Is an average Step 2/clerkship performance plus a strong PhD sufficient for IM PSTPs (Heme/Onc)?

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M3 MD/PhD, In Clerkships, pre-PhD
2+ Year Member
Jan 14, 2021
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I am in a program where we do core year before PhD (and take Step 1 after core year) so have yet to take Step 2 or Step 1, however based on my shelf performances thus far I am most likely going to be right at the median on this front. I have also been right at or just below the median for all of preclinical and now on my first few clerkships. Passing has never been an issue, but I have prioritized my free time towards hobbies over killing myself studying to my own academic detriment (No regrets on that front, I just like being happy…).

On the research side, however, I believe I am setting myself up for success. I have had 3 papers come out thus far, including one nature paper, a cell paper in the pipeline, and a few others that will make for some strong prelim data for my F30/31. I have gone to conferences, won “best poster” at a few different things etc. Really I think setting myself up for PhD success.

The big question is, given that information, is it likely to be successful on the Heme/Onc PSTP trail in 4/5 years with very average academics but a solid PhD/research track record?

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This is where you need specialty specific advising. You should go talk to someone involved in this program at your home institution or post in the med onc section of SDN if there's anyone around there who's involved with such programs.
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