Did you share your boards score with DIT?


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  • Poll closed .
Nov 25, 2010
25
0
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MD/PhD Student
I am shopping for a review course/online review and have narrowed my choices down to Kaplan/ PASS Program/ Falcon/ Doctors-In-Training (DIT).

Very little is known about DIT as few students seem to have taken the course nationwide. The course seems to be quite popular on this forum. DIT's greatest strength so far seems to really be its claim of "236 average". However, very recently SDN moderators exposed what were factitious accounts (opened by DIT representatives) to laud benefits of DIT.

My thread asking DIT reps to answer how they calculate this rather high average went unanswered, so for the benefit of all test takers and for clarification of this claim I wanted to take the advantage of anonymity on the forum and ask those of you who took the DIT Step1 course to take part in a poll that clarifies whether this claim is bogus or not. My question is:

Did you share your USMLE Step1 score with Doctors-in-Training Program?

Thanks.
 
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Rollo

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This is a poorly constructed poll because your question is directed towards one topic (i.e. sharing board scores with DIT) while you throw in another topic as options (i.e. picking a favorite board prep company).
 
OP
USMLE01
Nov 25, 2010
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MD/PhD Student
This is a poorly constructed poll because your question is directed towards one topic (i.e. sharing board scores with DIT) while you throw in another topic as options (i.e. picking a favorite board prep company).

i am trying to kill two birds with one stone. all non-DIT-related topics are "controls" if you may, that would additionally help me to answer questions which i have (and not too difficult to deduce) and help me to decide what i do next. i am pretty sure that i am not the only person who would benefit from this poll. in my class very few have any idea what their study method will be like. maybe it is too early, but come february this poll, if enough 3rd year students partake in it, could be a very useful source of information for most med students looking for a prep company.

i dont understand what you mean by "favorite" board prep company. if you open your own board prep company, ROLLO, Inc., and all your students get 265+ results tomorrow, you would be an overnight "favorite" (and a celebrity with a facebook fan page). And trust me, it would not be because of your avatar, nor your name. it's not like people go to Falcon because they find the name cool. They go there because of Goljan. Alternatively, people go to Kaplan because they know that Kaplan teachers are among the best in the nation and Kaplan can be trusted with quality of information they provide. DIT is new and I am spending my time trying to find out whether taking DIT is worth my time because it claims to have a ridiculously high average. i do believe that a newcomer can be that good. i do not, however, want to waste my precious little time and trust an unsubstantiated claim without any concrete evidence to buttress it.

if this poll shows that a significant number of students who took DIT were not contacted, etc, that obviously shows that the "236 average" was invented to attract your attention and mine and to feed on the feeble minds of us, the med students who would buy pretty much anything to do well. If, on the other hand I find out that most of DIT course takers have shared their score information with DIT, my next step would be to get the subscription and go ahead and do everything the program recommends! all i need is the proof. note that neither Kaplan nor Falcon, nor any other program out there (PASS/Northwestern) has made any OBJECTIVE claims regarding their score average. It's really easy to claim something. There is no penalty for exaggeration. You can always say it was a typo if legally challenged. For now, all i would like to know is whether DIT is legit or not.

of course, you are welcome to make a "better" poll. You would help me, help others, and needless to say, SDN would tremendously benefit from a well-designed poll that would rank the board-prep programs. you can put it up right after reading my message. i would really appreciate your help. :thumbup:
 
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OP
USMLE01
Nov 25, 2010
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does anyone know how to extend a poll duration? moderator, could you help perhaps? i was pretty sure that i intended this poll to go on until the end of 2011... i guess i made a mistake or the software just does not accept such a long duration. i will make a new poll in the near future. any constructive suggestions as to what to include are welcome. otherwise, i will pretty much copy the one here again.... thanks and sorry for messing it up....
 

DrBowtie

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Anecdotally, of the three people I know, the average was around 230s. 1 got a 210ish, 1 got a 230ish, and one got a 250ish.

As you can see the average doesn't mean squat.
 
