RaistlinMajere

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It seems like the boards scores and grades in the 3rd year matter a lot in getting a residency. Other than passing, do the pre-clinical grades matter?
 

brendang

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RaistlinMajere said:
It seems like the boards scores and grades in the 3rd year matter a lot in getting a residency. Other than passing, do the pre-clinical grades matter?
i love telling this story because it just goes to show how anal residency program directors can be, but at a relatively prestigious university program for an equally prestigious residency position, the PD actually pulled out my undergraduate grades and made me explain my far from exceptional grades in 1st and 2nd year of college!!! i was 16-17 years old and he's busting my proverbial chops over that!!! so, yes. everything counts... hope for the best but plan for the worst...
 

no exit

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this example is far from common experience. preclinical grades are not as important as clinical grades, board scores, LORs, etc.
 

novacek88

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They matter only for derm, radiology, radiation oncology, surgery and surgical subspecialties like ENT, Urology, Neurosurgery, Optho, Orthopedic Surgery etc.

For everything else including IM fellowships like Cards and GI, your preclinical grades mean almost nothing unless you are interested in Hopkins or MGH.
 

novacek88

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brendang said:
i love telling this story because it just goes to show how anal residency program directors can be, but at a relatively prestigious university program for an equally prestigious residency position, the PD actually pulled out my undergraduate grades and made me explain my far from exceptional grades in 1st and 2nd year of college!!! i was 16-17 years old and he's busting my proverbial chops over that!!! so, yes. everything counts... hope for the best but plan for the worst...
How would he have access to your undergraduate grades since you don't submit your undergrad transcripts
 

kaos

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novacek88 said:
They matter only for derm, radiology, radiation oncology, surgery and surgical subspecialties
Damn. General surgery too? :(

I heard there's a roundabout way of getting into surg by doing Medicine. Is that true?
 

novacek88

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kaos said:
Damn. General surgery too? :(

I heard there's a roundabout way of getting into surg by doing Medicine. Is that true?
No not really. I was just being safe with my picks because I figured some general surgeon would chime. It has gotten more competitive over the years but if you are an MD and can score above 220 on Step I, you can pretty much match somewhere.
 

ptolemy

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brendang said:
i love telling this story because it just goes to show how anal residency program directors can be, but at a relatively prestigious university program for an equally prestigious residency position, the PD actually pulled out my undergraduate grades and made me explain my far from exceptional grades in 1st and 2nd year of college!!! i was 16-17 years old and he's busting my proverbial chops over that!!! so, yes. everything counts... hope for the best but plan for the worst...
hah LMFAO! I had the exact same thing happen! I had a PD at a prestigious program tell me I should've never been in med school b/c I got C's in organic chem. Needless to say they did not end up on my rank list.

but seriously, for the most part, preclinical grades really don't matter unless it's something ultra competitive and at that, probably only at the top places or if the interviewer's a jerk. LOR's, clinicals and board matter much more.
 

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Your first two years together equal your third year. Fourth year barely shows up on your Dean's letter.
 

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We look at them when evaluating candidates, but in reality they only matter if you've done poorly and failed to rectify the situation/turn around your class rank by 4th year (most schools give us a class ranking of students during their first two and final two years). Your Step 1, LORs, etc. are more important if you are doing well.
 

virilep

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This is kinda scary. I know most med schools are moving into the pass fail system. I wonder how this would affect the process. I guess they still have access to your number scores. But it's kinda scary to think that if you really want a residency like this that you have to be gung ho all the way. I mean, when I get there I want to be pretty relaxed and just pass. but if this is how it's gonna be... like them asking me my 1st and 2nd year grades... I guess hell just is just the way it sounds. I'll just listen to music, hopefully that'll get me through. Music and alcohol. haha. oh well.
 

FloridaMadame

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Kimberli Cox said:
We look at them when evaluating candidates, but in reality they only matter if you've done poorly and failed to rectify the situation/turn around your class rank by 4th year (most schools give us a class ranking of students during their first two and final two years). Your Step 1, LORs, etc. are more important if you are doing well.
I'm new to this forum, so pardon my ignorance if this has been asked a million times. Are you better off if you rank in the lower half of a VERY prestigious medschool or in the upper half of mid-twenties (US NEWS) ranked school ?(Step 1, lors, etc all being equal) I'm presently trying to decide where to go next august and this has been weighing heavily on my mind
 

bigfrank

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1. 3rd year grades matter much more.
2. A good Step I score can more than make up for weak preclinical grades.

