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First Module Grade: does it matter? Do M1-M2 grades matter?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by rocketbooster, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. rocketbooster

    rocketbooster Banned Banned 5+ Year Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    I'm a little bummed because I just finished my first module of med school (2 months of foundations) and I'm pretty sure I'm just going to miss Honoring. The grades are Honor 90-100%, High Pass 80-90%, and Pass 70-80%. 89.5 rounds up but I'm almost positive I'll end with literally a 89.3% once the final grades are up. The transcript will only say High Pass, not the percentage.

    It's just annoying as hell because I feel I could have studied way less to get an 80% and still ended up with the same overall grade. Sooo pissed. Many M2s warned me beforehand that in many cases you'll fall just short of the border. One girl told me she fell short by 1 point of honoring in 3 modules during her M1 year. Ughhh, I'm so pissed haha. 2 measly points out of 500 is what it came down to!

    Do M1 and M2 grades really matter for residency? I hear they don't but that may just be ppl saying that who don't have the grades they want.

    No big deal?
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  3. MilkmanAl

    MilkmanAl Al the Ass Mod Physician 7+ Year Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    Kansas City, MO
    hSDN Alumni
    You know how people react in PA to questions about getting a single B? Yeah...

    You could have. That strategy served me pretty damn well over the first 2 years.

    Meh. As with everything, it depends. For derm at Harvard, probably. Medicine at...well, just about anywhere? Nope.
  4. DrYoda

    DrYoda Space Cowboy Physician 7+ Year Member

    Jun 22, 2008
    Dagobah System
  5. the negative 1

    the negative 1 Bovie to "war crimes" please 10+ Year Member

    Aug 14, 2004
    Charm City
    Unless you're gunning for AOA and a very competitive residency, don't sweat it so much. Focus on your day-to-day studies, master the material in a way that makes sense to you, and remember that the time you put in now will make studying for Step1 a whole lot easier.

    That said, it's always worthwhile to re-examine your studying habits after a test and see what's working and what's not. Or do you have professors who are testing material they never covered that well in the first place?
  6. EagerToBeMD

    EagerToBeMD Medical Student 5+ Year Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Not only does it not matter. You look like a gunner for even asking the question. It would be one thing if you got a C or failed, but you got a "high pass" in your first module and you really want to know if this will hurt you for residency?

    Why don't we all give you a pat on the back now and save ourselves the trouble of a lengthy thread to reassure your bruised ego?
  7. Mace1370

    Mace1370 Physician 10+ Year Member

    Jul 8, 2007
    This is great advice.
  8. Deferoxamine

    Deferoxamine Non-smoking 5+ Year Member

    May 7, 2009
    Even better is that missing H in MANY classes in MS1-MS2 by 0.01 etc. still doesn't exclude you from awesome residencies, AOA, and so on.

    Third year is the year that matters.
  9. 2012mdc

    2012mdc Enjoying the Dark Side 5+ Year Member

    Mar 8, 2010
    They don't matter. Find out early how your school awards AOA though. It could affect that (in my class year I think all the people getting junior AOA have 4.0's) but even then AOA is not a huge deal (some schools don't award it, no national standard of when it's awarded).

    AOA can help a good amount if you go to a unranked/"unknown" med school. At my school AOA has been the common denominator for people who matched at really competitive spots - MGH for medicine, ivy league ortho etc
  10. VenusinFurs

    VenusinFurs I am tired, I am weary 7+ Year Member

    Dec 17, 2009
    I think you shouldn't ask this question until/ unless you get your first C.
  11. njbmd

    njbmd Guest Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    May 30, 2001
    Gone Walkabout!
    They matter in terms of getting the best grades that you can achieve. They will turn out to matter even more if you don't pass something. In terms of weighting, they are weighted less than clinical grades and boards but everything counts (not equally) but everything counts. Do your best but don't OBSESS!
  12. fahimaz7

    fahimaz7 10+ Year Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    If you don't get straight A's, you will end up in a psych residency in south Mississippi...
  13. VenusinFurs

    VenusinFurs I am tired, I am weary 7+ Year Member

    Dec 17, 2009
    I would never go there. I am scared of Mississippi.
  14. Fleur de Me

    Fleur de Me

    Sep 7, 2010
    Dirty South
    Great thread- just wanted to chime in and say thanks to all of the posters who have also put my mind at ease about the way things work.

    OP- good luck! I guess at the end of the day it is all about your own personal goals. My school is P/F only in the first two years, and while I'm doing my best, I try not to kill myself over grades. A lot of the people I know/live with want to be AOA and stress the hell out of themselves over grades trying to be #1. I put in work where I need to, am legitimately motivated to learn the material, but I also know when I reach my limit or need a night off. I think I got the same grades on the exams (>90%) as many of my friends who worked 10 times as hard, and I think some of that was just taking time when I needed it.

