racerwad

7+ Year Member
Sep 8, 2009
959
733
Status
Resident [Any Field]
If there are any EM PGY1 or PGY2s (the more non-traditional the better) that had a really really low step 1 score that would be willing to answer a handful of questions, I'd appreciate it. Please PM me. I've searched the threads, but have questions remaining.

My school doesn't have much of an advisor for EM. I'm MD if that makes a difference.

Thanks in advance!
EMRA offers resident to student advising/mentoring: https://www.emra.org/students/Mentorship/

It would really help if you were more specific about what your needs are. You are highly unlikely to be the only low-scoring, "non-traditional," EM hopeful so I bet if you ask a specific question, you will probably get a specific answer.

FWIW, I am a DO who went to med school later in life and, while my USMLE wasn't "really, really low" it definitely was not the highlight of my application.

Good luck.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sb247

racerwad

7+ Year Member
Sep 8, 2009
959
733
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Thanks for the reply!
I do have an EMRA advisor. However, he is far from a low step 1 scorer and didn't recently match. I need the perspective of recent experience.
I know better than to post specific questions beyond what I've written above because it's SDN and I don't really want to deal with the snide comments and misinterpretation that come along with these threads.

My hope is that someone who was able to match with a low step 1 score would be willing to lend some insight via PM or email.

Oh, and to satisfy one of the common objections to these threads, this is a throw away account. I have been a member for at least 4 years with many comments/suggestions/(hopefully good) advice throughout. I'm definitely not a lurker looking to receive in the absence of giving.
EM is a 4 year training pipeline, max. I doubt that they are so disconnected from the process that they have nothing to offer.

Hopefully, you find the very specific and discrete help you are seeking.
 
  • Like
Reactions: shoal

Dr.McNinja

Nobel War Prize Winner
Moderator
10+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2006
10,260
6,922
Texas
Status
Attending Physician
My hope is that someone who was able to match with a low step 1 score would be willing to lend some insight via PM or email.
There's not much else for them to offer. You have to blow out Step 2, get good/great SLOEs, and not have any other red flags. That's about it.
Some programs will have automatic cutoffs for scores, but nobody knows what they are for everybody.
 

Jlaw

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 15, 2009
814
271
Status
Resident [Any Field]
If there are any EM PGY1 or PGY2s (the more non-traditional the better) that had a really really low step 1 score that would be willing to answer a handful of questions, I'd appreciate it. Please PM me. I've searched the threads, but have questions remaining.

My school doesn't have much of an advisor for EM. I'm MD if that makes a difference.

Thanks in advance!

PM me.
 

racerwad

7+ Year Member
Sep 8, 2009
959
733
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Thanks, I definitely understand these things.
The generic answers are definitely to do great on step 2, get excellent SLOEs, not F up anything else. I get that, pretty intuitive.
My hope is that someone who has matched in in a similar circumstance can offer more specific advice than this.
Wisdom from experience varies from knowledge. Just looking for someone to share some of that wisdom. I'm not looking for more of the same answers that I found when searching the previous threads. If no one answers, then I guess I know there's not much more to offer.
No one can answer questions that you don't ask. Many, many people have matched in similar circumstances.
 

racerwad

7+ Year Member
Sep 8, 2009
959
733
Status
Resident [Any Field]
@racerwad, I appreciate that you are a resident physician. And I give you all the respect you deserve in accomplishing something that I hope to accomplish as well. However, I assume that not everyone would want to broadcast a well below average step score or any other metric that the powers that be deem relevant.

If those people would rather I ask them via this forum, overtly, I'd be more than happy to oblige. If you fall into this category I'd be happy to engage you in conversation in this forum.
Fair enough. I thought that I made myself clear that our applications were not that dissimilar. In fact, you have a leg up on me by being an MD. I do appreciate that what is ok with me might not be ok with you. You are not alone. I only wanted you to share, because, as you had identified in your OP, there isn't a lot out there for us "normal" folks and to collect useful information on the DL seemed (to me) to run counter to the point of a forum like this.

Anyhow, while I still am not sure what you want, I did match EM at my dream program w/ a 219/235, middle of my class. As @Dr.McNinja posted above, the path ahead is clear. Unless you got <200, you are not totally lost. Get in touch with your home PD and ask for some help. I was really surprised with the amount of advising I got from PDs at various programs as I rotated (I don't have a home program) so if you have a home program, I doubt they'd be less helpful to you than they were with me.
 

gman33

Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Aug 18, 2007
2,188
496
Status
Attending Physician
I have a friend who got < 200 on step 1 and failed cs.

Matched at a program in a major city.

Nothing else really special about his app.

If you have red flags you just have to apply pretty much everywhere and hope someone gives you a shot.

If you are tying to cut down on applications, just eliminate the programs in desireable locations. Those will generally be the most competitive.
 

shoal

Oinker!
10+ Year Member
Apr 24, 2005
502
127
Status
similar to gman, i had a friend fail step 1 repeat 190s. mainstream scores for step 2. took him an extra year but matched at a great program and is now facility there. it can be done. persistance hardwork and always looking for ways to improve.

