Do residency programs really care about my college GPA?

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Jan 18, 2010
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I had a meeting with the residency director of a fairly competitive program the other day. The first real question he asked (after pleasantries of course) was "what's your Step 1 score?" Mine is subpar and he looked pretty unimpressed. Then he said "ok, well what was your college GPA?"

WHAT? I was not expecting that. I know we need to give SFMatch our undergraduate transcript, but I really didn't think it would be used for anything. I have a super low college GPA which made getting into medical school a real challenge. I thought that now that I was in med school I was over that hurdle for good, but maybe not.

Has anybody had their college GPA come up in interviews or elsewhere?

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I didn't have anybody ask me about my college GPA for residency interviews. I'm applying for fellowship this year, and was surprised that multiple programs asked for my undergraduate transcripts, medical school transcripts, deans letter, etc....
I think it all matters. Obviously, your Step 1 and medical school grades are going to matter a lot more. But the college grades, etc are just another way of deciding between two candidates that may be equal otherwise on paper. Most residency programs want their academic super-stars with a long track record of academic success.

That being said however, the interview itself is probably the most important component (after you get it of course!) in matching into Ophtho residency.
I should just drop out of residency now