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Dr Dazzle

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Several of my classmates have failed a course earlier in M1 year, and are having to remediate in summer. I was wondering how this impacts residency applications and shot at competitive specialties. How does one recover?
 
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gators21

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my "classmates"

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Dr. Zombie

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Why are you so worried about your "classmates"? lol... I assume you didn't fail anything since you didn't indicate you were part of this failed group, so let them worry about their own residencies.

Congrats on having a free summer!

/close thread please
 

Dr Dazzle

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Haha...you guys are great..never said I wasn't part of the group
 
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hallowmann

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    Haha...you guys are great..never said I wasn't part of the group

    Failing isn't good, but I imagine failing 1 course first semester MS1 is not going to carry the same weight as failing multiple times/courses, failing a clinical, or doing poorly on boards. If I were you, I'd focus on passing remediation, not failing another class, and doing well on boards. You're fine. Focus on killing boards.

    I know many people that failed 1 course and did just fine in the match.
     
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    Dr Dazzle

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    Failing isn't good, but I imagine failing 1 course first semester MS1 is not going to carry the same weight as failing multiple times/courses, failing a clinical, or doing poorly on boards. If I were you, I'd focus on passing remediation, not failing another class, and doing well on boards. You're fine. Focus on killing boards.

    I know many people that failed 1 course and did just fine in the match.

    I'm concerned about chances at competitive specialties limited to me even if I end up getting a high enough score on boards. Really it was due to lack of knowing how to study in med school.
     

    hallowmann

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    I'm concerned about chances at competitive specialties limited to me even if I end up getting a high enough score on boards. Really it was due to lack of knowing how to study in med school.

    My advice: worry about it after you take Level/Step 1.

    By asking the question, you probably already know the answer. In competitive specialties, there are lots of great applicants and obviously given the choice between 2 identical candidates, one with an MS1 failing grade and one without, you know which will be chosen.

    You can't go back in time and change that. At this point just work hard, get all your other ducks in a row, and if you are interested in a competitive field, then do research in it, shadow and network with people in it, etc. That lone red flag will not permanently kill your chances of any specialty if all else is stellar.
     
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    NOsaintsfan

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    I'm concerned about chances at competitive specialties limited to me even if I end up getting a high enough score on boards. Really it was due to lack of knowing how to study in med school.

    Competitive specialties --> as in ortho, derm, optho, plastics --> basically FORGET ABOUT IT your chances are slightly above 0%. I say slightly above b/c anything is "possible" but realistically you have no chance.

    As for other specialties that are competitive but not listed above just know you have SIGNIFICANTLY reduced your chances. That doesn't mean you can't match but you have made it much more difficult than it already is. Currently their is only enough total osteopathic residency positions to accommodate ~45% of DO students. The rest go to MD residencies. In 2015 there will be more US medical students graduating (MD and DO) than total residency spots available. Every specialty is becoming more competitive by default.

    Family medicine, internal medicine, psychiatry, PM&R are probably your best bet. DONT MISUNDERSTAND this and think that those specialties are somehow inferior, not important or that awesome students don't go into those fields because its just the opposite. Those fields make up the foundation of our medical system and are very important and extremely rewarding for those who are interested in them. They just happen to be less competitive and for your situation probably more realistic to match into.

    I wish you the best. You can't change the past but you certainly can take hold of your future. Do the best you can to become the best doctor possible. If you do that the rest will take care of itself. Please keep in mind that just because you failed a class it doesn't mean you won't be a great doctor. It does however mean that you have a major red flag on your residency application that will make the ultra competitive specialties most likely out of reach.

    If you think I'm being overly harsh then think of it this way. If you're a program director trying to decide on who to hire for the job of new intern and you have dozens/hundreds of applications from the best and brightest in their respective medical schools why would you consider someone with a red flag like that? Especially when you literally can take your pick of the top students in the country. Miracles DO happen but remember they are just that, miracles.
     
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    DermViser

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    Competitive specialties --> as in ortho, derm, optho, plastics --> basically FORGET ABOUT IT your chances are slightly above 0%. I say slightly above b/c anything is "possible" but realistically you have no chance.