Sent from my VS986 using Tapatalk
 

gro2001

SOCMOB
10+ Year Member
Jul 4, 2006
1,048
797
the desert
Status
Attending Physician
@racerwad, I appreciate that you are a resident physician. And I give you all the respect you deserve in accomplishing something that I hope to accomplish as well. However, I assume that not everyone would want to broadcast a well below average step score or any other metric that the powers that be deem relevant.

If those people would rather I ask them via this forum, overtly, I'd be more than happy to oblige. If you fall into this category I'd be happy to engage you in conversation in this forum.
Unless your question reveals something extremely personal or controversial about your application, I would recommend asking the question on the forum rather that through PMs. You will get more meaningful answers, and sometimes other people weighing in on the answers, which often adds a lot of nuance. Also someone may be feeling lazy and not willing to engage in in a whole separate conversation but would be willing to tag on a comment in a thread. So yeah, you are much more likely to get answers if you ask your questions publicly.
 

TedStark

Membership Revoked
Removed
May 28, 2016
86
70
I know better than to post specific questions beyond what I've written above because it's SDN and I don't really want to deal with the snide comments and misinterpretation that come along with these threads.
Lol, glad I'm not the only one.
 

racerwad

7+ Year Member
Sep 8, 2009
959
733
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Lol, glad I'm not the only one.
Yeah but you were a lot douchier about it.

First of all, thanks to all who have replied with encouragement and/or advice! After looking at Charting the Match, I am pretty sure I'll still be able to match EM when the time comes. I just want to leverage the power of the forum to help steer this next year of med school for the greatest chance of success.

Ok, I'll go with the consensus and just ask outright. I'm not trying to keep info away from others; in fact I'll be back on here after Match Day 2018 to share my experience. I just want to avoid "another one of these threads" or have the thread get derailed.

This is for a step score 200-209. Just looking to match anywhere and go into community medicine; the sooner I'm out of academia the better.

Questions:

-I know Frieda exists and have done a bit of sorting through numbers there. However, for people who have been in the same boat recently, what programs did you find that seemed especially open for rotations and interviews? Is there a good source for this info online? I googled with no luck.

-Since the application is more than our step scores, what things did people who successfully matched do extracurricularly that seemed high yield? (I understand the subjectivity in this but am looking for ideas beyond student group leadership or research - both of which I'm involved in.)

-From the med student symposiums I've attended, I know that relationship building is incredibly useful, if not required in my position. Aside from conferences, what avenues did people find were especially helpful in this regard? For example, I've gotten mixed advice on going to residency fairs: some say great chance to stand out, others say good chance to shoot yourself in the foot. Again, subjective, I know.

For anyone else who is currently in a similar position, I found somethings useful here: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/tips-for-matching-with-low-step-1.1196608/#post-17691548


Thanks again for any info you all can provide!
1. Honestly, there isn't a better source than just calling programs you are interested in. Even then, it is hard to judge the answer because you know the program gets dozens, if not hundreds of calls with the same request. With your Step 1, you're going to need to cast a wide net and expect a decent amount of rejections, so just apply and cull out the more regionally desirable programs unless they are a total dream/reach place.

2. Your extracurriculars should reflect your sincere interests. IMHO, the main purpose of ECs is to give you and the interviewers something to talk about. No one can really judge what is "important," it just has to be important to you. That said, leadership on the EMRA Student Council is a national position that might be worth pursuing. Similarly, regional or national positions in things you are interested couldn't hurt (wilderness, EMS, etc, etc). Since no single application reviewer is the same, different applicants and their associated interests will pique their interest. Don't over analyze - just do something you love. To be clear, it doesn't need to be EM-related (although some percentage probably should be).

3. National conferences like the EMRA sponsored residency fair is a good bet. SAEM also holds a similar fair - the only problem with SAEM's is that it is in May, so the timing for 4th years isn't ideal. If you can't mix and mingle during a residency fair, interviews are going to be a bitch. Apart from conferences (national, regional, or otherwise), you need to do some rotations (duh). Those are going to be your best opportunities to meet and influence people who will be making rank lists.
 

Cerberus

Heroic Necromancer
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Dec 13, 2001
15,128
130
Visit site
Status
Attending Physician
similar to gman, i had a friend fail step 1 repeat 190s. mainstream scores for step 2. took him an extra year but matched at a great program and is now facility there. it can be done. persistance hardwork and always looking for ways to improve.

Sent from my VS986 using Tapatalk
Moral of the story, if you blow STEP I more than once, the ERAS God turns you into a shed
 

racerwad

7+ Year Member
Sep 8, 2009
959
733
Status
Resident [Any Field]
@racerwad, thanks for the thoughtful reply and I apologize if I seemed defensive, I let SDN make me that way.
I'll look into the national positions at EMRA, especially in the subcommittees.
What do you mean by "If you can't mix and mingle during a residency fair, interviews are going to be a bitch"? General social skills?
I definitely will be doing away rotations. For anyone else reading this, there's a great thread for rotation reviews here: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/2016-vsas-away-rotations-thread.1193068/
You were not that defensive and you were certainly more gracious than others asking for help.