    As a former athlete- I'm convinced sometimes that the benefits correlate with not just the work you do, but the rest in between. Keep your mind fresh, try different approaches until you find what works.

    Anyway- like they always say- work smarter, not harder. If you really want to be in that Honors range, you can do it, but don't get caught up in other people's stuff. Other med students freak me out, I have to get away and trust myself that what I am doing works for me, and I don't need to do what they are doing to succeed. For me that's the hardest part!!!
  15. rocketbooster

    rocketbooster Banned Banned 5+ Year Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    meh, I just talked to some 4th year ortho residents who graduated from my school a few years ago. They said everything matters. They said everyone told them that preclinical grades didn't matter, but they found out otherwise haha. They said you need to be AOA to get into the ultra competitive residencies. One said he did not make AOA during his 3rd year but then got it his 4th year. I probably need to find out how AOA is decided at my school...

    Fortunately, the most competitive residencies tend to be the fields I'm not interested in. I still want AOA just because, though, haha
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2010
  16. Fleur de Me

    Fleur de Me

    Sep 7, 2010
    Dirty South
    They told kids at our school that AOA is clinical grades only, but people are still gunning like crazy to get the highest exam grade on anatomy. I mean, I learn the best I can, but I'm not sure it is worth 50 extra hours a week to go from a 90 to a 95. But that's just me.
  17. psipsina

    psipsina Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    Jun 24, 2005
    Agreed. I realized somewhere in the midst of my M1 year that I can't do anything better than my best. Worse is that freaking out about your grades wastes valuable time that could be spent studying (or sleeping ;) ). You don't do yourself any good by freaking out about the grades. Focus on doing YOUR best and learn to accept that, whatever it is. I'm not saying that you shouldn't work to improve time management or study skills but don't waste time berating yourself or being bummed if you know you gave a block your all.
  18. beyondbethany

    beyondbethany 7+ Year Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    You are fine. A high pass in your first block indicates that you are capable of doing well in your pre-clinical coursework. Once your study techniques improve, you will probably end up getting the Honors grades that you want.

    Just think, how many residency programs will know what the hell your HP means vs another school with a different % for HP vs an A-B-C system. Other factors will be much more important.
  19. ArcGurren

    ArcGurren only one will survive 2+ Year Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    They must have been screwing with you because I've heard exactly otherwise from most of the ortho people I've talked to. I've talked to at least four people - one of whom is a chief resident in Ortho - and he told me that they rarely ever have to look at preclinical grades.

    Anyway, OP: the only specialty that really relies on AOA as a standard of measurement is Dermatology and that's because it's a lifestyle residency which everyone with the highest possible grades tries to get into. I personally think it's stupid as hell since you have a lot of bright minded people going into a field which is basically a joke (save for things like skin cancer/melanoma etc) in day to day practice. But that's a rant for another day.

    Keep in mind different schools have different ways of judging who gets into AOA as well... some schools care purely about grades, and some schools also factor in things like leadership and humanism into it (which sounds logical to me, why honor a jerk?). There's also different tiers of AOA, junior AOA is the one mostly dealt with using preclinical grades and senior AOA is selected from third year grades.
  20. osumc2014

    osumc2014 7+ Year Member

    Jun 27, 2007
    honors is 90%? our test averages are like close to 90s lol
  21. itellitlikeitis


    Oct 9, 2010
    That doesn't mean much- it could just mean that your professors are writing exams that are way too easy
  22. SirGecko

    SirGecko Go Navy 7+ Year Member

    Feb 27, 2008
    Or Ohio is just full of superdocs who will one day rule us all!:cool:

    Seriously though OP, no worries. Try not to get too bogged down in that demarcation. (hard I know, I still find myself putting too much stock in getting an A vs a B as a second year) What you should just remind yourself is that you were correct 89% of the time. It is better to ride the A-B border than the B-C border. (or the C-D border) When it comes down to it though it is going to be much more important that you are able to synthesize material (and think clearly and logically) to look at clinical situation than that you remembered some random fact on an MS1 test.
  23. Parietal Lobe

    Parietal Lobe Junior Member 5+ Year Member

    Apr 16, 2006
    Yeah I was gonna say your exams must be ridiculously easy.
  24. r0ckaction

    r0ckaction 7+ Year Member

    Dec 17, 2009
    North Carolina
    I third that. We have had exams with no one scoring in the 90s at all.
  25. UAAWolf

    UAAWolf 2+ Year Member

    Jul 29, 2009
    This. No one in my class screws around. I got the class low last exam with an 80...