OP
USMLE01
Nov 25, 2010
25
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Status
MD/PhD Student
Anecdotally, of the three people I know, the average was around 230s. 1 got a 210ish, 1 got a 230ish, and one got a 250ish.

As you can see the average doesn't mean squat.

i agree. but given DIT's reluctance to answer a question as simple as how they calculate the average they so aggressively market on their website, i would very much doubt that asking them to clarify what the score distribution is would be of any value... a 260 and a 180 would bring the average down to a mere national average,... 220, ...so it is safe to say that those self-reporting apparently are somewhat above the passing score.

in fact, what is ironical is that apparently the DIT average is 236 based on only those students who self-reported their scores. I dont know how many students actually got back to DIT to report their score, but whatever their number is, they presumably felt happy about what they got. For comparison on this kind of reporting... The SDN average is in 250s. Try impressing anyone with a 260 here... GO SDN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Obviously DIT folks have tons of time to inflate their credentials on SDN by claiming high scores using fake SDN accounts but none to answer a simple question that asks them to be more specific. Thanks for wasting my time, DIT. I do think that Kaplan (=DIT competition, just so that you know...) is doing a great job in this regard and addressing students concerns on SDN. Well, I guess it is easier if you dont BS about what you can do... I guess I have an answer as to DIT average: pure BS and statistically a joke.

I will put out a new poll to see what folks who do take the course score instead. I will also need to know how many never finish the course.... i wish i could just listen to a part of the course so i could make up my mind .... just like 5-10min is all i need, but no these guys have a 30 min video lauding the course and not a freaking minute of showing how the actual lecture is like..... you'd think Dr. Jenkins is a running politician, not an MD... :laugh:
 
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DAKAZA

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This is an interesting poll. I was thinking about getting the course but I definitely will NOT if they have been misleading people with this 236 average crap.
 

Depakote

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does anyone know how to extend a poll duration? moderator, could you help perhaps? i was pretty sure that i intended this poll to go on until the end of 2011... i guess i made a mistake or the software just does not accept such a long duration. i will make a new poll in the near future. any constructive suggestions as to what to include are welcome. otherwise, i will pretty much copy the one here again.... thanks and sorry for messing it up....
I added a year onto the poll.
 
OP
USMLE01
Nov 25, 2010
25
0
Status
MD/PhD Student

This poll is closed. The answer to the question that it was asking is that DIT is practicing false advertising. DIT just takes the average from the selected group of individuals that get back to them.

Thanks for all who voted, esp. Faydoc, a busy resident, who opened his/her new SDN account on Dec. 4th and right away voted on this poll (first post) to help us all - the lowly med students to do well on the boards .... he wanted all of us to know that he was contacted by the DIT AND that he got back to the DIT with his stellar score. Thank you, Faydoc. We are all indebted.

My message (original, unadulterated):

Dear DIT,

You mention that your USMLE Step1 average is in 230s. How do you calculate it? Thanks.

Sincerely,

A prospective customer.

This is what I received from DIT. Original, unmodified message except that i deleted the name and the title of the person i contacted:

Hello,
Thank you for your email. We get our average score from the surveys that we send out and students return. Also, many of our students email us with their score and call in as well. If you have any other questions let us know.

Thank you


DoctorsInTraininng.com
1701 River Run, Suite 703
Fort Worth, Tx 76107
Office: 817-870-2730
Fax: 817-870-2743
www.doctorsintraining.com

and more from the same advisor:

Hello,
We don’t know the NBME scores without students letting us know. We have no way of knowing what review course a student took. So our average is of the students that let us know. If you have any other questions let us know.
Thank you


DoctorsInTraininng.com
1701 River Run, Suite 703
Fort Worth, Tx 76107
Office: 817-870-2730
Fax: 817-870-2743
www.doctorsintraining.com


 
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tech2doc

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Mar 25, 2009
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This poll is closed. The answer to the question that it was asking is that DIT is practicing false advertising. DIT just takes the average from the selected group of individuals that get back to them.