    As for other specialties that are competitive but not listed above just know you have SIGNIFICANTLY reduced your chances. That doesn't mean you can't match but you have made it much more difficult than it already is. Currently their is only enough total osteopathic residency positions to accommodate ~45% of DO students. The rest go to MD residencies. In 2015 there will be more US medical students graduating (MD and DO) than total residency spots available. Every specialty is becoming more competitive by default.

    Family medicine, internal medicine, psychology, PM&R are probably your best bet. DONT MISUNDERSTAND this and think that those specialties are somehow inferior, not important or that awesome students don't go into those fields because its just the opposite. Those fields make up the foundation of our medical system and are very important and extremely rewarding for those who are interested in them. They just happen to be less competitive and for your situation probably more realistic to match into.

    I wish you the best. You can't change the past but you certainly can take hold of your future. Do the best you can to become the best doctor possible. If you do that the rest will take care of itself. Please keep in mind that just because you failed a class it doesn't mean you won't be a great doctor. It does however mean that you have a major red flag on your residency application that will make the ultra competitive specialties most likely out of reach.

    If you think I'm being overly harsh then think of it this way. If you're a program director trying to decide on who to hire for the job of new intern and you have dozens/hundreds of applications from the best and brightest in their respective medical schools why would you consider someone with a red flag like that? Especially when you literally can take your pick of the top students in the country. Miracles DO happen but remember they are just that, miracles.
     
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    hallowmann

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    ...In 2015 there will be more US medical students graduating (MD and DO) than total residency spots available...

    I feel the need to clarify this. In 2016 the total number of DO and MD graduates will equal the total number of ACGME residency positions (not counting the AOA ones that may become ACGME spots by then if the merger continues on schedule). That means that there will still be a surplus of 2000-2500 residency positions. Maybe in a decade that number will dwindle, but not quite yet.

    It is getting more competitive but we aren't quite at the point where US grads can't find any residencies.
     
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    Dr Dazzle

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    What about ER/anesthesia? Also, is there still a realistic shot at ACGME programs?
     
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    NOsaintsfan

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    I gave the opinion that I would want people to give me, a realistic one. I specifically said that miracles happen. Should I have said failing doesn't matter at all and that the ultra competitive specialties don't care about grades/failures?
     

    drstar842

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    Competitive specialties --> as in ortho, derm, optho, plastics --> basically FORGET ABOUT IT your chances are slightly above 0%. I say slightly above b/c anything is "possible" but realistically you have no chance.

    As for other specialties that are competitive but not listed above just know you have SIGNIFICANTLY reduced your chances. That doesn't mean you can't match but you have made it much more difficult than it already is. Currently their is only enough total osteopathic residency positions to accommodate ~45% of DO students. The rest go to MD residencies. In 2015 there will be more US medical students graduating (MD and DO) than total residency spots available. Every specialty is becoming more competitive by default.

    Family medicine, internal medicine, psychology, PM&R are probably your best bet. DONT MISUNDERSTAND this and think that those specialties are somehow inferior, not important or that awesome students don't go into those fields because its just the opposite. Those fields make up the foundation of our medical system and are very important and extremely rewarding for those who are interested in them. They just happen to be less competitive and for your situation probably more realistic to match into.

    I wish you the best. You can't change the past but you certainly can take hold of your future. Do the best you can to become the best doctor possible. If you do that the rest will take care of itself. Please keep in mind that just because you failed a class it doesn't mean you won't be a great doctor. It does however mean that you have a major red flag on your residency application that will make the ultra competitive specialties most likely out of reach.

    If you think I'm being overly harsh then think of it this way. If you're a program director trying to decide on who to hire for the job of new intern and you have dozens/hundreds of applications from the best and brightest in their respective medical schools why would you consider someone with a red flag like that? Especially when you literally can take your pick of the top students in the country. Miracles DO happen but remember they are just that, miracles.

    Wow. Talk about being extreme. Look, I'm about as realistic as they come and I respect NOsaintsfan, but, I honestly disagree with his/her outlook on your future considering we know nothing else about who you are, what you have accomplished, etc...

    First off, we don't even know what class the guy failed (not that it REALLY matters to my point, but failing nutrition or something like that vs medical physiology is a big difference). Second, have you ever seen what program director's get when a med student applies? Just bc the guy failed one course doesn't mean every residency he applies to will receive a red piece of paper with the words, "failed course," printed on it. That's just crazy talk to inform a M1 student that they have "realistically" ruined all of their chances of getting into competitive residencies because of this guy's situation.

