Quantcast

Is mean derm USMLE score now over 250?

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

2021Doctor

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2013
Messages
459
Reaction score
666

Members don't see this ad.
Saw this data from 2016. Wondering how much it has gone up in past 3 years? https://www.jaad.org/article/S0190-9622(18)32283-7/fulltext
1574253291787.png


1574253291787.png
 

avidrapper

PGY2
10+ Year Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2010
Messages
27
Reaction score
51
250+ is most definitely the new average. Not sure if it’s inflation; the scores correlate to percentiles however more people are taking the test = more people In the top percentiles.
 

MOHS_01

audemus jura nostra defendere
15+ Year Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2005
Messages
12,018
Reaction score
9,606
250+ is most definitely the new average. Not sure if it’s inflation; the scores correlate to percentiles however more people are taking the test = more people In the top percentiles.
Look at the relative bumps across the board; if the bumps across all specialties are greater than the bump specific to derm, that would argue that derm has actually gotten less competitive relative to all specialties. Further, if the nominal numbers are increasing across the board with relative uniformity, some systematic, background change has to be the most likely explanation, no? That would suggest inflation is the most likely culprit, a change in either the scoring formula (or lopsided expansion of the applicant pool comprised largely of poor performers). In either event, with expanding residency positions over that time period - and an even greater expansion of medical school graduates - any year’s given score becomes less comparable with previous year scoring by definition.
 
Last edited:

Cantaloupe5

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
May 17, 2016
Messages
12
Reaction score
49
Look at the relative jumps across the board; if the jumps across all specialties is greater than the jump specific to derm, that would argue that derm has actually gotten less competitive relative to all specialties. Further, if the nominal numbers are increasing across the board with relative uniformity, some systematic, background change has to be the most likely explanation, no? That would suggest inflation is the most likely culprit, a change in either the scoring formula (or lopsided expansion of the applicant pool comprised largely of poor performers). In either event, with expanding residency positions over that time period - and an even greater expansion of medical school graduates - any year’s given score becomes less comparable with previous year scoring by definition.

I think it's the constant influx of high-quality Step study resources. As preclinical years become pass-fail, more and more students are ignoring lectures and relying completely on Pathoma, Sketchy, Boards and Beyond, and First Aid to get through medical school. And I think Step 1 Anki decks like Zanki have changed the playing field too. For example, if you complete the Zanki deck which is ~30,000 cards, you've memorized First Aid, Pathoma, and Sketchy. But I've heard the test-writers are trying to counter this by moving away from buzzword type questions and move towards more conceptual questions, which is probably better.
 
Last edited:

MOHS_01

audemus jura nostra defendere
15+ Year Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2005
Messages
12,018
Reaction score
9,606
I think it's the constant influx of high-quality Step study resources. As preclinical years become pass-fail, more and more students are ignoring lectures and relying completely on Pathoma, Sketchy, Boards and Beyond, and First Aid to get through medical school. And I think Step 1 Anki decks like Zanki have changed the playing field too. For example, if you complete the Zanki deck which is ~30,000 cards, you've memorized First Aid, Pathoma, and Sketchy. But I've heard the test-writers are trying to counter this by moving away from buzzword type questions and move towards more conceptual questions, which is probably better.
So what you are saying is that the raw scores are rising and efforts to standardize across the years is the source of the score inflation? That's entirely plausible if teaching (and I suppose, concomitantly, learning) efforts are moving away from in school testing and toward standardized testing... which would open a can of other worms re: the strategic importance of selecting for medical school curriculum and scoring methods.

It's amazing how everything in life is subject to gaming these days; create a system and shortcuts will always be sought out.
 

Cantaloupe5

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
May 17, 2016
Messages
12
Reaction score
49
So what you are saying is that the raw scores are rising and efforts to standardize across the years is the source of the score inflation? That's entirely plausible if teaching (and I suppose, concomitantly, learning) efforts are moving away from in school testing and toward standardized testing... which would open a can of other worms re: the strategic importance of selecting for medical school curriculum and scoring methods.

It's amazing how everything in life is subject to gaming these days; create a system and shortcuts will always be sought out.

I think the onus is on USMLE test-writers to create a better test. There's too much esoteric nonsense on Step 1 that has no relevance to clinical medicine. You can't fault students for taking shortcuts.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
Top