Thanks for all who voted, esp. Faydoc, a busy resident, who opened his/her new SDN account on Dec. 4th and right away voted on this poll (first post) to help us all - the lowly med students to do well on the boards .... he wanted all of us to know that he was contacted by the DIT AND that he got back to the DIT with his stellar score. Thank you, Faydoc. We are all indebted.

My message (original, unadulterated):

Dear DIT,

You mention that your USMLE Step1 average is in 230s. How do you calculate it? Thanks.

Sincerely,

A prospective customer.

This is what I received from DIT. Original, unmodified message except that i deleted the name and the title of the person i contacted:

Hello,
Thank you for your email. We get our average score from the surveys that we send out and students return. Also, many of our students email us with their score and call in as well. If you have any other questions let us know.

Thank you


DoctorsInTraininng.com
1701 River Run, Suite 703
Fort Worth, Tx 76107
Office: 817-870-2730
Fax: 817-870-2743
www.doctorsintraining.com

and more from the same advisor:

Hello,
We don’t know the NBME scores without students letting us know. We have no way of knowing what review course a student took. So our average is of the students that let us know. If you have any other questions let us know.
Thank you


DoctorsInTraininng.com
1701 River Run, Suite 703
Fort Worth, Tx 76107
Office: 817-870-2730
Fax: 817-870-2743
www.doctorsintraining.com


USMLE01, how is this false advertising? DIT is simply reporting the mean score of the cohort of students who respond to their survey. How is this any different than the reportings of any other survey in any other field? Kaplan reports by the same way as do all of the other prep courses.

I'm taking Step 1 this year and will be using DIT. I haven't started yet so I can't comment on what the lectures are like. At my school, however, much of the class ahead of me used DIT and loved it. Many of them swear on it. I wouldn't be so quick to call DIT simply a marketing scam as you imply.
 

karizma098

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DIT is a great, effective way to get through first aid if you are not motivated and can't sit down and study. At the same time, no way , no way , and may i say again NO WAY is the average score of the DIT course takers a 236. Do you think most kids who scored a 195 will even bother to report their score back? no. Most of my class did DIT , and the Usmle average was far from a 236. Some kids rocked it - but those are the same kids who have always been rocking out med school...

the rules havent changed, to PASS, first aid is probably enough. Beyond that, first aid may get someone a 205 or a 240, depending on what their own baseline knowledge is. DIT and first aid alone will not get you a 236; if you're an A student who does DIT, sure, you'll get a 236. If you're a average student who does DIT, pretty unlikely..

to really do well on the test, you need to know first aid and goljan back and forth. There was so much stuff on the boards that first aid and DIT don't cover in enough detail - you'll get the basics and probably pass with DIT alone, but a 236, and their manner of collecting stats , is laughable...it's the best example of recall bias i've seen in a long time. Unless they personally get the usmle score of every single student who buys their course, their statistics are skewed.
 
OP
USMLE01
Nov 25, 2010
25
0
Status
MD/PhD Student
USMLE01, how is this false advertising? DIT is simply reporting the mean score of the cohort of students who respond to their survey. How is this any different than the reportings of any other survey in any other field? Kaplan reports by the same way as do all of the other prep courses.

I'm taking Step 1 this year and will be using DIT. I haven't started yet so I can't comment on what the lectures are like. At my school, however, much of the class ahead of me used DIT and loved it. Many of them swear on it. I wouldn't be so quick to call DIT simply a marketing scam as you imply.

The self-reporting by students is very likely biased towards those doing well reporting their scores and those that did not do well not reporting them (p.55 FA2010).

Do you happen to know the SDN average? I would guesstimate it to be 250+. How many scores have you seen that are less than 220 that were posted here? Does that make it representative of the average of students who lurk on this forum? I sure hope it does, given that I have not taken the test yet, but in reality it probably does not. And just because you already bought the course changes noothing. Sorry.

There is a big difference in an average that you get from the group that responds vs. an average that you get from all the people who took the course. I assume that you haven't had any stats yet.

False advertising - because this score average is simply irrelevant. It's wrong to report it. If you want the true average you need to include all of the people who took the course. For legal purposes, it might be fair to say that the average was 236 among the responders. But I am not a lawyer. Statistically, and that means at least for me and I am sure anyone else who has taken a stats class that still means nothing. Isnt integrity the name of the game in medicine?