    I love pass/fail though
  26. UAAWolf

    UAAWolf 2+ Year Member

    Jul 29, 2009
    [​IMG] buddy at another school says all his exams are impossible
  27. LifetimeDoc

    LifetimeDoc EM Attending Physician 10+ Year Member

    Apr 30, 2006
    Do the grades matter? Well not really in first and second year. BUT! If you got the bad grades because you didn't learn the material, that'll be reflected in your Step 1 score which is the major selection criterion for residency. If you got the bad grades because you were goofing off, but you are good at cramming for step 1 or have a photographic memory, then no prob.
  28. ArthurIhde


    Sep 21, 2010
    noo i dont think it matter [​IMG]
  29. sunset823

    sunset823 10+ Year Member

    Jun 4, 2006
    I want to add to the rant that a rural FMG family practice doc I'm shadowing is perfectly capable of not only diagnosing, but also removing, many skin lesions, including pre-cancerous ones. What the heck does a dermatologist do that an FP can't do equally well? I understand the raison d'etre for many specialties, but derm...sorry for anyone incensed by that, but I never really got it.

    And no, preclinical grades don't matter, especially first year. I'm finding myself struggling to keep up second year, which has most of the important boards material, though I'm safely passing, but I do try to use a step 1 review site and questions in studying for exams. Step 1 is super important, so if you find yourself not honoring everything, make sure you have other review materials you're trying to look at to ease the burden in the spring.
  30. DoctwoB

    DoctwoB 7+ Year Member

    Jan 10, 2010
    Every single attending/PD/person ive talked to involved in resident selection has said the same thing to me. Pre-clinical grades DO matter. Just less than clinical grades. Everyone seems to crap on pre-clinicals saying that the guy with good clinicals and bad pre-clinicals will beat the guy with good pre-clinicals and bad clinicals every time. Which is definitely true.

    What they're not saying is that the guy with good pre-clinicals AND good clinicals will beat the guy with just good clinicals every time. Then theres the fact that doing well on pre-clinicals will be indicative of a good Step1, which is very important. Moral of the story, study/work hard on pre-clinicals, learn your **** for step1, and stay sane enough that you're not burnt out come 3rd year.
  31. 2012mdc

    2012mdc Enjoying the Dark Side 5+ Year Member

    Mar 8, 2010
    For the most part any specialist will know their area better than a FP. Of course a knowledgeable FP, especially those in rural areas, can handle plenty and don't have to refer as much but everything including skin can have very complex cases that a FP just isn't comfortable handling or lacks the skill/knowledge to do so.

    I'm also shadowing a rural FM doc and he takes care of plenty of skin issues with no problem but there are times where what he tries does not work and he has to refer out and he has no qualms doing it. He knows his limits

    :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:. Couldn't agree don't have to kill yourself trying to honor every single preclinical class but preclinical grades do matter. Also find out exactly how AOA works at your school before dismissing preclinical grades
  32. rocketbooster

    rocketbooster Banned Banned 5+ Year Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    Yeah, I was freaking out a bit when I wrote this. Since then, my last module was much harder than the first and I honored in it! And not just with a 90% either...I think I'm going to end with like a 92-93% once the final grade is out. The class average on tests has so far always been in the low 80s, and the faculty keeps referring to our class as the "smart class." Not sure if we are smarter or that the previous class was just dumb haha.

    Hmmm, just a received an email sent out by a 4th year to our entire class. She is talking about how she got mainly high pass through med school (never any honors), was predicted by many (not sure who many is) to get a 225 on the Step1, and ended up getting a 200. I might be freaking out again if high pass means Step 1 of 200. I wish I had more grades vs Step1 scores to compare! Oh well.
  33. WellWornLad

    WellWornLad 7+ Year Member

    Feb 5, 2008
    Maybe the same mental health issues that caused her to send a mass e-mail detailing her own perceived failures also affected her ability to study for Step 1.

    I'm tempted to say something about "n=1," but I think your anxiety goes deep enough to remain impervious to logic.
  34. rocketbooster

    rocketbooster Banned Banned 5+ Year Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    haha no, I am not stressing out over it. I just thought it was funny to bring up. She wrote a 2-page, single-spaced email giving the history of her med school experience and testing strategies. She went on to list every Step 1 prep book and discussed the pros and cons of each.

    My question is why does she think anyone would trust her failed experience of barely passing the Step 1? I would seek advice on pros/cons of study aids from someone who got 240, not a 200.
  35. EagerToBeMD

    EagerToBeMD Medical Student 5+ Year Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    The only thing first module grades are good for is to single out the arrogant people in the class who cloak their bragging in tears and sorrow. Might just be me, but I have a ton more respect for someone who comes online and says "I'm really proud of myself for getting this grade and here's why" than someone who asks if a high pass will hurt their residency chances.
  36. gravitywave

    gravitywave fourth year 2+ Year Member

    Dec 19, 2009
    s/p ERAS
    that's bizarre. anyone who would do that is not someone worth listening to, at least not for that purpose. sounds like she's just trying to work out her frustrations.

    also, if she knew enough about every review book to write about it, she probably used too many review books.

    if you just pass everything and then get 245, no one will care that you only just passed everything. except maybe in derm or plastics. and yes, it's (very) possible to just pass everything and write a 245.

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