    Anyway, to the OP, it takes some people longer than others to develop that critical thinking skill that is required to do well and pass exams during medical school. Hopefully, this failure is just one hiccup during your time in medical school. Basically, continue to work hard and do well on the rest of your courses in years 1 and 2, crush your board exams (both COMLEX and USMLE if you are planning on applying to MD only) and make a name for yourself during your clinical rotations so that the LOR's you get are strong. If you do these things, you should get a dean's letter than is full of so many positive things that this one failure might not even get noticed. Also, your residency application is usually screened by the program's secretaries who are basically looking at your board scores and your class rank/GPA. Thus, you can imagine if you do a rotation at a residency you are interested in, meeting and getting to know the person who screens the apps can never hurt. Once you get an interview, if one ever questions the failed course (which may never happen if you crush your boards), then you will be able to explain, with confidence, why it happened and all of the positive things you have accomplished since.

    Bottom line: Your door is not shut on anything. Step 1 represents years 1 and 2 of medical school, thus if you crush it, then there should be no question that you have mastered the required material. If there is something you want, work hard and go get it, and if, unfortunately, you don't match want you wanted, at least you will know that it wasn't because you didn't work your ass off trying.
    Good luck!
     
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    NOsaintsfan

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    I feel the need to clarify this. In 2016 the total number of DO and MD graduates will equal the total number of ACGME residency positions (not counting the AOA ones that may become ACGME spots by then if the merger continues on schedule). That means that there will still be a surplus of 2000-2500 residency positions. Maybe in a decade that number will dwindle, but not quite yet.

    It is getting more competitive but we aren't quite at the point where US grads can't find any residencies.

    Thanks for the correction. The point is still the same, everything is getting more competitive by default. Its also good to note that currently many people go unmatched every year. Just because the total # of spots is greater than total # of applicants doesn't mean you will be able to match into the field you would like to. In many specialties the # of positions is far less than the # of applicants.

    Bottom line: Failing a class makes you less likely to match into your desired field. If that field is one of the current ultra competitive fields, well......
     

    NOsaintsfan

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    I caught that too. All I can say is it would take a rock star of a med student to match a psychology residency... like on one who completed a Psy.d or PhD in psychology prior to med school.
    Got me, thanks.
     

    NOsaintsfan

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    Wow. Talk about being extreme. Look, I'm about as realistic as they come and I respect NOsaintsfan, but, I honestly disagree with his/her outlook on your future considering we know nothing else about who you are, what you have accomplished, etc...

    First off, we don't even know what class the guy failed (not that it REALLY matters to my point, but failing nutrition or something like that vs medical physiology is a big difference). Second, have you ever seen what program director's get when a med student applies? Just bc the guy failed one course doesn't mean every residency he applies to will receive a red piece of paper with the words, "failed course," printed on it. That's just crazy talk to inform a M1 student that they have "realistically" ruined all of their chances of getting into competitive residencies because of this guy's situation.

    Anyway, to the OP, it takes some people longer than others to develop that critical thinking skill that is required to do well and pass exams during medical school. Hopefully, this failure is just one hiccup during your time in medical school. Basically, continue to work hard and do well on the rest of your courses in years 1 and 2, crush your board exams (both COMLEX and USMLE if you are planning on applying to MD only) and make a name for yourself during your clinical rotations so that the LOR's you get are strong. If you do these things, you should get a dean's letter than is full of so many positive things that this one failure might not even get noticed. Also, your residency application is usually screened by the program's secretaries who are basically looking at your board scores and your class rank/GPA. Thus, you can imagine if you do a rotation at a residency you are interested in, meeting and getting to know the person who screens the apps can never hurt. Once you get an interview, if one ever questions then failure you will be able to explain, with confidence, why it happened and all of the positive things you have accomplished since.

    Bottom line: Your door is not shut on anything. If there is something you want, work hard and go get it, and if, unfortunately, you don't match want you wanted, at least you will know that it wasn't because you didn't work your ass off trying.
    Good luck!

    I'm just being realistic. I did say miracles happen, they really do, I get that.

    You are correct that anything is "possible" but if the OP wants one of the ultra competitive specialties then its much less likely. Realistic expectations are important to have, dreams are good to. Its important know be able to identify a dream from reality though.
     