Also, "much of the class ahead of me loved it" means nothing. The USMLE scores have gone up about a point (of 300) a year. DIT has been around for over 8 years. I have gone over these boards and it almost seems as if it's Goljan's tapes that singlehandedly raised the scores by a few points, followed by UW.

I have yet to see any averages from any other companies. Not Kaplan, not PASS, not Falcon. Check your data. No one would dare publish those scores becuase unless you ensure that you get all of the scores back you just dont know the average.
 
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MCAT guy

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May 24, 2010
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What is the point of this thread? The company obviously plays with their data. Heck, some school play with their Step 1 data.

Read some reviews on it, use it, or don't. I don't think anyone will say DIT is magic. I read up on it and many say it is just a very good audio review of FA with some goodies thrown in. DIT isn't magic, but if you used their disciplined schedule combined with emphasis on FA, then I'm sure you can do very well.

Of course they overstate or slant the benefits. This is called sales. This is the same thing guys do to obtain pretty ladies.
 
OP
USMLE01
Nov 25, 2010
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MD/PhD Student
DIT is a great, effective way to get through first aid if you are not motivated and can't sit down and study. At the same time, no way , no way , and may i say again NO WAY is the average score of the DIT course takers a 236. Do you think most kids who scored a 195 will even bother to report their score back? no. Most of my class did DIT , and the Usmle average was far from a 236. Some kids rocked it - but those are the same kids who have always been rocking out med school...

the rules havent changed, to PASS, first aid is probably enough. Beyond that, first aid may get someone a 205 or a 240, depending on what their own baseline knowledge is. DIT and first aid alone will not get you a 236; if you're an A student who does DIT, sure, you'll get a 236. If you're a average student who does DIT, pretty unlikely..

to really do well on the test, you need to know first aid and goljan back and forth. There was so much stuff on the boards that first aid and DIT don't cover in enough detail - you'll get the basics and probably pass with DIT alone, but a 236, and their manner of collecting stats , is laughable...it's the best example of recall bias i've seen in a long time. Unless they personally get the usmle score of every single student who buys their course, their statistics are skewed.

Agree with everything except the type of bias.

Is this a recall bias or a selection bias? I would describe it as a non-respondent bias = sample not representative. :thumbup:

This is a perfect example of non-respondent bias = students getting a low score preferentially prefer to NOT respond to requests for scores: www dot doctorsintraining dot com/step-1/score-distribution

just check out where the MEDIAN is... it's at 240! So half of the students doing the course get above 240? Yeah, right. From what I hear in one of the Texas med schools (where DIT first started) almost half of the students take the course...

NOW, HERE IS THE TRIVIAAAAAA: NAME ONE SCHOOL IN TEXAS THAT HAS THE HIGHEST NATIONAL AVERAGE ON THE USMLE STEP 1.....

Can you? Can DIT? I am sure that if you could, you would and so would they. And Kaplan, Falcon, Pass program would all be out of business AND this thread would not exist.
 
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OP
USMLE01
Nov 25, 2010
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MD/PhD Student
What is the point of this thread? The company obviously plays with their data. Heck, some school play with their Step 1 data.

Read some reviews on it, use it, or don't. I don't think anyone will say DIT is magic. I read up on it and many say it is just a very good audio review of FA with some goodies thrown in. DIT isn't magic, but if you used their disciplined schedule combined with emphasis on FA, then I'm sure you can do very well.

Of course they overstate or slant the benefits. This is called sales. This is the same thing guys do to obtain pretty ladies.

Maybe that's how you get the ladies, bro. Not all guys. Sorry. :laugh:
 
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Rollo

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What is the wording that DIT uses when they talk about their "236 average"?

It is true that DIT can't force all of their students to report the scores back to them, and it is also true that people who did well will make up the majority, if not all, of the students who will report the scores back to them.

