. For Psych, most got high grades and the high pass range was only 2 % points. In family, it was the test I am sure. I thought it was considered "whiny" to make excuses but I suppose I should have an explanation available.

    Anyway, thanks for your advice.

    PS. Anyone have good elective advice for 4th year?
  5. chirurgino

    chirurgino A pound of flesh 2+ Year Member

    Oct 21, 2006
    The dark side of the moon
    I would agree with RS6--honors in general surgery will be key. (you should work hard in OB...but funny story--I was at an ENT interview where the interview question was which rotation was your least favorite, and the interviewers were all laughing along with me when I said OB--apparently EVERYBODY gives that answer in response to that question. but seriously, you should do well in it) Then, obviously, you absolutely have to honor your ENT sub-I.

    Your step I score is great, but DON'T rest on that. I always tell people that step I is like the MCAT--it won't get you in anywhere, even with a 275 or 45, but it can keep you out of places if you screw it up.

    Fourth year electives--I struggled with this for a while, but I ended up doing plastic surgery, radiation oncology with emphasis on head and neck, and advanced radiology--head and neck imaging. I figure anytime you have the chance to learn more imaging, the better. Maybe I'll be crying when I start my surgical internship with SICU and I don't know ANYTHING about pressors, but there you go. Other people going into ENT do anesthesia, SICU, or have done multiple ENT away rotations (I wouldn't recommend doing can ask about this later if you're interested).
  6. resxn

    resxn 10+ Year Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    I'll Just repost this excerpt from a previous thread to give you an idea. I do agree with everything people above have said:

    Here is what our committee looked for at the 2 schools where I've been involved with matching residents:

  7. aggernodi

    aggernodi Private Practice ENT 2+ Year Member

    Dec 23, 2006
    Ditto what rsxn said, but we used a slightly different criteria...

    We had a secretary do the initial culling of applications based on certain minimal scores. We did not take into consideration class rank. If there were still too many applications, the program chief and a chief resident would do the final culling to get the number of applications down to a manageable number based on a variety of factors without one necessarily being more important than the other, but at this point, step 1 scores play a much smaller role.

    We did NOT consider class rank essential, but considered rotation grades, medical school quality, research, bonus stuff, and letters of recommendation all important.

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