    Dr Dazzle

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    Wow. Talk about being extreme. Look, I'm about as realistic as they come and I respect NOsaintsfan, but, I honestly disagree with his/her outlook on your future considering we know nothing else about who you are, what you have accomplished, etc...

    First off, we don't even know what class the guy failed (not that it REALLY matters to my point, but failing nutrition or something like that vs medical physiology is a big difference). Second, have you ever seen what program director's get when a med student applies? Just bc the guy failed one course doesn't mean every residency he applies to will receive a red piece of paper with the words, "failed course," printed on it. That's just crazy talk to inform a M1 student that they have "realistically" ruined all of their chances of getting into competitive residencies because of this guy's situation.

    Anyway, to the OP, it takes some people longer than others to develop that critical thinking skill that is required to do well and pass exams during medical school. Hopefully, this failure is just one hiccup during your time in medical school. Basically, continue to work hard and do well on the rest of your courses in years 1 and 2, crush your board exams (both COMLEX and USMLE if you are planning on applying to MD only) and make a name for yourself during your clinical rotations so that the LOR's you get are strong. If you do these things, you should get a dean's letter than is full of so many positive things that this one failure might not even get noticed. Also, your residency application is usually screened by the program's secretaries who are basically looking at your board scores and your class rank/GPA. Thus, you can imagine if you do a rotation at a residency you are interested in, meeting and getting to know the person who screens the apps can never hurt. Once you get an interview, if one ever questions the failed course (which may never happen if you crush your boards), then you will be able to explain, with confidence, why it happened and all of the positive things you have accomplished since.

    Bottom line: Your door is not shut on anything. Step 1 represents years 1 and 2 of medical school, thus if you crush it, then there should be no question that you have mastered the required material. If there is something you want, work hard and go get it, and if, unfortunately, you don't match want you wanted, at least you will know that it wasn't
    because you didn't work your ass off trying.
    Good luck!

    Thanks, really appreciate the positive outlook as well as the realistic outlook. Hopefully, I don't lock any more doors than have already been locked for me. Perhaps try to reopen a few doors with a solid board score.
     
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    NurWollen

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    OP tbh I don't know anymore than you do about how this will effect your residency prospects... but I do just wanna say don't get down on yourself. Adjusting to med school is hard. I've come close to failing a class, and I've been surprised at who has failed courses. It's not really correlatable to their level of intelligence or capabilities. Some people for example just don't think the way that, say, an anatomy professor thinks and as such have a hard time with the way that professor presents material.

    Keep your head up, it'll all work out.
     
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    Dr Dazzle

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    OP tbh I don't know anymore than you do about how this will effect your residency prospects... but I do just wanna say don't get down on yourself. Adjusting to med school is hard. I've come close to failing a class, and I've been surprised at who has failed courses. It's not really correlatable to their level of intelligence or capabilities. Some people for example just don't think the way that, say, an anatomy professor thinks and as such have a hard time with the way that professor presents material.

    Keep your head up, it'll all work out.


    Yea I really struggled with the level of effort required to learn the minutiae and how different profs asked questions. Gotten better at it.
     

    drstar842

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    I'm just being realistic. I did say miracles happen, they really do, I get that.

    You are correct that anything is "possible" but if the OP wants one of the ultra competitive specialties then its much less likely. Realistic expectations are important to have, dreams are good to. Its important know be able to identify a dream from reality though.

    I'm sorry, but have you even gone through audition rotations yet? Have you been interviewed for residency training? Have you gone through the match? Don't you think the OP should know that your comments/opinions are coming from someone who is only 1 year ahead of them in medical school? You have a lot to learn yourself about getting into a residency, in general, let alone the "ultra-competitive" ones. I've been through the match and interview season twice already due to a change in what I wanted to do. I have experience about how the process goes and what things the typical PD and residency find important. And, it is about the same thing across all specialties. I work with friends who are going into interventional radiology, ophthalmology, dermatology (2 people), etc. Banking an interview always comes down to the same stuff - how well you did on your step 1 and 2, your grades/comments during your clinical years (3rd and 4th) and your class rank. Program directors don't have enough time during the day to review every single applicants' 1st and 2nd year medical school grades. Most, if not all, of PD's are working full time as well. Thus, your application is typically screened and passed through to the PD by the residency coordinators. Nobody cares about your first and second year in medical school. Step 1 and 2 tells us that crap. I'm not saying that you can make up a horrible GPA by crushing your boards. Because that will be reflected in a low class rank, which is something that will catch the eye of the person that is screening applications.

