How many doors will school prestige open now that STEP is p/f

Mar 12, 2021
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I know that some people say prestige, especially US News rankings, is overblown. But I'm curious to hear folks' thoughts on how valuable rank/prestige will be for people interested in competitive residencies (derm, ophth, ortho, etc) now that STEP1 is p/f. If someone attends a T5, let's say, is their path to one of those specialties significantly easier than people who attend a state school that's not T30? Said another way, how often historically do people in T5s not match into ANY residency program in their area of interest, including the competitive specialties, assuming they don't fail or have any other red flags? And do people think that the "power" of rank will increase in significant ways with the STEP change?
 
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From what I've read, and there is a report out there detailing this, I think your clerkship grades, Step 2 score, and LORs will be the main drivers (plus coming from an MD school). Prestige of medical school is probably next in terms of getting the residency interview but those first three above still have to be pretty strong. Once you get the interview, how well you do on it can overwhelm some other factors at that point. At least I think this is what I took away from the report I saw.
 
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I know that some people say prestige, especially US News rankings, is overblown. But I'm curious to hear folks' thoughts on how valuable rank/prestige will be for people interested in competitive residencies (derm, ophth, ortho, etc) now that STEP1 is p/f. If someone attends a T5, let's say, is their path to one of those specialties significantly easier than people who attend a state school that's not T30? Said another way, how often historically do people in T5s not match into ANY residency program in their area of interest, including the competitive specialties, assuming they don't fail or have any other red flags? And do people think that the "power" of rank will increase in significant ways with the STEP change?
PDs aren't stupid; they'll use Step 2 as the screening tool.
 

EdgeTrimmer

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All things being equal you will get a bump from attending a T5 over T30 but I doubt two candidates will have exactly same of everything :)
 

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For the most part it won't affect anything for USMD students except for the very very top schools wear their bubble might become a little more bubbly. If you have a USMD, have a halfway decent resume and a realistic about applying to where your stats are, you'll get a job and that's the ultimate goal.

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Ultravox Vienna

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All things being equal you will get a bump from attending a T5 over T30 but I doubt two candidates will have exactly same of everything :)
This. I see a lot of people on here justifying going to a higher priced school because it's ranked 43rd instead of the cheaper school which is 49th because of "prestige"
 
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EdgeTrimmer

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This. I see a lot of people on here justifying going to a higher priced school because it's ranked 43rd instead of the cheaper school which is 49th because of "prestige"
The question was not about 43 vs 49 , it’s about T5😂
 
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This. I see a lot of people on here justifying going to a higher priced school because it's ranked 43rd instead of the cheaper school which is 49th because of "prestige"

Remember the psych/soc MCAT preparation that you did , this is where it helps.

The one rule that you prominently studied for psychology is the Weber's law, also called Weber-Fechner law, historically important psychological law quantifying the perception of change in a given stimulus. The law states that the change in a stimulus that will be just noticeable is a constant ratio of the original stimulus

There is absolutely no difference between a 43 and 49 ranked school for this reason as explained by Weber-Fechner.

There is a difference for Program Directors of residency programs that is perceivable between a T10 versus a T30 school, or a T30 school versus versus a T70 school. I doubt there is any difference perceivable between a T5 versus a T10 program either.
 
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Ultravox Vienna

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The question was not about 43 vs 49 , it’s about T5😂
I understand that. You answered the question and I agreed. I was extending OP's question to more relevant/occasional situations. Every time i look at X vs Y threads, this is normally the case. Usually don't see T5 vs T30 threads on there because the T5 would be the obvious choice.
 
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EdgeTrimmer

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Right now two t30’s offering full tuition. I informed the t10 and they’re working on it.
If they match its similar CoL in all 3 cities.
Everyone will tell you this is a no brainer and you should go to cheapest school but comes down to your finances and how much prestige you value. I personally would pay for T5 over T30 full tuition.
 
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We have the discussion about prestige endlessly on these boards and then every year the match lists come out and everyone is like pikachu.jpg wow prestige matters.

Step 1 going P/F isn’t changing things much for top school students. The prestige of a brand name and the associated halo effect is just one element of it, top and well resourced schools and their students also have access to a range of opportunities that give them much more variety and opportunity to round out or enhance their med school CV beyond like sending out some abstracts and taking a standardized test. So you can match anywhere from anywhere, but remember that some folks you are “competing” with have many more options for how to distinguish themselves than what is available at most med schools. I go to a T5, last year we had someone match ENT, a competitive specialty, at one of the number 1-3 academic ENT residencies with a 22X step 1. Everyone here will be up in arms about “omg prestige bias” but they don’t know this person and if they did they would realize that their CV blows 99.9% of med students out of the water and the group of people they were actually “competing” with was like 5-10 other students nationally.

That said, I think this advantage is much more pronounced for matching academic residencies at other academic medical centers in any specialty. If all you’re interested in is matching at a competitive specialty and then going to private practice don’t sweat it so much and take the least debt possible.

But keep your mind open to things that aren’t competitive specialties. There are many great specialties that have a lot to offer that aren’t Derm or Ortho. At some point you all have to fight to get out of the premed rat race mindset of wanting something simply because it’s hard to get or because others want it and figure out what you actually want out of life.
 
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