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MedicineForLife 777

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Jun 2, 2006
Fellow [Any Field]
Hi there! I'm an MS I, and I'm want to start off on the right foot in terms of what I should focus on to get into a competitive residency. Can you give me advice in terms of how important each of these aspects are? Ranking these would be helpful as well. Any help you could give me would be appreciated! :D

1. STEP 1
2. STEP 2
3. preclinical grades
4. clinical grades
5. AOA membership
6. class rank (my school doesn't rank how would this work?)
7. research
8. publications
9. extracurriculars (like holding officer positions in organizations or other outside activities)
10. dean's letter
11. recommendation letters
12. application
13. personal statement
14. interview


Staff member
15+ Year Member
Aug 15, 2003
Fixing in 10% neutral buffered formalin
Attending Physician
There really is no formula. An application is not just a sum of numbers and rankings. Obviously, having high board scores (particularly step I) will help. Certain things become more important depending on what program and what specialty you are trying to get into (like research or recommendation letters). Things like AOA and class rank are a bit iffy since lots of schools don't have them anyway. Extracurriculars don't really matter unless it's something that is really significant in your life (like you run a free clinic for 20 hours a week or something like that). Some places consider interviews important, some basically use them to convince you to come there.

Basically to make yourself competitive you do as well as you can, particularly on things you can control (like step I).

If something makes you really stand out other things become less important. Like, if you have done extensive research in the field and show promise, your board scores become nearly irrelevant as long as you passed. If your board scores are >260, your clinical grades are less important (unless you failed a course or something).


Please also do a search for this topic as it is very frequently asked.

There may also be some helpful threads referenced in the FAQ as well.
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