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Good step 1, mediocre grades

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timmytoughguy

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So I want to do general surgery, and I'm trying to determine whether or not to apply to very competitive programs or not. I got 247 on step 1, but I'm not AOA, only have poster presentations, and go to a lower-tier medical school.
First question is, will my step 1 score alone get me interviews at very good programs(i.e. Hopkins, Michigan, Northwestern, etc). Secondly, if I land said interviews, will my lack of a prestigious pedigree hurt me even if I've gotten that foot in the door come interview/rank time.

~TTG
 

Pinkertinkle

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Can you clarify your situation? Preclinical grades are really quite irrelevant, but do you have any honors on any rotations? One doesn't have to be AOA to have reasonable grades. Can you get some pretty good gen surg letters of rec?
 

Law2Doc

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Can you clarify your situation? Preclinical grades are really quite irrelevant, but do you have any honors on any rotations? One doesn't have to be AOA to have reasonable grades. Can you get some pretty good gen surg letters of rec?

I'm not sure any honors grades in the first couple of years are really necessary (but certainly don't hurt), but positive grades in the clinical years (particularly surgery) would be huge. Any decent contacts and good surgical LORs would be helpful, as would doing an away rotation at a target school. Some people take a year off to do targeted research if there is a particular type of program they are shooting for and want to build up their credentials.
OP, you need to find a surgeon to be your mentor and have a sit down to discuss your situation, and how to best leverage your score toward your goal.
 

timmytoughguy

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Thanks for the fast reply:
I managed A's on all my 3rd year rotations(those durned preclinical grades are what drag me down), I think i can get good letters, but due to the level of my school, I just don't think that the writers are going to be very well known, which seems like it would be a deal maker for big name schools.
Anyways, thanks for any other tips/tricks/advice in advance.
-TTG
 

Law2Doc

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Thanks for the fast reply:
I managed A's on all my 3rd year rotations(those durned preclinical grades are what drag me down), I think i can get good letters, but due to the level of my school, I just don't think that the writers are going to be very well known, which seems like it would be a deal maker for big name schools.
Anyways, thanks for any other tips/tricks/advice in advance.
-TTG

If we are talking US allo, I wouldn't worry about the "level of your school". You got the Step 1 score in competition with folks coming from all level schools.
 

Pinkertinkle

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Thanks for the fast reply:
I managed A's on all my 3rd year rotations(those durned preclinical grades are what drag me down), I think i can get good letters, but due to the level of my school, I just don't think that the writers are going to be very well known, which seems like it would be a deal maker for big name schools.
Anyways, thanks for any other tips/tricks/advice in advance.
-TTG
Since you have A's on all your rotations, and a good step 1, preclinical grades will matter very little if at all. Many schools no longer report preclinical grades so its not something that can be used to compare applicants anymore.
 

MSKalltheway

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I'm assuming you are going to school in NY, but not in Manhattan from your posts? If that's so, I wouldn't worry about the perceived "prestige" of any of the NY schools, when you get on the interview trail I don't think anyone will say "Never heard of it..." even at top programs. All the NY schools are at least decent, IMHO, and I'm not just saying that 'cause I grew up there!
 
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