My $0.02
 

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Nah, grades don't matter. Scores don't matter either. Neither does personality. Especially for competitive fields. They really love it when you fail your boards too. Makes the attendings feel all warm and fuzzy :p
 

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FloridaMadame said:
I'm new to this forum, so pardon my ignorance if this has been asked a million times. Are you better off if you rank in the lower half of a VERY prestigious medschool or in the upper half of mid-twenties (US NEWS) ranked school ?(Step 1, lors, etc all being equal) I'm presently trying to decide where to go next august and this has been weighing heavily on my mind

IMHO, you are better off doing well at a lesser school than being in the bottom half at a "name" school. The "name" will buy you some recognition but you have to back it up come residency application time with some proof that you are a worthy candidate behind the "name". You will tend to do better in a place that is more comfortable for you - whether thats "Big name school X" or "Podunk U".

In the end, a prestigious medical education is only worthwhile for a select few applicants who do well, and are looking at competitive residencies at other prestigious places. For most people, it doesn't make a signficant difference - what will matter MOST, for all applicants, is grades, USMLE scores, LORs, etc. The name of your medical school falls farther down the list.
 

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FloridaMadame said:
I'm new to this forum, so pardon my ignorance if this has been asked a million times. Are you better off if you rank in the lower half of a VERY prestigious medschool or in the upper half of mid-twenties (US NEWS) ranked school ?(Step 1, lors, etc all being equal) I'm presently trying to decide where to go next august and this has been weighing heavily on my mind
go to the more prestigious school. there are smart gunners everywhere. going to a lesser ranked school is no guarantee of class rank. i think this is more true in medical school than most other places.

to answer your question though, all else being equal it would probably be better to rank in the top half, as long as you're including clinical grades in the rank. but this is pure speculation and probably not too useful either.
 

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IMHO, preclinical grades only matter in regard to how they affect your class rank and if you had to repeat something...otherwise, not overly important. As bigfrank said--3rd year grades and step 1 are much more significant. All specialties are different and i imagine they may matter in more competitive areas.
 

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automaton said:
go to the more prestigious school. there are smart gunners everywhere. going to a lesser ranked school is no guarantee of class rank. i think this is more true in medical school than most other places.

to answer your question though, all else being equal it would probably be better to rank in the top half, as long as you're including clinical grades in the rank. but this is pure speculation and probably not too useful either.
i agree. just because you go to a 'mid-twenties' ranked school (which btw is a pretty good school) , there's absolutely no guarantee you'll be in the top half. med school is a whole different ball game. people can be a lot less intelligent than you, have lower MCAT scores, etc etc and still blow you out of the water if they're putting in 6 hours a day and you're putting in 3 hours a day. i would definitely choose the higher ranked school. at least you know you'll have that. plus, it just sounds like a great opportunity. . .why not take it. and honestly, if think you can be at the top of a lower ranked school, why not aim for the top at a higher ranked school too? you might surprise yourself and surpass your expectations. who knows.
 

thackl

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Kimberli Cox said:
We look at them when evaluating candidates, but in reality they only matter if you've done poorly and failed to rectify the situation/turn around your class rank by 4th year (most schools give us a class ranking of students during their first two and final two years). Your Step 1, LORs, etc. are more important if you are doing well.
My school has gone to a system where only 1-20 (out of 150) even get ranked. The rest of us will not have a class rank. Seems to be a pretty big disadvantage, especially if you are #21 (still top 15%, but not ranked).
 

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thackl said:
My school has gone to a system where only 1-20 (out of 150) even get ranked. The rest of us will not have a class rank. Seems to be a pretty big disadvantage, especially if you are #21 (still top 15%, but not ranked).
Schools that do not have an official ranking system still tend to provide us with a sheet delineating which percentile/third/quarter of your class you are in, so we have some way of figuring out how you're doing. It is not unusual for schools without official rankings to still keep some sort of record of your performance and provide it to residency programs to which your've applied. Same goes for H/P/F courses.
 

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Kimberli Cox said:
Schools that do not have an official ranking system still tend to provide us with a sheet delineating which percentile/third/quarter of your class you are in, so we have some way of figuring out how you're doing. It is not unusual for schools without official rankings to still keep some sort of record of your performance and provide it to residency programs to which your've applied. Same goes for H/P/F courses.
Kimberli-- when you look at these applications, is it common for people who have done well in the 1st 2 years to drop in rank for the 3rd year? (or vice-versa?)
 

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In the end, you should go to the school that makes you feel the most comfortable. If you absolutely LOVED the prestigous school, then go there...same for the lower-ranked school. As long as you are happy your morale will be higher and you will probably do better in medical school.

To reinforce this (classic...cliche...whatever):
What do you call the person who graduated last in his/her class from medical school? DOCTOR.