    Just work hard. And, in medicine, find out what experience those have had that are giving out their opinions before giving them weight
     
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    Makati2008

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    Yea I really struggled with the level of effort required to learn the minutiae and how different profs asked questions. Gotten better at it.

    I would say acgme EM will be rough(some of the places I applied had over 1400 apps this year so it's gotten competitive) AOA EM also rough but more doable since auditions are so important(folks with no flags didn't match EM this year). I know nothing about your other choice sorry.

    Kill your step one and let the chips fall where they may.
     

    Dr Dazzle

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    I would say acgme EM will be rough(some of the places I applied had over 1400 apps this year so it's gotten competitive) AOA EM also rough but more doable since auditions are so important(folks with no flags didn't match EM this year). I know nothing about your other choice sorry.

    Kill your step one and let the chips fall where they may.

    What sort of score should be the goal to maximize options?
     

    Makati2008

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    What sort of score should be the goal to maximize options?

    Comlex I would say at min. 500 but greater than 550 would be best EM wise (which I think 550 will probably be the new 500 for EM in a cycle or two )for aoa just my opinion.

    USMLE I have no ideal. I will leave that up to someone else to give advice.
     

    NOsaintsfan

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    I'm sorry, but have you even gone through audition rotations yet? Have you been interviewed for residency training? Have you gone through the match? Don't you think the OP should know that your comments/opinions are coming from someone who is only 1 year ahead of them in medical school? You have a lot to learn yourself about getting into a residency, in general, let alone the "ultra-competitive" ones. I've been through the match and interview season twice already due to a change in what I wanted to do. I have experience about how the process goes and what things the typical PD and residency find important. And, it is about the same thing across all specialties. I work with friends who are going into interventional radiology, ophthalmology, dermatology (2 people), etc. Banking an interview always comes down to the same stuff - how well you did on your step 1 and 2, your grades/comments during your clinical years (3rd and 4th) and your class rank. Program directors don't have enough time during the day to review every single applicants' 1st and 2nd year medical school grades. Most, if not all, of PD's are working full time as well. Thus, your application is typically screened and passed through to the PD by the residency coordinators. Nobody cares about your first and second year in medical school. Step 1 and 2 tells us that crap. I'm not saying that you can make up a horrible GPA by crushing your boards. Because that will be reflected in a low class rank, which is something that will catch the eye of the person that is screening applications.

    Just work hard. And, in medicine, find out what experience those have had that are giving out their opinions before giving them weight

    Fair enough.

    OP dont sweat it, any residency you choose will be yours and failing a class doesn't matter one bit. No one will even notice. Don't let the stories of people with awesome grades and board scores not matching scare you, you're good to go! Just talk to people at your school who just matched they'll tell you the same thing,,,probably.
     

    drstar842

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    What sort of score should be the goal to maximize options?

    For EM, you definitely need at least a 550 on Comlex. Taking the USMLE will expand your options. Also, start setting up the stage for auditions now. The earlier you get in touch with the GME dept of the residency you are interested in, the better you will be. Think about it, little old Jane who handles the scheduling for medical students for rotations probably sits in the same office room as Nancy who is the EM residency coordinator and they probably eat lunch every day together. One day, Nancy will get your application and ask Jane if she remembers you. Whatever you do, don't ever piss off the Jane's or Nancy's in the residency world. Those are the people who can make or break your chances, regardless of how loaded your application might be.

    NOsaintsfan - I hope I didn't offend you, as it wasn't my intention. I'm just trying to tell you guys that one failed class your first year is not going to be the reason you don't land a Dermatology residency. You either got it or you don't when speaking of the most difficult residencies out there. If your application has amazing board scores, high honors on your clinical rotations, strong LOR's from the places you auditioned, an excellent dean's letter, top 5-15% in your class...failing one course won't be the reason you don't land an "ultra-competitive" residency. On the flip-side, failing a clinical rotation during your 3rd or 4th year is a completely different story. In that situation, all competitive residencies would be impossible. Explaining to an interviewer how your first year in medical school was difficult for you personally is a lot easier to do than trying to explain why you were unable to work under an attending...
     
