Jayblue79

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 8, 2008
14
0
91
Status
Medical Student
AMG at an average medical school. Step I score is 199 :(. Honored my psych rotation (our school is pass/fail/honors), everything else pass. LOR projected to be pretty good, clerkship evaluations good. Some extracurricular and student service activities/offices held, but nothing amazing. No pubs/research. Scheduled to take Step 2 CK in July

I know that I shouldn't have a problem matching in to psych in general, but I am interested in programs like Dartmouth, Wash U, Northwestern, etc. Do I have much of a chance at these places? Or, am I limited to programs without the brand recognition?

Thanks
 

WhoisJohnGalt

NYC Psychiatrist
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
May 27, 2005
984
10
151
Status
Attending Physician
When you say "brand name", do you mean brand name in general or brand name in psych? There are plenty of programs that have an awesome reputation in psych (MUSC, U Maryland, etc) that you may not realize are "brand names" if you haven't been researching programs too heavily, and they may be slightly more lenient on step scores than the ones you mentioned. Anyway, I'm not saying the others you mentioned are completely out of reach but if you want to have a shot you're going to have to do substantially better on step 2 CK than your step 1 score. You said you're taking it in July, so that's great, but study hard and do well on it or your step 1 score could easily keep you from getting an interview at the tier of schools you mentioned. I got an interview at Wash U with step scores on both 1 and 2 of about 30-35 points higher than your step 1 and got the impression that I was very near the cutoff for interviews as people with scores 5-10 points below mine did not seem to get an interview. I don't know about the other two schools, but I would assume they're similar. Also make sure you have fantastic letters, and try to do a sub-i early in the year. Good luck!
 

smokie

10+ Year Member
Sep 28, 2007
8
0
0
Status
I have very similar stats to the OP (not just in terms of scores, but research and extracurriculars too), and I agree pretty much exactly with 'whoisjohngalt' post.
 
Sep 21, 2009
105
1
0
Status
Medical Student
I interviewed at Dartmouth (and most of my other "reach" schools) with a 200 step 1 score, a failed class during second year and little research or other school-related extra-curriculars.

What I did have was very strong letters, great clinical evals and a strong and honest personal statement (I'd like to think).

No harm in applying, the worst that will happen is you won't get invited and you'll have spent a few extra dollars. :)
 

atsai3

10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
May 15, 2002
1,283
9
251
Boston
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
do better on step 2, honor your psych subI. because of your weak clerkship record some programs might want to see you honor a medicine subI. do an away rotation at a program where you'd like to match. (of course there are downsides to this, because it could backfire on you if you do not perform well, but your record is weak enough that I think you have nothing to lose). and if your letter writers trained at any of the programs where you would like to go, ask them to call/email on your behalf.

-AT.
 

Jayblue79

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 8, 2008
14
0
91
Status
Medical Student
do better on step 2, honor your psych subI. because of your weak clerkship record some programs might want to see you honor a medicine subI. do an away rotation at a program where you'd like to match. (of course there are downsides to this, because it could backfire on you if you do not perform well, but your record is weak enough that I think you have nothing to lose). and if your letter writers trained at any of the programs where you would like to go, ask them to call/email on your behalf.

-AT.
I wouldn't say I have a weak clerkship record...we get honors based solely upon being able to score above the 90% on the Shelf...so it's tough to get honors at my school.

Perhaps I will have to aim a little lower (shrug)...any suggestions of schools?
 
Last edited:
Jul 20, 2009
204
5
41
Status
I wouldn't say I have a weak clerkship record...we get honors based solely upon being able to score above the 90% on the Shelf...so it's tough to get honors at my school.

Perhaps I will have to aim a little lower (shrug)...any suggestions of schools?
I dont think you have to aim lower....

if you have *one* dream school, you may not get in there. But if you have 15 or so of those types of programs, you have a great shot to get into one.

It's really hard to overstate how much less competitive psych is than "mid level" competitiveness fields like general surgery or em or whatever. Except for family medicine, psych might be the least competitive match out there.

Which is a good thing for us:)
 

psychattending

Program Director
10+ Year Member
Dec 1, 2005
446
120
281
Saint Louis
Status
Attending Physician
AMG at an average medical school. Step I score is 199 :(. Honored my psych rotation (our school is pass/fail/honors), everything else pass. LOR projected to be pretty good, clerkship evaluations good. Some extracurricular and student service activities/offices held, but nothing amazing. No pubs/research. Scheduled to take Step 2 CK in July

I know that I shouldn't have a problem matching in to psych in general, but I am interested in programs like Dartmouth, Wash U, Northwestern, etc. Do I have much of a chance at these places? Or, am I limited to programs without the brand recognition?

Thanks
It's hard for me to say what kind of chance you will have without seeing your whole file. While scores are important, they are not the sole measure of a person. A lot will also depend on how you come across during the interview and what the applicant group is like.