Apr 25, 2015
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Hey everyone this is something I wanted to get a few opinions on....regarding a related question I asked in my post "matcharesident vs. freida"

Regarding minimum USMLE scores listed in Freida - should I take them as absolute values (as MadJack suggested? - thanks by the way for your response) SO I shouldn't even bother applying if score is < minimum USMLE score (as listed in FReida)?
 

joker2400

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Personally I'd assume they are fluid and accuracy may be questionable. If you have the extra $$, I'd apply to all the programs you really want to go to.
 

LATigers

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You should definitely NOT assume they are fluid. FREIDA is updated every year by virtually every program. Programs also pay to have their expanded information in there. The only thing I would suggest is if they require a 230 and you got a 229, then maybe you should apply. Otherwise, if they require a 230 and you have 203, DON"T DO IT! You will simply be wasting money.
 

mcl

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Personally I'd assume they are fluid and accuracy may be questionable. If you have the extra $$, I'd apply to all the programs you really want to go to.
Agreed. You never know when a program may have a year when the applicant pool isn't as strong and they are willing to set the bar a little lower on scores. Or someone has a really strong application apart from a step score. Or someone on the selection committee was a roommate of one of the letter writers who swore the applicant will be the best resident ever despite a lower score. The selection process is fluid, subjective, and imperfect. Every year I'm sure we lose out on meeting dozens of highly qualified students who will be fantastic residents because we just can't interview everybody. If your scores are close, if you have the money to spend on applications, if you just want to take a chance, there's no harm in applying. Just don't get angry/upset if you aren't selected for an interview.
 
OP
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Apr 25, 2015
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-do programs use "filters" in ERAS such that if your score is below their desired then application will never even be see the light of day?
-i am worried that I am just flushing money down the toilet if this is the case
 

Raryn

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You should definitely NOT assume they are fluid. FREIDA is updated every year by virtually every program. Programs also pay to have their expanded information in there. The only thing I would suggest is if they require a 230 and you got a 229, then maybe you should apply. Otherwise, if they require a 230 and you have 203, DON"T DO IT! You will simply be wasting money.
Maybe it's changed in the last few years, but in my experience FREIDA clearly had information that was multiple years out of date for a substantial proportion of programs. An easy one was just comparing the listed salary to the current one, you could see salaries $3-5k lower on FREIDA than the current year. Programs also had the wrong # of residents listed. Usually the name of the program director was up to date, but everything else was +/-.

I'd take the minimum USMLEs listed as guidelines, but not 100% hard and fast. I got a couple interviews where my Step 1 was below the listed "minimum"... but then my Step 2 was above it. If both your scores are significantly below the minimums and you don't have another compelling reason to make up for it though, probably not worth applying. That said... it's only money. In the long run, $15-25 to apply to one extra program is a drop in the bucket.

-do programs use "filters" in ERAS such that if your score is below their desired then application will never even be see the light of day?
-i am worried that I am just flushing money down the toilet if this is the case
Yes, they do filter, but they do so organically. So a PD might initially review USMDs with step scores > X. Then the next round they might loosen criteria. They can change their filters at any point.
 
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