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    drstar842

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    Fair enough.

    OP dont sweat it, any residency you choose will be yours and failing a class doesn't matter one bit. No one will even notice. Don't let the stories of people with awesome grades and board scores not matching scare you, you're good to go! Just talk to people at your school who just matched they'll tell you the same thing,,,probably.

    I just finished posting that I hoped I hadn't offended you...then, I saw your sarcastic response. So, I guess you are one of those "guys." Residents love working with medical students like you. Probably...

    P.S. I'm sure those 4th year med students who told you those horror stories of not matching those "ultra-competitive" residencies were your best friends, who you saw every day in between your studying and their clinical rotations...and, thus, those awesome grades and awesome board scores they got were never questioned by you, because, of course, they were your best friends. Or, maybe they were SDN members, who would be even more trustworthy of their reported grades and board scores. Plus, those who told you these stories must have been some of the select few who obtained personal copies of their LORs before they were sent off and, thus, you were able to read firsthand what amazing doctors they were in the eyes of the veteran attendings they worked under. Oh, and how could I forget about the video footage they provided you of their interviews and how confident they seemed during every question. I guess with all of that information that you personally have been able to validate, you are right, the OP should be freaking scared!
     
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    NOsaintsfan

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    I just finished posting that I hoped I hadn't offended you...then, I saw your sarcastic response. So, I guess you are one of those "guys." Residents love working with medical students like you. Probably...

    P.S. I'm sure those 4th year med students who told you those horror stories of not matching those "ultra-competitive" residencies were your best friends, who you saw every day in between your studying and their clinical rotations...and, thus, those awesome grades and awesome board scores they got were never questioned by you, because, of course, they were your best friends. Or, maybe they were SDN members, who would be even more trustworthy of their reported grades and board scores. Plus, those who told you these stories must have been some of the select few who obtained personal copies of their LORs before they were sent off and, thus, you were able to read firsthand what amazing doctors they were in the eyes of the veteran attendings they worked under. Oh, and how could I forget about the video footage they provided you of their interviews and how confident they seemed during every question. I guess with all of that information that you personally have been able to validate, you are right, the OP should be freaking scared!

    So your obviously upset, you never offended me but it's obvious I offended you. I'm sorry if what I wrote upset you. Maybe it's possible I have misunderstood you.

    Are you saying that failing a class won't hurt your application and make you a less competitive candidate? That's what it seems like you're implying.

    It's also possible you have misunderstood what I wrote. I know of personal albeit antidotal accounts of people with high board scores good grades and very normal personalities who have failed to match into one of the residencies I listed in an earlier post. In addition their are many accounts from various sources of the same.

    My point is/was that the most competitive specialties break lots of hearts every year. Every year students with NO red flags in their application fail to match. So what does that mean for someone who DOES have a red flag? Are chances improved or even equal to someone who has no red flags? Does someone who failed a medical school class have a GOOD chance of finishing with a high class rank? I think your trying to say that all isn't lost and that a chance still exists for something really competitive and I don't doubt that.

    My previous post was based on a little realism and common sense. I explicitly said chances were not zero. However in my opinion it's probably best to manage expectations and realize that your chances of matching into a competitive speciality are lower than had you not failed. Matching into a "highly competitive" speciality with no failures is difficult at best, a red flag like failing a class makes it near impossible. Not impossible for sure, but if you had to play the odds are you really saying you think it's likely?

    You may think I'm just being mean and crushing somebody's dream but I don think anyone is benefited by false hope and unrealistic expectations. Sure anything is possible, I think being realistic is better for everyone.

    Managing expectations allows for better preparedness for potential outcomes. By being realistic then you can better wrap your mind around what is ahead, as in if Derm is your dream and you just failed a class you should probably know that to have any shot you had better be an absolute all star from here on out and even then understand that it might not happen.

    If I'm way off base than so be it. That's my opinion it's worth exactly what the OP paid for it. If this offends you again I apologize this isn't meant to be any sort of personal attack what so ever. I'm certainly not saying I know better than you or I'm right and your wrong or anything like that.

