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Low USMLE step 1 score. 222

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hst

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I received my usmle step 1 score a week ago and received a 222. I am very worried about future in regards to this score. I had my eye on Anesthesiology, EM or Internal Medicine. Given that I am DO student I already feel the odds are against me. What can I do to compensate for a low USMLE step 1 score. If i take the USMLE step 2 and manage to do above average on that will that open up more options for me?

Any advice would be appreciated. thank you very much
 
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QueenJames

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If u don't mind me asking, how did you prepare for the USMLE? Did u use UFAP?

also... idk... I think if you read the NRMP reports, Anesthesia and IM had people in your range of scores getting in. You'd probably have to apply all over tho.
 

DO2015CA

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You'll be fine. Won't be the most competitive programs but you can still get there
 
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zero0

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You can get IM, maybe even at a decent program. I'd say that's your best bet. For gas, you're probably looking at an FMG sweatshop if anything. So how badly do you want that ABA certification? EM probably isn't happening, but you can try. A high Step 2 would be a game-changer.
 

Eagles6389

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I received my usmle step 1 score a week ago and received a 222. I am very worried about future in regards to this score. I had my eye on Anesthesiology, EM or Internal Medicine. Given that I am DO student I already feel the odds are against me. What can I do to compensate for a low USMLE step 1 score. If i take the USMLE step 2 and manage to do above average on that will that open up more options for me?

Any advice would be appreciated. thank you very much

I wouldn't define a 222 as "low" for IM. The nationwide average step 1 score for IM is around 230. Some people on SDN tend to freak out if there score is below the average and act as if they won't match because of that, when really, about 50% of IM match step 1 scores were below 230. Your score is still in the 35-40 percentile range. For IM, mid tier academic will definitely be a reach but I'd say low tier academic and community IM programs should all be fair game.

If you decide on EM, I'd suggest looking at AOA programs or recently accredited ACGME programs with an AOA background. I know a couple people who matched AOA EM with very average - below average COMLEX scores during this past match.
 
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hst

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If u don't mind me asking, how did you prepare for the USMLE? Did u use UFAP?

also... idk... I think if you read the NRMP reports, Anesthesia and IM had people in your range of scores getting in. You'd probably have to apply all over tho.

I did use the UFAP method, but honestly i got burnt out studying and was starting to forget old material. So kinda took it out of panic but then ended up with a crappy score anyway. Funny how things work out
 

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People are making the EM match out to be way harder than it actually is. Yes, EM is more competitive now than it's ever been. But there are a lot of EM residency spots and ACGME EM is very DO-friendly provided that you take the USMLE and do well on your away rotations.

A 222 on Step 1 is not going to kill your chances for EM. Yes, it's lower than average and yes, as a DO you will face bias. But there are plenty of programmes that will interview and rank you with those grades. Do well on Step 2, perform well on your aways and apply broadly and you will absolutely have a good shot at matching in EM.
 
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W19

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You can get IM, maybe even at a decent program. I'd say that's your best bet. For gas, you're probably looking at an FMG sweatshop if anything. So how badly do you want that ABA certification? EM probably isn't happening, but you can try. A high Step 2 would be a game-changer.
Gas is no longer competitive. OP can match into a decent program.
 
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zero0

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Gas is no longer competitive. OP can match into a decent program.
Look at you, being rational. I was expecting you to say how even FM is impossible with that score. Average Step 1 for gas in 2016 was 232. Also looks like 222 was about the bottom end for matched applicants. Wouldn't be feeling great about those chances if I were OP. He could match but it won't be pretty.
 
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AnatomyGrey12

Look at you, being rational. I was expecting you to say how even FM is impossible with that score. Average Step 1 for gas in 2016 was 232. Also looks like 222 was about the bottom end for matched applicants. Wouldn't be feeling great about those chances if I were OP. He could match but it won't be pretty.

Cliquesh has said that a DO with a score in the 220s will match a fairly decent program. Gas really isn't competitive, even for good programs. The tip top are obviously still super competitive, they pull the average step score up.
 
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IslandStyle808

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Look at you, being rational. I was expecting you to say how even FM is impossible with that score. Average Step 1 for gas in 2016 was 232. Also looks like 222 was about the bottom end for matched applicants. Wouldn't be feeling great about those chances if I were OP. He could match but it won't be pretty.

There is a reason why you have to look at match rates. The match rate for DO is 89%. The greater the match rate the greater the UMSLE range. Virtually all MD applicants (which were 5) matched with a 180-190 score (i.e. >188). And considering the fact he has a 222, odds are he has a COMLEX score above 500. Only 1 person out of 38 didn't match with a 501-550 score. His chances are solid, it probably won't be a mid-tier academic program but for sure it will not be an FMG sweatshop as you put it...
 
