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How screwed am I?

Discussion in 'ERAS, SOAP, and NRMP Match' started by slacker101, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. slacker101

    slacker101 New Member
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    Hey guys I just wanted a little advice. I took 3 years off from a middle of the road U.S. med school. The leave is classified as a medical leave. I had some serious questions if medicine was right for me and dealt with some anxiety issues. My step 1 score is awful (203) and my class ranking is in the 20-40%. On a positive note I have no failure in any classes, rotations, or on step 1. I was just wondering if people could provide a list residencies I still have a shot at matching. (I still have 80 percent of my year 3 rotations and step 2 to complete.) I guess my real question is how much will these red flags hurt my chances.
     
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  3. dragonfly99

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    I think a lot depends on your 3rd year medical school performance.
    The 203 on step 1 isn't that big of deal if you are interested in any noncompetitive specialties like peds, IM, fp, psych, physical medicine/rehab, probably neurology. Especially if you could do a little better (like even 215-220 or so) on your Step 2 and definitely to pass Step 2CS on the first try. I wouldn't obsess about the low Step 1 score...you didn't fail and that's actually not the worst score in the world. I mean, you aren't going to do medicine residency at Johns Hopkins, but unless you want to be an academic who does basic science research, I don't think that matters. The Step 1 score just tells you that you need to be careful to study/prepare well for Step 2, but really you can take that even some time into 4th year and it's OK, so you'll have time to study.

    The biggest thing I would worry about with the 3 years off is that you have forgotten a lot, particularly in terms of clinical skills. What 3rd year rotation did you already do? Just curious. Would your medical school consider letting you sit in on some of the 1st or 2nd year physical exam and history taking classes, and/or going with the 2nd years when they go see hospital patients? If you could do this for a few weeks before restarting 3rd year, that might be very helpful.

    Your class rank doesn't mean that much...it will likely change after 3rd year anyway. If you could just be a middle of the packer that would be fine for a lot of specialties, even maybe ER and anesthesia. The big think is that you need to find something you like and are reasonably good at. I would try to talk with your school's career office and maybe some practicing docs, to try to get an idea of what specialties you might be interested in. I think if I had known that more before I started 3rd year, I would have done better overall.

    You will have to explain in your residency interviews why you took time off, but if you do fine when you rejoin 3rd year, I don't think it will cause undue alarm interviewing for the less competitive specialties as long as the interviewer feels you are committed now.
     
  4. slacker101

    slacker101 New Member
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    Thank you for the insightful response. I have completed family and peds rotations thus far. I am still undecided as to what I would like to go into, however neurology would be actually quite high on my list. Just curious as to what you think my chances would be at something like pathology or emergency medicine. Or another similar intermediate level type of program. Thanks.
     
  5. UT_mikie

    UT_mikie Senior Member
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    Path is a one of the least competitive specialties to place into although placing into a "desirable" location for any specialty may pose a bit of a challenge for you. EM is possible but it will be a stretch. Worrying definitely will not help your chances. Honors in 3rd year clerkships and a good step 2 will help you greatly.
     
  6. zoondel

    zoondel SDN Lifetime Donor
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    Slacker,
    I definitely understand where you're coming from. I took a year off after Step 1 because I needed a break and was anxious about my future - and I essentially went back to college to do something other than medicine.

    As for your concerns - I agree with the above posters - study hard and get as much hands-on training as you can. Doing well in 3rd year required clerkships will go a long way toward eliminating discomfort about your leave come interview season.

    Good luck!
     
  7. Puddle Sign

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    Slacker, I was in your shoes as well sans the 3 year absence from med school. I got a little higher than you on Step 1 and am right around 50% in my class at an average medical school. I did much better on Step 2 and am going into anesthesia. I applied to around 40 programs and received 15 interviews, 12 of which I will be attending. I got some interviews at some programs I thought were out of reach and got rejected by some places I thought were sure things. My advice is bust your ass and get great LORs during your third year. Also, study hard for Step 2 and get an above average Step 2 score. With my scores and grades the door was likely closed for me on Derm, Plastics, Ortho, Urology and Ophtho but I felt like I would have a decent chance matching into anything else. Fortunately I did not want to go into any of the aforementioned specialties. Your Step 1 is not as terrible as you think. Also come up with a solid answer as to why you missed 3 years of school. You will worry a lot over the next year but you will be fine come March 2010
     

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