    I will readily admit that you would be much more informed about this situation than I am obviously. If you say that failing a class won't hurt your chances of matching into dermatology, orthopedic surgery, ophthalmology or plastic surgery then that's certainly news to me, but again I haven't been through the process and you have so what do I know. I most certainly have a lot to learn and will freely admit I don't know it all.
     
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    drstar842

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    Upset? I have no more exams to take with OMT in it, no more medical school and I'm getting paid to be a doctor. Ain't nobody got time for that.
     
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    Tizoc

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    Thanks, really appreciate the positive outlook as well as the realistic outlook. Hopefully, I don't lock any more doors than have already been locked for me. Perhaps try to reopen a few doors with a solid board score.
    More importantly, don't be so hard on yourself. You didn't lock as many doors as you think you did.
     
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    Doctor Bob

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    As I don't have a copy of your transcript handy, I'm going to have to speak in generalizations and discuss how this plays out for the average student in your situation.

    The people who fail a class during first/second year because of poor study habits or... how was it put...

    Dr Dazzle said:
    Really it was due to lack of knowing how to study in med school.

    Generally their transcript is not all A's with a solitary failure. The problems with study habits flow over into other classes so the grades across the board run middle of the road... maybe some classes are up, some are down, but on the average they are... average.

    And that's what closes the doors on the very competitive specialties; the average GPA from first year. The failed class just piles on and makes one even less of a competitive candidate. When I see a transcript with all A's and a solitary failure, I flip to the personal statement to see what happened (these situations occur pretty infrequently, so they are invariably addressed in the personal statement). When I see a transcript with A's, B's, and C's, with a failure thrown in, I set that application to the side in the stack of "review if there are still open application slots"... but realistically I never get back to it because there are far too many other applications with stellar transcripts.

    The times when I put the application into the good pile is when the student has rotated with us and performed well on the rotation; then we'll overlook the failure if the rest of the application is at least average, and they've proven to be a good fit with the department.

    This is my n=1 opinion
     

    LittleFoot

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    Saying you can't get into a competitive specialty because of failing a class in medical school is like saying you can't get into a medical school after failing a class in your undergrad. It's definitely possible and even probable if you just screwed up and learned from your mistakes. I failed 4 classes in my undergrad, and still ended up with a 3.70 GPA. (including those 4 F's) because I learned from my mistakes and put myself to work.
     
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    Mehd School

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    As I don't have a copy of your transcript handy, I'm going to have to speak in generalizations and discuss how this plays out for the average student in your situation.

    The people who fail a class during first/second year because of poor study habits or... how was it put...



    Generally their transcript is not all A's with a solitary failure. The problems with study habits flow over into other classes so the grades across the board run middle of the road... maybe some classes are up, some are down, but on the average they are... average.

    And that's what closes the doors on the very competitive specialties; the average GPA from first year. The failed class just piles on and makes one even less of a competitive candidate. When I see a transcript with all A's and a solitary failure, I flip to the personal statement to see what happened (these situations occur pretty infrequently, so they are invariably addressed in the personal statement). When I see a transcript with A's, B's, and C's, with a failure thrown in, I set that application to the side in the stack of "review if there are still open application slots"... but realistically I never get back to it because there are far too many other applications with stellar transcripts.

    The times when I put the application into the good pile is when the student has rotated with us and performed well on the rotation; then we'll overlook the failure if the rest of the application is at least average, and they've proven to be a good fit with the department.

    This is my n=1 opinion


    So...uh...where do board scores fit into this? It sounds like you're basing your judgments solely on preclinical grades unless they're rotated there.
     

    scummie

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    N=1, know someone that failed a class and still matched allo EM. I think they may have also failed a rotation, can't remember.

    Don't mess up anymore. Take USMLE only if you think you can kill it. Apply to every program and have a back up. That would be my game plan if I was in your situation.

    Obviously, your chances at rad onc, derm, neurosurgery are extremely low. I think for other specialties that are competitive but not insane ninja sniper gunner competitive, you have the potential to be OK.
     

    Doctor Bob

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    So...uh...where do board scores fit into this? It sounds like you're basing your judgments solely on preclinical grades unless they're rotated there.

    No, board scores do factor in. Remember that every application is a unique snowflake and there is no hard-and-fast rule... each application is judged on its own merits, assuming that the GPA and board scores meet the minimum benchmarks...