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Look at you, being rational. I was expecting you to say how even FM is impossible with that score. Average Step 1 for gas in 2016 was 232. Also looks like 222 was about the bottom end for matched applicants. Wouldn't be feeling great about those chances if I were OP. He could match but it won't be pretty.
There is still some self selection in gas (not like radiology TBH); that's why the average is still in the 230s... Gas, in general, is less competitive than IM when you closely look at the charting the outcomes of the 2016 match... TBH, you can even make a case about radiology being less competitive than IM based on the 2106 match.
 
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zero0

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There is a reason why you have to look at match rates. The match rate for DO is 89%. The greater the match rate the greater the UMSLE range. Virtually all MD applicants (which were 5) matched with a 180-190 score (i.e. >188). And considering the fact he has a 222, odds are he has a COMLEX score above 500. Only 1 person out of 38 didn't match with a 501-550 score. His chances are solid, it probably won't be a mid-tier academic program but for sure it will not be an FMG sweatshop as you put it...
I honestly hope you're right. I'll be rolling the dice for better or worse soon myself.
 
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hallowmann

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I received my usmle step 1 score a week ago and received a 222. I am very worried about future in regards to this score. I had my eye on Anesthesiology, EM or Internal Medicine. Given that I am DO student I already feel the odds are against me. What can I do to compensate for a low USMLE step 1 score. If i take the USMLE step 2 and manage to do above average on that will that open up more options for me?

Any advice would be appreciated. thank you very much

I knew people from my school with scores in the low 220s that got into ACGME EM and IM, and I wouldn't be surprised if it was also the case in Anesthesia. You're fine. Sure its an uphill battle, but that was the case when you stepped into DO school on the first day of orientation.

Work hard, show good improvement on Step 2 and you should be fine. For EM, make sure you do aways at ACGME programs that can get you your SLOEs early. Honestly for IM or Anesthesia, its just a matter of making sure you also apply to enough less competitive places.

You'll be fine. Won't be the most competitive programs but you can still get there

This. Apply broadly and you'll be fine.

There is a reason why you have to look at match rates. The match rate for DO is 89%. The greater the match rate the greater the UMSLE range. Virtually all MD applicants (which were 5) matched with a 180-190 score (i.e. >188). And considering the fact he has a 222, odds are he has a COMLEX score above 500. Only 1 person out of 38 didn't match with a 501-550 score. His chances are solid, it probably won't be a mid-tier academic program but for sure it will not be an FMG sweatshop as you put it...

So passing is actually 192 (it changed from 188 in Jan 2014 - before most of those people in charting outcomes took it). I wouldn't be surprised if a couple did it before the change, but who knows, some may have even failed. Does charting outcomes use the first test score or first passed score? I suspect its the former.
 
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IslandStyle808

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So passing is actually 192 (it changed from 188 in Jan 2014 - before most of those people in charting outcomes took it). I wouldn't be surprised if a couple did it before the change, but who knows, some may have even failed. Does charting outcomes use the first test score or first passed score? I suspect its the former.

Yes its changed, I believe some did take it before the Jan 2014 date.
 

xoxoloula

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Hello everyone,

I was wondering if you someone could share their two cents with me as well..

I am a non US IMG, step1 score of 221, step 2 CS pass first attempt, in the process of preparing for my CK

I was wondering if anyone had heard of someone matching into IM with similar credentials? I was hoping to apply for IM but after seeing the NRMP match report; i feel very discouraged..

Thanks in advance
 

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Hello everyone,

I was wondering if you someone could share their two cents with me as well..

I am a non US IMG, step1 score of 221, step 2 CS pass first attempt, in the process of preparing for my CK

I was wondering if anyone had heard of someone matching into IM with similar credentials? I was hoping to apply for IM but after seeing the NRMP match report; i feel very discouraged..

Thanks in advance
You should also apply into FM. I would do 1/2 and 1/2 if I were in your position... A strong showing in step2 (245+) might make things somewhat easier... Don't apply until you have all of your step scores (1 & 2) in; even a passing step3 might make a difference. Best of luck!
 
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xoxoloula

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You should also apply into FM. I would do 1/2 and 1/2 if I were in your position... A strong showing in step2 (245+) might make things somewhat easier... Don't apply until you have all of your step scores (1 & 2) in; even a passing step3 might make a difference. Best of luck!

Thank you, will definitely look into that!
 
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