Interested in Radiology, very bad first year preclinical grades, what can I do from here to be competitive?

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Chimokines37

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Hello everyone, I’m a second year and I’ve been developing a growing interest in radiology (DR). I was wondering if I could get more insight regarding how hard matching would be into this competitive field as a DO student and if my bad first year grades can be overcome by showing an “upwards trend” and comeback (mostly As/some Bs second year, solid step 1, step 2, clinical grades, etc).


My first preclinical year: About 2/3 Cs and 1/3 Bs. I know what the issue was (mental health problems, depression/anxiety) and already sought help to resolve this over the summer. Now that I’m doing better the worst feeling is the amount of regret I have for my performance last year because I know I am way more capable than that but at the time I did not put in my full effort into school at all. I know I have to focus on the future but I wish I got help earlier instead of putting it off and allowing myself to keep spiraling down. My school said they didn't rank at orientation but I know they probably do and because of these grades I probably wont be able to climb much considering class exam averages, but hopefully out of the bottom of the class.


Do I have a chance for radiology if I put in the work from here on out? What should I be doing to ensure this reality? I've read mixed things about the DO bias for radiology residencies so I'm worried I shot myself in the foot the first year. Just looking for advice and some motivation I suppose. Thanks.
 
Jun 24, 2019
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If you kick booty second year, then score atleast a 230, you'll have no problem matching. A 240+ and I will guarentee you match. I mean class rank isn't very important. If you score sub 220 then you are in danger. DR isn't very competitive based on 2020 match, and I don't see why that will change in the future. The "HaHa AI WiLl TaKe oVEr radiology, DuRR" mentality has taken over some peoples mind so that's probably part of it.
 
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Chimokines37

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If you kick booty second year, then score atleast a 230, you'll have no problem matching. A 240+ and I will guarentee you match. I mean class rank isn't very important. If you score sub 220 then you are in danger. DR isn't very competitive based on 2020 match, and I don't see why that will change in the future. The "HaHa AI WiLl TaKe oVEr radiology, DuRR" mentality has taken over some peoples mind so that's probably part of it.

Thanks I will keep that in mind as far as target board scores. I've made a step 1 study plan with the help of some M3 friends and aiming to put it into action soon. I think those scores are well within the realm of possibility for me if I follow through and apply myself, and hopefully will make up for my first year deficit.

Did you fail anything?

Did not fail anything, I ended up with a C in those classes due to the amount of effort I was able to put in at the time. It just feels really bad now because I know its not reflective of my true capabilities and I didn't know how much it will hurt me
 
A

AnatomyGrey12

Did not fail anything, I ended up with a C in those classes due to the amount of effort I was able to put in at the time. It just feels really bad now because I know its not reflective of my true capabilities and I didn't know how much it will hurt me

The dream lives on then. Just make a jump in second year and get a 240+ Step 2
 
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FutureDoctor5000

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DR isn’t that competitive anymore. Look at charting outcomes, >220 step 1 and 230 step 2 and your gold for community/Low tier programs.
 

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IR residencies aren’t out of consideration for DOs. You just need to be a very strong applicant. It looks like 13/20 DOs matched IR with an average step 1 of 252 from the most recent charting outcomes. I’m not sure about the competitiveness for the 2 year IR fellowship
 
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2 year fellowship seems pretty uncompetitive, based on 2018 fellowship stats. ESIR, because that is new, and is 6 years only, will probably be fairly more competitive. However, I have researched some community DR spots who take lots of DO's with ESIR spots as well, so I think there's enough to go around.

I think most DR applicants don't have a strong interest for IR. I do find it's a great middle ground for people who like radiology but don't want to give up patient care as well, as well as the skeptics that want to insulate themselves from any AI things. Although, IMO, AI is such a huge opportunity for investment for radiologists..can you imagine investing in a startup that goes big??? $..$. Me drooling.

1599576163600.png
 
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A

AnatomyGrey12

My understanding is the IR fellowship is a dying pathway.
 
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NecrotizingFasciitis

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Second that IR fellowships are going away slowly & being replaced with ESIR/integrated IR

If you have solid scores, a good IR LOR/rotation, and involvement in SIR, you have a solid shot at integrated IR from my understanding.

You can always apply DR to programs that have ESIR as well then apply for that down the road. But programs seem to not want people who specifically are applying DR as a backdoor to doing IR though so be careful about that. The reasoning I was told was because if they have 5 incoming residents all wanting ESIR but they only have 2 spots, their resident satisfaction will plummet to <50% ‘cause 3/5 of those people will be unhappy (or something along those lines.)
 
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My understanding is the IR fellowship is a dying pathway.