    But again, broad generalization here... I see a lot of threads about people with mid-range grades talking about how their plan for success is to "crush the boards" or something like that.
    Good luck with that. Mediocre grades in medschool tend to equate with mediocre performance on the boards. The people who do mediocre to poor in school who then knock the boards out of the park do exist (we see them every year) but they are far and away the exception to the rule. So how do boards factor in when it comes to people who have failed a course in the past? Not a whole lot because usually the scores are nothing special.

    (please note I'm using words like "tend" and "often" with care... I'm not using words like "associated with" or "correlated with" because those involve statistical information that I don't have at hand)
     
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    dyspareunia

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    No, board scores do factor in. Remember that every application is a unique snowflake and there is no hard-and-fast rule... each application is judged on its own merits, assuming that the GPA and board scores meet the minimum benchmarks...

    But again, broad generalization here... I see a lot of threads about people with mid-range grades talking about how their plan for success is to "crush the boards" or something like that.
    Good luck with that. Mediocre grades in medschool tend to equate with mediocre performance on the boards. The people who do mediocre to poor in school who then knock the boards out of the park do exist (we see them every year) but they are far and away the exception to the rule. So how do boards factor in when it comes to people who have failed a course in the past? Not a whole lot because usually the scores are nothing special.

    (please note I'm using words like "tend" and "often" with care... I'm not using words like "associated with" or "correlated with" because those involve statistical information that I don't have at hand)

    It's amazing how every pre-med thinks they're going to crush pre-clinicals and even more amazing how those same students think they're going to crush boards after being mediocre med students. I'm crushing M1 and even I don't think it's guaranteed (or even moderately likely) that I'll crush boards.

    Some people just never learn.
     

    Dr Dazzle

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    No, board scores do factor in. Remember that every application is a unique snowflake and there is no hard-and-fast rule... each application is judged on its own merits, assuming that the GPA and board scores meet the minimum benchmarks...

    But again, broad generalization here... I see a lot of threads about people with mid-range grades talking about how their plan for success is to "crush the boards" or something like that.
    Good luck with that. Mediocre grades in medschool tend to equate with mediocre performance on the boards. The people who do mediocre to poor in school who then knock the boards out of the park do exist (we see them every year) but they are far and away the exception to the rule. So how do boards factor in when it comes to people who have failed a course in the past? Not a whole lot because usually the scores are nothing special.

    (please note I'm using words like "tend" and "often" with care... I'm not using words like "associated with" or "correlated with" because those involve statistical information that I don't have at hand)

    Agree with you. However, out of curiosity, how are those mediocre students with high board scores looked at? Do board scores make up for the grades? If so, to what extent. How are these applicants looked at compared to people who did well on both aspects?
     

    DermViser

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    No, board scores do factor in. Remember that every application is a unique snowflake and there is no hard-and-fast rule... each application is judged on its own merits, assuming that the GPA and board scores meet the minimum benchmarks...

    But again, broad generalization here... I see a lot of threads about people with mid-range grades talking about how their plan for success is to "crush the boards" or something like that.
    Good luck with that. Mediocre grades in medschool tend to equate with mediocre performance on the boards. The people who do mediocre to poor in school who then knock the boards out of the park do exist (we see them every year) but they are far and away the exception to the rule. So how do boards factor in when it comes to people who have failed a course in the past? Not a whole lot because usually the scores are nothing special.

    (please note I'm using words like "tend" and "often" with care... I'm not using words like "associated with" or "correlated with" because those involve statistical information that I don't have at hand)
    Yup, those exceptions to the rule, are just that, exceptions. Hence, they'll be taken as gospel on SDN.
     
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    Doctor Bob

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    out of curiosity, how are those mediocre students with high board scores looked at?

    It depends on how many good applicants (meaning, people with both good grades and good board scores) we get. If we have enough to fill our interview spots, then that's it. If we don't fill all of our interview spots then we'd look at this group. But keep in mind there are other aspects that get weighed so it's not quite as black and white as this seems.

    Do board scores make up for the grades? If so, to what extent.

    No. The expectation is that both will be good.

    How are these applicants looked at compared to people who did well on both aspects?

    Well... people who have both good grades and good scores are going to be viewed more favorably.
     
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