Therefore it is important to focus on what exactly DIT says when they talk about their 236 average. Are they saying that it is the average of ALL of the people who took their course? Then that would be false advertising, of course.

However, if they are saying that this is the average of all of the people who report their scores back to DIT, then I don't see any harm being done by the company.

I think what would be another interesting set of data would be for DIT to publish how many people take their course every season, how many report their scores back to DIT, and what their averages were. This would help future students determine how successful they really are as a test prep company.
 

MossPoh

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Another problem is that is supposed to be for people who follow through exactly with the program. They recommend reading the first 6 or 7 chapters of Robbins I think? As well as doing 25 questions a day from qbank, a run through of FA and the little worksheets they send out before you even start the course. If you're doing all that AND studying for and doing well in class, you SHOULD do well on step 1.
 

RapplixGmed

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I just stumbled across this thread and found it curious. FYI the WashU board average is 237. I find it very suspicious that any prep course can take the average med student who presumably buys this course and make him/her do as well as a population of students who have been selected for being (among other things) some of the best test takers in existence.

There is nothing inherently wrong with giving this average from responders even though its biased but everybody should be aware that the majority of their folks do worse than this reported average.

DIT could get more credibility if they released a score distribution as well as the percentage of ppl who respond to their survey.
 

MossPoh

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There is really nothing that outlandish about why you score higher. If you study hard the entire time and invest as much time as they want you to, you will do well. Of course, it is also artificially inflated since people who did well are more likely to report back.

It isn't like they are just paying money and *poof* get the 236.
 

RapplixGmed

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Well of course the big question has never been whether DIT is better than no preparation at all, its about whether DIT causes an increase in score over other forms of preparation or studying alone. You also have to consider the opportunity cost of not having the time to use other prep methods too. Time watching lectures is time that is lost from doing practice exams, re-reviewing FA, condensing notes, or looking at flash cards.

Lets think about this: The average USMLE is 221 with a SD of 24. The average medical student is not a bum. he/she is somebody who is probably average for the first time ever and is working like crazy (At least thats how I feel right now) and probably would have spent every hour that was used on DIT for board prep anyways. The average med student has read FA and has used USMLEworld. Furthermore, the average person even considering buying a prep package likely already intends to study very intensely. To suggest that DIT can shift the natural course of events for this student by +16 points is incredible and requires extraordinary evidence. As I hinted at above, there is another way of shifting the average and that is called sampling bias. The top med schools typically have averages of 230-240 all inclusive, which suggests that just biasing the sample to those who are naturally better test takers can explain this entire shift.

Probably the best thing that can be done to prove that it is better is for the company to offer their services for free to an entire medical school class in exchange for being able to see their complete distribution of step 1 scores and the scores of the year below them. If enough of the people use the service and the classes are large enough and were selected similarly, we will have our answer. Until then, I remain skeptical. :rolleyes:

Note that I am not saying that DIT will not work for you. I'm sure it helps plenty of people get high scores and helps plenty of other people pay for their mortgages. I'm just saying that before blindly jumping into it, you need to think if it will augment your learning style and if you can create a solid plan for yourself as an alternative.
 
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i did DIT and got 249, however... I never did of the DIT questions, i only did DIT after I've studied for 6-9 months prior through RR Goljan+BRS+self reading FA, and I really basically just watched him read FA while I people watched and sip latte at Starbucks, how much more did I actually get from this course? oh, the predictive exam at the end of the course said I'll get a 230, seriously? USMLEWorld, USMLERX, and NBME CBSSA and CBSE actually predicted my score like suprisingly accurate, no lies!!! and i took NBMEs and finished USMLERx before I even started DIT!!!, in order words, I knew I was up for a 250 even before I started DIT and no my scores are not higher after the course
 

hrandani

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The average med student has read FA and has used USMLEworld. Furthermore, the average person even considering buying a prep package likely already intends to study very intensely. To suggest that DIT can shift the natural course of events for this student by +16 points is incredible and requires extraordinary evidence.
I can say with absolute confidence that the average med student at my school has not used UWorld.

Maybe other review courses would have similar scores boosts if it wasn't for the ESL thing.