Oh yeah, the 1 year post fellowship ending, but there's going to be an independent 2 year "residency training", which is basically fellowship. I imagine that will be less competitive.
 
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Second that IR fellowships are going away slowly & being replaced with ESIR/integrated IR

If you have solid scores, a good IR LOR/rotation, and involvement in SIR, you have a solid shot at integrated IR from my understanding.

You can always apply DR to programs that have ESIR as well then apply for that down the road. But programs seem to not want people who specifically are applying DR as a backdoor to doing IR though so be careful about that. The reasoning I was told was because if they have 5 incoming residents all wanting ESIR but they only have 2 spots, their resident satisfaction will plummet to <50% ‘cause 3/5 of those people will be unhappy (or something along those lines.)
a lot of the allure of IR is lost when people actually see it in practice. it's easy to get excited about the big vascular cases, but when confronted with practical IR (aka lines/ports/doing all the crappy cases surgery doesn't want/surgical hours) and not the sexy 'surgery lite' marketing magic SIR puts out, a lot of people realize it's not for them.

my impression is that most who want ESIR get it.
 
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Is ESIR only limited to your program? You can’t apply to an ESIR position elsewhere during say 2nd year or whenever it is you apply.
 

NecrotizingFasciitis

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Is ESIR only limited to your program? You can’t apply to an ESIR position elsewhere during say 2nd year or whenever it is you apply.

Not that I know of but I’m not an IR expert; I’m applying strictly DR.

Maybe someone else knows for sure.
 

Chimokines37

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The dream lives on then. Just make a jump in second year and get a 240+ Step 2

Sorry to re bump this thread, but I just got my grade back for our GI course and ended with an 89.5 which I guess doesn't round up to an A. I was hoping for clarification on the "jump" I need to make second year, is it ok to get mostly Bs? I feel like I will end up in the high B range for most classes which normally I would be satisfied with, but because I have a good chunk of Cs from first year I'm not sure if this is enough to make up for it. To make this jump, do I need to push harder for As in the coming classes or is it enough to simply not get any more Cs and end up with mostly Bs second year?
 

Neopolymath

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Sorry to re bump this thread, but I just got my grade back for our GI course and ended with an 89.5 which I guess doesn't round up to an A. I was hoping for clarification on the "jump" I need to make second year, is it ok to get mostly Bs? I feel like I will end up in the high B range for most classes which normally I would be satisfied with, but because I have a good chunk of Cs from first year I'm not sure if this is enough to make up for it. To make this jump, do I need to push harder for As in the coming classes or is it enough to simply not get any more Cs and end up with mostly Bs second year?
Your scores only matter in relation to your classmates at a certain point. Some schools have test averages that are lower. Some schools have high test averages. We have no idea if your 89.5 is really good or mediocre because we don't know your school. We don't know how the students who got an 89.5 did on boards. Some schools the gpa to boards correlation is very, very weak. Other schools it is a little better. The bottom line is that boards are king. Being in the top 10% or bottom 10% will raise eyebrows as far as GPA/class rank but otherwise it doesn't matter a ton. Doing well is mostly just a side effect of being prepared for boards and learning the material well.

Bottomline: work hard and keep improving. Always keep your eye on boards.
 
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Chimokines37

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Your scores only matter in relation to your classmates at a certain point. Some schools have test averages that are lower. Some schools have high test averages. We have no idea if your 89.5 is really good or mediocre because we don't know your school. We don't know how the students who got an 89.5 did on boards. Some schools the gpa to boards correlation is very, very weak. Other schools it is a little better. The bottom line is that boards are king. Being in the top 10% or bottom 10% will raise eyebrows as far as GPA/class rank but otherwise it doesn't matter a ton. Doing well is mostly just a side effect of being prepared for boards and learning the material well.

Bottomline: work hard and keep improving. Always keep your eye on boards.

Hey thanks for the input, I've definitely improved since my first year but I'm just worried its not enough to get me out of near the bottom of class rank. I think generally my class averages are around ~80 on most things so getting Bs in classes 2nd year would put me around average and with the Cs from last year I'm not sure how much it'll pull me up, if at all.

I know the focus is just doing my best from here but if I NEED those As to get out from the bottom class rank then I'll probably have to prioritize it this year right? I'm about to start boards studying this week so I was just looking for input and if I'm being honest I'm probably looking to feel a little better about it too since it still kinda hurts barely missing the cut off
 

Neopolymath

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Hey thanks for the input, I've definitely improved since my first year but I'm just worried its not enough to get me out of near the bottom of class rank. I think generally my class averages are around ~80 on most things so getting Bs in classes 2nd year would put me around average and with the Cs from last year I'm not sure how much it'll pull me up, if at all.

