rbo

New Member
10+ Year Member
Jun 7, 2004
4
0
Status
Hey all,
This is my first post.
My question is this. We all know RadOnc is 'very competitive' but in terms of board scores what does that mean? I know from reading on this site that the applicant to spot ratio is about 3:1. And I know that research and good letters of rec are paramount. But people say you need a step 1 score of 240 plus-maybe this is correct but does anyone know of a place where I can find the average board score of those who matched. I'll be taking the step 1 in 6 months or so and want to know what my prospects are when I get my score back.
thanks,
rbo
 

Ehrman

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Sep 15, 2004
23
0
Status
Rbo-

I have been asked this question many times by underclassmen at my medical school. I will give you my opinion, but it is just that, an opinion.

There are no websites or databases, that I have been able to find, that have the average board scores or class ranks of residents in each program. That being said, it is well known that rad onc is extremely competitive, on the level of dermatology and 3+3 plastic surgery. Fortunately for many, rad onc programs don't seem quite as focused on board scores in the 260s and junior AOA as they are in Derm. Radiation programs, however, are comparatively much more interested in applicants who have engaged in meaningful research than in other fields. Publications and presentations at national meetings (ASTRO, ASCO, RSNA, etc.) seem paramount to landing a position at the top tier institutions. Rad onc is a highly evidence based field and treatment is continually evolving as the result of clinical and translational research. Thus, academic programs are interested in people who have already demonstated an interest in contributing to the further improvement of radiotherapy as a treatment modality. This is not to say that board scores, GPA and class rank are not important parameters, because they certainly are, it is more to suggest that one can make up for less than perfect board scores with significant research experience. So you should not feel like your chance of becoming a radiation oncologist "lives and dies" with your Step 1 score.

Good luck on step 1 and the rest of medical school.

Ehrman
 

Thaiger75

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Nov 3, 2003
345
0
Visit site
Status
rbo said:
Hey all,
This is my first post.
My question is this. We all know RadOnc is 'very competitive' but in terms of board scores what does that mean? I know from reading on this site that the applicant to spot ratio is about 3:1. And I know that research and good letters of rec are paramount. But people say you need a step 1 score of 240 plus-maybe this is correct but does anyone know of a place where I can find the average board score of those who matched. I'll be taking the step 1 in 6 months or so and want to know what my prospects are when I get my score back.
thanks,
rbo
I totally agree with what has been previously posted. I would definitely aim to get above avg ~ 215. I know people who've scored lower and gotten interviews. On the flip side, there are programs I know that cut off interviewing at 230. Getting in the 220's is a safe Step 1 score I would think.
 
OP
R

rbo

New Member
10+ Year Member
Jun 7, 2004
4
0
Status
thanks for what has been posted. Currently I'm a 2nd year at Baylor finishing up my ob/gyn clerkship(we only have 1.5 years of basic sciences). I did my undergrad at The University of Chicago where I concentrated(that's what they call majors at the U of C) in chemistry and just fell in love with quantum mechanics and radiation physics. On the flipside I have a wife and three kids so I'm not wanting to take a year off for research. However, with Baylor's flexible curriculum I likely can fit in about 6 months of research without having to extend my time-is this enough? Also I published(not as first or last author) while in undergrad-will this help?
 

doc05

2K Member
15+ Year Member
May 24, 2003
3,517
1,435
U.S.A.
Visit site
Status
publishing will help; esp. if it is in oncology or rad-onc. Coming from Baylor, you're at a huge advantage since you've got (1) extra research time; (2) awesome resources, including letter writers; (3) big-name school, which is very important.
 

RadOncFever

Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Oct 25, 2003
34
0
47
Loma Linda, CA
Visit site
Status
Not to mention having MD Anderson across the street. You can easily set up research with one of the big names. 6 months is more than adequate for Cox or Buchholz to come up with some clinical research project for you to get involved in...probably even while you are still doing your clerkship rotations.