mimelim

Vascular Surgery
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If you are not ready to take Step 1, do not take it. It is not something that you can retake.

I have no idea what you are talking about your "sub-internship" or what that has to do with residency applications.
 
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orangeblossom

orangeblossom

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If you are not ready to take Step 1, do not take it. It is not something that you can retake.

I have no idea what you are talking about your "sub-internship" or what that has to do with residency applications.
Hey, I believe Sub-i's are 4th year courses that you take right after third year rotations, and you ideally apply to residency programs with a recommendation letter from a sub-i attending.

I've read threads where people say "don't take Step until you're ready", but also "graduating a year late is a huge red flag and puts you at a severe disadvantage". :(
 

Donald Juan

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A year is a red flag, but a failure will get you screened out of most places. Don't take it if you're not ready.

A sub-I (or just 4th year elective in your field) is not required before applications are submitted, although you are right that most people get a letter of recommendations from early 4th year rotations. If you are starting 3 months behind it will put you at a disadvantage in doing this, and you also wouldn't be able to do away rotations prior to applying if that is something you were considering.

Have you considered doing taking the rest of the year for research or some other activity to maybe bolster your application? I can't imagine that graduating in december 2017 would be any better or different than graduating may 2018 since you would still be doing the same thing.
 

smokn

Inflammatory marker
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I agree with Mr. Juan. Delay for a year and fill the non-STEP time with research. That way, when the point comes up in interviews, you can play it off as a research year (not entirely uncommon).

Also, what are your goals? If you want IM and can settle for being closer to your family as opposed to in the same city, then saving yourself the extra year tuition and shooting for a 210 might be the better choice.

Regardless, you'll get through it. If your in med school you're smart enough to take on STEP. Keep your chin up.
 

kenjixshadow

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Like everyone here said:
1) Delay a year, study for step 1 -> score high, research in interested field -> publish journals, and match top choice = winner. Or
2) Take step 1, may fail or do poorly, get screened by top programs, and don't match at top choice.
You decide.
 
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cyanide12345678

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Jul 27, 2011
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The real deal is always a little harder than these practice tests I feel. If you're barely passing, there is a chance that nerves and anxiety may get the better of you and you may not pass. Failing is essentially one of the worst things that can happen to anyone.
 

operaman

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Absolutely postpone. the difference between 205 and failing is not statistically significant. Add to that the stress and anxiety of the real exam and you are setting yourself up for failure.

Take the year. Get a passing score. Get some research published. Nobody will bat an eye and you'll be in a good position. If you take it and fail, you will still have to take the extra year but now you can't sell it is purely research and you have the stigma of a step failure.

Don't risk it.
 
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orangeblossom

orangeblossom

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Thanks for the responses everyone. My best case scenario at this point (and this would require a lot of good luck) is the take the exam next week and score ~210. While that's a significant improvement from where I started (160...), it's still not even the national average :(

I have a dumb question about research: I would be working with a doctor or PI for free, I'm assuming? Or was everyone talking about an actual paid position. I just have loans, rent, no personal spending $ etc to think about.
 

22031 Alum

At the baby factory.
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Delay, delay, delay. You'll just apply, interview, and match (and graduate) with the class that entered after yours. Lots of people take an extra year. It's much worse to have that extra year be because of a Step failure or failure to match.

There are some stipends to be had for research time, which your school can help you with. But you may just have to take out more loans as it is an extra year of "school."
 

lmn

Dec 19, 2013
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Thanks for the responses everyone. My best case scenario at this point (and this would require a lot of good luck) is the take the exam next week and score ~210. While that's a significant improvement from where I started (160...), it's still not even the national average :(

I have a dumb question about research: I would be working with a doctor or PI for free, I'm assuming? Or was everyone talking about an actual paid position. I just have loans, rent, no personal spending $ etc to think about.
Depends on what lab you work with and if your school has any scholarships/if you apply for outside ones. But imo even a bit more in loans for the year off is better than tanking step.
 
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orangeblossom

orangeblossom

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Jan 23, 2011
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A year is a red flag, but a failure will get you screened out of most places. Don't take it if you're not ready.

A sub-I (or just 4th year elective in your field) is not required before applications are submitted, although you are right that most people get a letter of recommendations from early 4th year rotations. If you are starting 3 months behind it will put you at a disadvantage in doing this, and you also wouldn't be able to do away rotations prior to applying if that is something you were considering.

Have you considered doing taking the rest of the year for research or some other activity to maybe bolster your application? I can't imagine that graduating in december 2017 would be any better or different than graduating may 2018 since you would still be doing the same thing.
Hey Donald Juan, had a question for you, it appears you are a 4th year applying for residency. Away rotations are the one thing I was looking forward to in medical school, and now I can't do them b/c I delayed Step. Personal desires aside, if I want to match in a secondary city like Atlanta or Boston, is it imperative that I do an away rotation? Even if I grew up there + have family/personal ties to that city?
 

Donald Juan

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Hey Donald Juan, had a question for you, it appears you are a 4th year applying for residency. Away rotations are the one thing I was looking forward to in medical school, and now I can't do them b/c I delayed Step. Personal desires aside, if I want to match in a secondary city like Atlanta or Boston, is it imperative that I do an away rotation? Even if I grew up there + have family/personal ties to that city?
This is something that is very specialty dependent, and dependent on your application as a whole. Being from Georgia, I know that for some specialties your only option for being in Atlanta might be Emory and they have limited spots, so it would probably be very advantageous to go there and do your best to shine to have a chance (which you still might not get in). Some bigger cities like NYC have a lot more programs, but they also have a lot more people wanting to go there, so it can still be difficult. If you're doing something like internal that is less competitive and has more programs and slots you have an easier shot and an away is less of a necessity.