Dismal Credentials-but Want It

Discussion in 'Emergency Medicine' started by ziffy 850, Nov 29, 2005.

  1. ziffy 850

    ziffy 850 Member
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    Background: Horrific first two years-failed boards-barely passed 2nd time around-Top 50 Medical School-Great clinicals-currently 3rd year and hoping to do well on Step 2, but ya never know.

    DO I HAVE ANY CHANCE of matching into EM in any kind of decent program? I suppose I would wonder WHY would anyone want me? Well...I'm good clinically and though my scores don't prove it-I know my stuff. And.....I'm sincere and not afraid to work.

    Anything I can do to enhance my application? Any suggestions for programs?

    Thanks-much appreciated.
     
  2. corpsmanUP

    corpsmanUP Senior Member
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    I can't speak firsthand to your issue because I am still going through the process now. But I can tell you that in the few sentences you wrote you captured my interest and made me want to meet you. So my guess is that if you can do 2 things, you will get interviews. First, plan to kick the crud out of step II, which you should if your stronpoint is clinical medicine. Like you, I felt much more comfortable clinically and my score went up a solid 30 points on step II because of it. Second, research until you drop on www.cordem.org looking at the many SAEM residency websites trying to figure out which ones you think you would be competitive at. Then tailor your PS a little different depending on which program you are sending it to. I mean you can use the same one for all programs, but you can add a personalized item to each making you more interesting to them. Then, be absolutely certain to rotate at a couple of residency programs and get some incredible letters/SLORs. You will be locked out of some institutions without a set GPA or score, but the same thing happened to me as a DO. I applied to about 40 programs believe it or not because I did not feel comfortable enough that I knew exactly which ones I was most interested in. And I only got about 8 rejections overall, and have not heard from 2-3 of them. Of 27 interview invites I have accepted 20, and for you, I would recommend doing literally as many you get invites. If you honestly don't think you are competitive, then apply to 40+ programs and don't frown on the money it costs. There are many success stories on this forum of people with subpar grades and scores who matched into EM. But I think your step II holds the key to how many overall interviews you will get. I would take it literally in July or earlier. Go ahead and release your score to ERAS before you take it because you have nothing to lose, and it will save you time. Start communicating with residents and programs you are interested in and you will be amazed how supportive some can be. Bottom line....you can do it I believe, if you play each card in your hand correctly from here on out. Good luck my friend.
     
  3. EctopicFetus

    EctopicFetus Keeping it funky enough
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    Agree with the above, that being said there are a ton of good EM programs. The other piece of advice is that you should take Step 2 CK EARLY. If you can have that score tagged on to your initial app it will likely overshadow a poor Step 1. It is likely you will still get rejected from some places but you could get a decent number of interviews. I have a friend with a sub-210 who applied to Rads with no research etc and he has 12 interviews so there is hope.

    Also if you are a personable fellow then your interviews will go smoothly. I would also expect answer questions about your poor pre-clinical performance but I think yoyu can totally overcome.
     
  4. ziffy 850

    ziffy 850 Member
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    Met with my dean today. She claims I have a 25% chance of matching-DISMAL-like I said. I'm just not sure what to do. What happens if I don't get a residency? Is this all for nothing?
     
  5. quideam

    quideam Too tired to complain
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    you could always interview at EM and other programs, like IM or FP. This way you can always rank the other programs below your EM ones to make sure you match somewhere. Otherwise (and probably the easier option), is just to apply to lots of EM programs, and if you don't get in, try to scramble into a program, and if that doesn't work, then scramble into another specialty (there are always excess IM, FP slots around - you're guaranteed to be able to grab one).
     
  6. corpsmanUP

    corpsmanUP Senior Member
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    I would not put a great deal of faith in what your Dean says or it will only bring you down. What makes success stories "success stories" is the fact that you overcome significant odds to make something happen. Your 25% chance is probably if you were to do nothing special and simly ride on your current credentials. I mean how can your Dean predict your chances now when he/she has not read your PS, has not seen your Step II score, or your letters. YOU ARE STILL IN CONTROL OF EACH OF THESE PIECES OF THE PUZZLE!!! Just D.O. it!! Trust me....if I went back to my high school reunion now and told someone I was about to be a doctor, they would for certain think I was lying. I could tell you some serious "overcoming bad odds" stories but you just need to focus on your own issues. Like I said, just make it happen. Eat, breath, drink, and sleep EM and gain so much knowledge regarding the field that your PS rings like you really know what you are talking about....and know what you want! Go get em!
     
  7. tonem

    tonem Senior Member
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    You received some excellent advice from the previous posters...the only thing I'd argue against would be to rank medicine and FP spots...if you think that EM is the only way for you to go...then take the chance of having to scramble if you don't match...some members of this board scrambled into some pretty darn good spots...like someone said there are always tons of preliminary and categorical spots open in IM and FP if things fall through.

    Finally, I was in the exact same boat as you as an MS...I'll be completing residency this year. PM if you have specific questions.
     
  8. beyond all hope

    beyond all hope Senior Member
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    If you want EM, go for it. Your grades will be a hinderance, but they're not a deal-breaker. Do well on Step II. Apply to lots of programs and you'll get a few interviews. Rank everywhere you interview and you'll probably match.

    A lot of my friends backed down on EM and went for IM. Don't recommend it.

    You can always scramble into a prelim or categorical medicine if it doens't work out, and reapply. A year's delay compared to a lifetime in a specialty is nothing.
     
  9. EctopicFetus

    EctopicFetus Keeping it funky enough
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    There is hope, the key is getting a solid advisor. Your dean or whoever cant put a percentage on it. He or she is just guessing and probably dont know exactly. If you have a EM PD at your school talk to them, tell them to be honest and frank with you. Get a couple of rotations as soon as you can in 4th yr and work your tail off and read something before and during the rotation. This will make you sound a heck of a lot smarter and solid LORs and excellence on your rotations will at the min give you an opportunity at those programs.
     
  10. trkd

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    How do the programs view you after doing a year in prelim or whatever? Do they give you a shot any more than the first time around? Or does it just look bad?
     
  11. Soup

    Soup Running down a dream
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    Good Question -- anyone have an honest/informed answer?
     
  12. Back34

    Back34 Senior Member
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    I was told by our EM pathway advisor and several other attendings in our department that doing well in your ER rotation and strong LOR's are what is weighed most heavily.
     
  13. BKN

    BKN Senior Member
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    We look upon it as a plus. A year of clinical experience almost has to make you a better candidate than the year before.

    The hurdle is that there will be one less year of medicare money to train you. Many programs will probably drop you down the list for that reason.

    BN
     

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