nope80

Resident
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 10, 2004
1,094
6
251
Status
I think I really want to apply to IM but I am stuck over my step 1 score atrocity (195). How terrible and difficult is this going to be to overcome? If I do well on Step 2 do I have a shot? My third year grades have all been HP and H. I have a bunch of publications (research) too but no real extracurriculars besides the research.

I am bound by my family to the east coast (specifically NY region) - I know I can't be picky about where I go but my question is if I have a chance at IM in general, will I have a chance in the NY/NJ/PA region. Are there specific programs I should look into consider? If I have to go to a community hospital, I guess I have no option but I have always wanted a career in academic medicine (working in a university hospital) instead of going into private practice.

Any thoughts? Suggestions? So stressed out.
 

RonBurgandy

5+ Year Member
Dec 31, 2009
53
3
91
Status
Resident [Any Field]
My first thought is to get in touch with the IM PD at your school or another person at your school who is used to advising med students applying to IM. Do this asap. They'll have the best insight as to how applicants from your school are perceived and what you need to do to strengthen your application.

General thoughts: taking Step 2 early and acing it would be a big help.

Your grades seem good. If your class rank is top quartile or top 2 quartiles, that may help trump your Step 1.

Apply broadly.

Consider away rotations at programs you like.

I have a friend who had a 207 Step 1 but great grades, and a much improved Step 2, who interviewed at top optho programs and matched at a strong academic program, so Step 1s can be overcome.

Plan early.
 

tacrum43

Behold the mighty echidna
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Oct 19, 2004
3,130
3
0
36
Seattle, WA
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I think I really want to apply to IM but I am stuck over my step 1 score atrocity (195). How terrible and difficult is this going to be to overcome? If I do well on Step 2 do I have a shot? My third year grades have all been HP and H. I have a bunch of publications (research) too but no real extracurriculars besides the research.

I am bound by my family to the east coast (specifically NY region) - I know I can't be picky about where I go but my question is if I have a chance at IM in general, will I have a chance in the NY/NJ/PA region. Are there specific programs I should look into consider? If I have to go to a community hospital, I guess I have no option but I have always wanted a career in academic medicine (working in a university hospital) instead of going into private practice.

Any thoughts? Suggestions? So stressed out.
If you're going to a U.S. allopathic school, you should be fine if you do well on Step 2 (like 220+) and have good letters of recommendation.

The 195 on Step 1 is low and will probably keep you out of the top programs, but there are lots of options in the northeast. Internal Medicine is not derm, and your applications otherwise sounds pretty solid.

Just my $0.02.
 

nope80

Resident
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 10, 2004
1,094
6
251
Status
How can I do more research on programs and average step scores, etc?

The problem is I start my fourth year in september and have to get acting internships out of the way so i can get letters. I don't think there is enough time to do aways. When would be the last month I could do aways before they are ineffective?

How many programs do people in my position typically apply to?
 

RonBurgandy

5+ Year Member
Dec 31, 2009
53
3
91
Status
Resident [Any Field]
You need better advising than the he said/she said on student doc. Find an advisor at your school ASAP.
 

nope80

Resident
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 10, 2004
1,094
6
251
Status
I definitely am going to talk to an advisor in internal medicine but I figured people that have gone through this process could offer some insight.

I am specifically wondering how people go about figuring out where to apply to? Are there any websites that rate programs/have resident opinion/etc?

Also, how does where one did their residency in internal medicine impact where they get a job?
 

jbz24

5+ Year Member
Jan 22, 2010
670
3
91
Status
Attending Physician
I think the board score may close you out of the top NY programs but you should be able to match at an academic program somewhere in NY. Definitely take step 2 early (July/August), even if you have to take it while doing a sub-I.

The great thing about NY is that there is a vast amount of residency options. What parts of NY are you interested in being at?

Top NYC Academic Programs
Columbia
Mount Sinai
Cornell
NYU
Einstein-Montefiore

Top NYC Community Programs and Lesser Academic
Einstein-Beth Israel
St. Lukes-Roosevelt
Lenox Hill
Einstein-Jacobi
SUNY Downstate

I don't think any of those places will hold you back, should land you a good shot at any fellowship specialty and should allow you to stay in "academics" if you want to.
 

gutonc

No Meat, No Treat
Staff member
Administrator
10+ Year Member
Mar 6, 2005
17,929
10,703
481
Status
Attending Physician
I definitely am going to talk to an advisor in internal medicine but I figured people that have gone through this process could offer some insight.

I am specifically wondering how people go about figuring out where to apply to? Are there any websites that rate programs/have resident opinion/etc?

Also, how does where one did their residency in internal medicine impact where they get a job?
If you're limited to the NYC-Philly corridor, just apply to every program in that area and see what happens. If you want to save a little money, don't bother applying to Columbia, Cornell and Penn, you won't get interviews there.

But there are roughly a metric crapload of other good programs (Univ and Community) in that area. NYU and MSSM are probably longshots but worth trying for, AECOM/Monte, SUNY-Downstate, Temple, TJU, Drexel, UMDNJ-NJMS and -RWJ, Stony Brook (depending on how far out you can go on LI) are all worth looking at. There are a few great community programs too, AECOM-BIMC, SLR, Einstein-Philly (or at least I've heard good things), Reading. And finally, there are a ton of crappy community programs in NYC that would love to have a US Grad to buff their reputation. So yes, you have a chance for IM.