I know the focus is just doing my best from here but if I NEED those As to get out from the bottom class rank then I'll probably have to prioritize it this year right? I'm about to start boards studying this week so I was just looking for input and if I'm being honest I'm probably looking to feel a little better about it too since it still kinda hurts barely missing the cut off
All you can do is move forward. You don't NEED As. It would be good/better of course but boards are going to determine your fate. Don't disregard school exams but just realize that the balancing act between boards and school is student and school dependent. I'll tell you the truth though, you hear a lot about DO students killing themselves to get As on faculty written exams and then sucking on USMLE (most likely) and or Comlex. You need to prioritize board studying as long as you aren't at risk of failing anything and pulling comfortable Bs. I have never heard of someone who did well on boards failing classes that wasn't a tale of complete negligence by the student (versus a legit knowledge issue) but I sure have heard many students lamenting spending too much time on their garbage in house curriculum.

You will find your balance. You just need to be aware of the possibilities and apply them to your specific curriculum and comfort level. Perhaps speak to some 3rd/4th years at your school to see how they felt. Caveat being that a lot of people above you at your school will say "XYZ was fine and I did great" but reality is they only took Comlex and scored average. That's perfectly fine but advice is all about context and this advice isn't helpful to you no offense to those students. You can't be a rude weirdo and vet them but you should be aware of this type of student. Better to ask multiple different types of students to help motivate this.
 
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Ho0v-man

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Hey thanks for the input, I've definitely improved since my first year but I'm just worried its not enough to get me out of near the bottom of class rank. I think generally my class averages are around ~80 on most things so getting Bs in classes 2nd year would put me around average and with the Cs from last year I'm not sure how much it'll pull me up, if at all.

I know the focus is just doing my best from here but if I NEED those As to get out from the bottom class rank then I'll probably have to prioritize it this year right? I'm about to start boards studying this week so I was just looking for input and if I'm being honest I'm probably looking to feel a little better about it too since it still kinda hurts barely missing the cut off
Just to add to what Neopolymath said, it’s all about boards. But let’s just pretend for a few minutes that class rank matters too. Well pal, it’s second year. The majority of your class rank is locked in place at this point. Not only would you have to turn it up to 11 and be perfect from here on out, but the top half of the class would also have to do markedly worse for you to make any significant leaps in class rank at this point.

So you could go ham on class power points and MAYBE go up to a higher quartile supposing you’re already teetering in the edge the next one

OR

Focus on doing well on boards since that’s what PDs care more about and the only thing you really have control over at this point.

Btw, there was a surprising amount of people in the top quartile at my school that got pwnd by the first comsae. I wouldn’t get too in my head about class rank.
 
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Chimokines37

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All you can do is move forward. You don't NEED As. It would be good/better of course but boards are going to determine your fate. Don't disregard school exams but just realize that the balancing act between boards and school is student and school dependent. I'll tell you the truth though, you hear a lot about DO students killing themselves to get As on faculty written exams and then sucking on USMLE (most likely) and or Comlex. You need to prioritize board studying as long as you aren't at risk of failing anything and pulling comfortable Bs. I have never heard of someone who did well on boards failing classes that wasn't a tale of complete negligence by the student (versus a legit knowledge issue) but I sure have heard many students lamenting spending too much time on their garbage in house curriculum.

You will find your balance. You just need to be aware of the possibilities and apply them to your specific curriculum and comfort level. Perhaps speak to some 3rd/4th years at your school to see how they felt. Caveat being that a lot of people above you at your school will say "XYZ was fine and I did great" but reality is they only took Comlex and scored average. That's perfectly fine but advice is all about context and this advice isn't helpful to you no offense to those students. You can't be a rude weirdo and vet them but you should be aware of this type of student. Better to ask multiple different types of students to help motivate this.

Just to add to what Neopolymath said, it’s all about boards. But let’s just pretend for a few minutes that class rank matters too. Well pal, it’s second year. The majority of your class rank is locked in place at this point. Not only would you have to turn it up to 11 and be perfect from here on out, but the top half of the class would also have to do markedly worse for you to make any significant leaps in class rank at this point.

So you could go ham on class power points and MAYBE go up to a higher quartile supposing you’re already teetering in the edge the next one

OR

Focus on doing well on boards since that’s what PDs care more about and the only thing you really have control over at this point.

Btw, there was a surprising amount of people in the top quartile at my school that got pwnd by the first comsae. I wouldn’t get too in my head about class rank.


Just wanted to say thanks guys. Your advice and input is highly appreciated and I intend to follow it as best I can (just started boards studying today). Thanks for helping me put things into perspective.
 
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