I did mean general social skills. I mean, our job is to make a pretty sincere rapport with pts we've never met. Unlike sub specialists that have the benefit of a positive referral from a PCP, our pts usually have never met us, don't choose us, and don't generally want to be in the ED. It takes some amount of social skill to get good HPIs and to have them buy into your plan. There isn't a single right way to approach it although it.

Good luck.
 

gman33

Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Aug 18, 2007
2,188
496
Status
Attending Physician
If your school has a residency program, figure out some way to get involved with the faculty.
Research would be the best way.

Getting to know the PD or someone else should help your application.
If they know and actually like you, they can write you a great letter, give you a spot, or make some calls on your behalf.
These type of connections go a long way.

Applicants with some red flags match every year.
They don't always match at the most competitive programs.

In my opinion, the thing that makes a program more competitive is location.
This is not the only thing, but it's a big part of it.

Unless the applicant has family ties or some other factor, most 20 somethings would rather live on a coast, a big city, or somewhere with special outdoor activities.

This is a broad generalization, but I'll stand by it.

Programs in a small town not near these things, will likely be less competitive.
It doesn't mean these aren't great programs, just that you may have a better shot.

Some applicants apply to 60+ places and get nowhere.
This is because they applied to the same 60 programs as the most competitive applicants and their application got thrown out.

Either apply EVERYWHERE, or if you limit your app, stay away from the big cities etc.
 

MSmentor018

Hooah!
10+ Year Member
Jul 9, 2007
1,199
239
it's always hot!
Status
Attending Physician
I am DO with a previous career, did MD residency, fellowship x3. had ****ty step 1. i am a director now. so don't let it get you down
look at emra and aaem. there's a mentor program that will set you up with someone, I am assuming there's a bunch of us. most docs want to help others
feel free to look me up on either or just PM me
 

OccupyTheED

Attending Physician
7+ Year Member
Feb 8, 2012
121
70
NY --> ATL --> Nashville --> NY --> ATL
Status
Attending Physician
Step 1 is important, its not everything. I scored a 200 and failed a class during my MS2 year. Not an ideal start but I was able to overcome it. My step 2 wasnt spectacular but it was better (223), I think programs look positively on improvement/upward trend. Plan to do 3 aways, and you've pretty much gotta be a rockstar at all of them. And lastly the intangible things, it helps to be likable. Speak to everyone and be pleasant, program coordinators, nurses hell even the janitor should know you as that really pleasant medical student. I know this might seem a little generic but for me there was no magic solution to fixing my bad start. Apply broadly. I applied to nearly 40 programs and got 6 interviews, 3 of which were because I rotated or managed to have a string or 2 pulled due to personal connections. Good luck, uphill battle but not impossible. I wound up matching at an awesome program, graduated and now have a pretty good job in the city that I want to be in.
 
  • Like
Reactions: racerwad
Dec 1, 2014
1,740
1,614
Would this apply to DO applicants as well? I take it that a low step score for DOs would shut them out of EM programs... no?
 
Mar 17, 2015
47
17
Yeah but you were a lot douchier about it.



1. Honestly, there isn't a better source than just calling programs you are interested in. Even then, it is hard to judge the answer because you know the program gets dozens, if not hundreds of calls with the same request. With your Step 1, you're going to need to cast a wide net and expect a decent amount of rejections, so just apply and cull out the more regionally desirable programs unless they are a total dream/reach place.

2. Your extracurriculars should reflect your sincere interests. IMHO, the main purpose of ECs is to give you and the interviewers something to talk about. No one can really judge what is "important," it just has to be important to you. That said, leadership on the EMRA Student Council is a national position that might be worth pursuing. Similarly, regional or national positions in things you are interested couldn't hurt (wilderness, EMS, etc, etc). Since no single application reviewer is the same, different applicants and their associated interests will pique their interest. Don't over analyze - just do something you love. To be clear, it doesn't need to be EM-related (although some percentage probably should be).

3. National conferences like the EMRA sponsored residency fair is a good bet. SAEM also holds a similar fair - the only problem with SAEM's is that it is in May, so the timing for 4th years isn't ideal. If you can't mix and mingle during a residency fair, interviews are going to be a bitch. Apart from conferences (national, regional, or otherwise), you need to do some rotations (duh). Those are going to be your best opportunities to meet and influence people who will be making rank lists.
Also if your recommenders have friends or colleagues at certain programs they may be willing to put in a call for you.

Once you GET interviews, you have to look at it like you have the same chance as anyone else there and get the chip off your shoulder about a low step 1.

Good luck!

Sent from my SM-G920T using SDN mobile