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How badly did I screw up already?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by cowslayer, Apr 8, 2007.

  1. cowslayer

    cowslayer New Member 2+ Year Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    I'm a first year student at COMP and I am seeking opinion from any of you out there that have gone a lot further in your medical eduction than I have.

    My first semester was pretty bad. I barely passed all of my classes and have probably scored 5-7% below average overall in my class, mostly because I failed one class (it was a 2 week head&neck anatomy class with one exam so not a huge deal overall GPA wise but still, a failed class nonetheless).
    Now I'm in my second semester and I am firmly set right on the average of all our exams or maybe a few percentage points above.

    I was just wondering how screwed I am regarding being competitive for future residency placements? I am working harder and I know my grades can improve and hopefully I can rock the boards.
    The stain of the first semester was a bad blow to my ego in general I guess and I started freaking out about IM/FM being the only things I should even realistically consider.

    But I would really like to specialize later, my choices so far being EM, Physical Medicine & Rehab, Urology, Anesthesiology (I know this one is a long shot).
    Is there a "how difficult is it to get this specialty" list somewhere? :)

    Any general opinions? Advice?
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  3. AmoryBlaine

    AmoryBlaine the last tycoon 7+ Year Member

    May 1, 2006

    You can certainly match in EM after failing a first year course although obviously it is a bit harder. Anesthesiology is roughly comparable to EM. When the time comes your advisor will probably suggest that you apply to more programs than the avg applicant.

    PM/R is easier, you should be fine esp as DO education lends itself so favorably to this field.

    Urology is going to be tougher road, although at least what you failed was head/neck and not penis/testicles. Sorry, I couldn't resist. :D


    *MD student, just cruising around the boards.
  4. JustPlainBill

    JustPlainBill Attending Physician 10+ Year Member

    Jan 5, 2007
    You're screwed. Give up now and spare yourself the agony. My god, how can you expect to be competent as a physician when you've failed one class and obviously didn't memorize the minutiae of 27% of the entire human anatomy contained in the head and neck area.......

    Ok, now that you're finished panicking......Don't worry about it. Most residency directors I've talked to have said that grades really don't matter. It's your letters and board scores. Settle down and do your best. I've got people in my class that are close to strokin' out over a few points on a SOAP note in clinical if those points would keep them out of
    orthopedic surgery or whatever.....I guess that's the difference when you've
    worked in the real world for a learn to take things in stride....
  5. cowslayer

    cowslayer New Member 2+ Year Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    Hahaha...I mean, I don't think I'll be a total failure and that I should just drop out. And I'm not freaking out over a few points here and there. If anything, I'm prolly one of the more chill people in my class.
    I do hope to do well on the boards but I think that there usually people who did well in their classes will do well on the boards as well so I don't know how much chance I have going from Average Joe to star performer on the boards.
    I just see people panicking, talking about all the things they've heard and I just don't know what to take out of all of it.
    I guess I don't know much about the residency matching in general.
  6. JustPlainBill

    JustPlainBill Attending Physician 10+ Year Member

    Jan 5, 2007
    So you haven't yet learned that pre-med/pre-clinical med students typically
    know about as much as can be contained in the back of a matchbook
    when written with a large grease pencil in terms of what residency directors
    look for but act like they have the inside skinny? My classmates are some of the most neurotic people I've met but then again, they have no perspective. Going from an A to a B in med school
    is supposedly no big deal. Missing 6 months of mortgage payments is a big
    deal since you can wind up on the street. Not getting a perfect score
    in the Clin Med OSCE (as long as you pass) is no big deal. Understanding
    what the hell you're doing with all of those parts of the physical exam is...
    Not knowing which freakin' nerve root contributes to whatever nerve is
    probably no big deal unless you're a neurologist. Being able to pick out
    tongue deviation and route out to a neurologist probably is.....

    In other words, de-stress, other people want to feel important and get
    some strange form of adrenaline 'high' from having their lives in chaos
    and worrying about stuff they have very little control over. You have to
    survive all 4 years FIRST. During 4th is the time to start looking at it....

    As a combat vet that I know very well once said while we were under
    a tornado warning (meaning one's on the ground somewhere in the area)
    'When I start worrying, then you can start'.....Get it in perspective
    in other words....if it can't kill you or eat you, relax.....
  7. Jamers

    Jamers Sexy Man 10+ Year Member

    Dec 6, 2005
    North Carolina

    SOUNDMAN Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    May 16, 2004
    Classic, great post above, Justplainbill!!
    :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:
  9. Dartos Vader

    Dartos Vader Illegal in 47 states 7+ Year Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    All these people answering your posts are first year med students. Don't listen to them, you are screwed. Hope you like FM.

    Nah i'm just kidding. IMHO people tend to end up in the field most suited for them, it just may no be what you thought it was in the first place, or the second or third place.
  10. Dr.Inviz

    Dr.Inviz Banned Banned

    Oct 1, 2006
    Royally. Now be a man and suck it up.
  11. JustPlainBill

    JustPlainBill Attending Physician 10+ Year Member

    Jan 5, 2007
    At least I wanted to have him interpret my messages as a tongue in cheeck joke with no basis in reality. We all know he's screwed and damned to HMO hell. I supposed I should have said, turn your head and cough.....:hardy:
  12. toothless rufus

    toothless rufus 7+ Year Member

    Dec 17, 2004
    Always wondered: why turn your head? Etiquette?
  13. Dr JPH

    Dr JPH Banned Banned 10+ Year Member

    Feb 4, 2000
    EM is certainly still an option, even at allopathic programs.

    PM&R is open as well.

    Anesthesiology is still possible, but think 550+ COMLEX

    Uro is difficult no matter what.
  14. polynikesdb

    polynikesdb 2+ Year Member

    Apr 13, 2007
    Des Moines, IO
    Second year is much different from first year. Grades are not everything; boards are not everything.

    The thing is:

    You can do anything as long as you put will behind intention. If you want something enough, and are willing to do what it takes, then you will get it.

    Likewise, if you don't really want it, it won't happen.

    Never has something so simple shown up so much in my life.

    Good luck, my friend.
  15. silas2642

    silas2642 silas2642 10+ Year Member

    Jul 24, 2005
    Allright. It's your first year and no doors are closed to you whatsoever unless you really screw up (i.e. fail an entire year), which you haven't. So you failed one class, big deal. Your class rank is around the 50th percentile, which isn't that bad, and you can bring that up in the next two years or so.

    The most important factors of what decides your future are yet to come-- boards and rotations. Class rank is important and that has not yet even come close to being decided because you're just finishing up your first year. You have tons more to go.

    I'm not exactly any voice of absolute wisdom, but the seemingly best advice I have received so far has been to learn the material as best I can the first two years, going first for the concept, next for the detail. If you have time, look over some board review books as you go through your classes so you have an idea of what is going to be important for USMLE. Read your syllabi a couple of times so you know the details your professor is going to test you on. Second year, take the time to annotate into First Aid as you go through your subjects so that you are familiar with the book when you start studying and so that it is ready to go when you start studying hardcore for boards.

    Chill out. You're fine-- if people tell you you're not, don't listen to them because they are wrong. Anyway, what's done is done and you can't change the past, all you can do is improve your future. Good luck and enjoy EM, PMR, or anesthesiology!

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