As to whether your residency affects where you get a job, the answer is, "it depends." If you want a community general IM or hospitalist job, the only limit you'll really have is whether you hear about openings in whichever area you're interested in. Hospitals and groups tend to market locally first so if they have a few spots for new grads in the group, they'll go where they know people, likely a local residency program. This is not to say that finding this kind of job elsewhere is impossible, or even all that difficult, it just takes more legwork on your part. If you're thinking about doing a subspecialty OTOH, your residency does matter in terms of getting a good fellowship. And if you're interested in an academic job, pedigree matters (less so in IM than other specialties but even then it's important in NYC where all they care about is image).
 

Pkboi24

Don't laugh at my SN
10+ Year Member
Jan 8, 2005
1,139
11
301
Status
It's over. Apply to Family Medicine.
 
Feb 2, 2010
245
1
0
Status
MD/PhD Student
If you're limited to the NYC-Philly corridor, just apply to every program in that area and see what happens. If you want to save a little money, don't bother applying to Columbia, Cornell and Penn, you won't get interviews there.

But there are roughly a metric crapload of other good programs (Univ and Community) in that area. NYU and MSSM are probably longshots but worth trying for, AECOM/Monte, SUNY-Downstate, Temple, TJU, Drexel, UMDNJ-NJMS and -RWJ, Stony Brook (depending on how far out you can go on LI) are all worth looking at. There are a few great community programs too, AECOM-BIMC, SLR, Einstein-Philly (or at least I've heard good things), Reading. And finally, there are a ton of crappy community programs in NYC that would love to have a US Grad to buff their reputation. So yes, you have a chance for IM.

I agree, you still do have a shot at IM, and should refrain from applying to C/C/P. However, I don't think you should apply to NYU and MSSM because while they may be longshots, you would need to be exquisitely well-published or something else equally rare for an MS3, so the chances are pretty much infinitesimal there. I think Temple will be a great bet, I don't think it filled completely this year. Plus, you should apply to some primary care tracks as well. UMDNJ shouldn't be too difficult, and Downstate explicitly states that they take their own for fellowship. There was another poster here with similar stats, but I think drastically improved significantly on step 2.
 

EaglesPA

10+ Year Member
Oct 19, 2006
182
0
241
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I agree, you still do have a shot at IM, and should refrain from applying to C/C/P. However, I don't think you should apply to NYU and MSSM because while they may be longshots, you would need to be exquisitely well-published or something else equally rare for an MS3, so the chances are pretty much infinitesimal there. I think Temple will be a great bet, I don't think it filled completely this year. Plus, you should apply to some primary care tracks as well. UMDNJ shouldn't be too difficult, and Downstate explicitly states that they take their own for fellowship. There was another poster here with similar stats, but I think drastically improved significantly on step 2.
OP, don't listen to people that tell you not to apply to certain places.
APPLY wherever you want to apply !!! (unless of course money is an issue). Remember if you don't apply, then you guarantee that you have no shot.

I will definitely spend some time on preparing for Step 2 so you can get a high score. You have publications, you have H and HPs in your clerkships. You should work at really impressing and getting Honors in your Medicine Sub-i and getting strong LORs. If you get all these ducks in a row, you CAN get interviews at some of these places that people are telling you not to APPLY to.
Good luck.
 

gutonc

No Meat, No Treat
Staff member
Administrator
10+ Year Member
Mar 6, 2005
17,929
10,703
481
Status
Attending Physician
OP, don't listen to people that tell you not to apply to certain places.
APPLY wherever you want to apply !!! (unless of course money is an issue). Remember if you don't apply, then you guarantee that you have no shot.
I should point out that the only reason I suggested not applying to Columbia, Cornell and Penn was if the OP wanted to save some money. The most it would cost to apply to those 3 places would be $75 (and only if it were the 31-33rd programs).

In general though, I agree. The only thing you have to lose by applying is a rejection (and maybe $10-25). If you don't even apply, you lose any chance you might have had.
 

aProgDirector

Pastafarians Unite!
Moderator
10+ Year Member
Oct 11, 2006
8,085
6,540
381
Status
Attending Physician
If you're a allopathic US grad, and you get a similar score on Step 2 (195-200, let's say), and you do OK (or better than OK) on your clinical rotations, you'll still get a spot in IM most likely. The less impressive your stats are, the more you will be looking at community programs -- but you're still very likely to get a spot.

My point is that a 195 does not doom you. Even if your Step 2 is similar, IM should still be in reach.

As others have mentioned, there is no centralized list, or ranges of board scores, for programs. Apply broadly, and see what happens.
 

dragonfly99

10+ Year Member
May 15, 2008
5,092
49
261
Status
Attending Physician
Of course you can still get IM.
I agree with Ronburgundy. You really need to get advising from your own school, as they know best where people from your school w/similar stats have been able to match in the past. I agree that the top few academic programs in your area will be very hard to get into, but it's still OK to apply there if you are willing to accept that maybe your chances are small.

One thing I would add is that it tends to be easier to get into "academic" programs outside of the most popular metro areas. In other words, will probably be easier to get into some "academic" place that's not in Boston or NYC versus one that is. So if you are leaning toward academics, you might want to consider northeastern programs that are in less popular geographic areas. For example, U of Rochester in upstate New York, or perhaps consider Dartmouth. I'm not up on how they are perceived currently, but at least a few years ago they appeared pretty "academic" when I interviewed there.

Last, you need to work hard at improving your Step 2. If you were able to do this well in research and academically in med school, you should be able to do better. Try for 220 or better, or 230+ would be best. Get Rx for Boards, and get First Aid for USMLE step 2 and start studying 2-3 months in advance. The most important is to honor your subI, though.