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More important? Step 1 or 2

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by Ice Man, May 3, 2002.

  1. Ice Man

    Ice Man Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 15, 2002
    Which is more important to the Program Directors? Step 1 or Step 2 (or COMLEX Lvl 1 or 2)? I have always heard step 1, but heard a couple people at my school say step 2. What do you think?
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  3. ApacheIndian

    ApacheIndian philomath 10+ Year Member

    Apr 3, 2002
    I'd say Step 1. Although one could argue that Step 2 scores would be better correlated with competence as a physician, the problem lies in the timing of the exams. You see U.S. grads don't usually take Step 2 until mid-late 4th year... by that time appys are already in to most programs. So the only standardized test score PDs have to compare that ALL applicants have (not just IMGs) is Step 1. Plus, Step 1 is generally considered a more difficult exam than Step 2.
  4. jester

    jester Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 2, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    STEP 1 far and away is more important than Step 2
  5. tonem

    tonem Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Sep 13, 1999
    It really depends on how well you do on Step 1. If you get a great score most people suggest taking step 2 late (Nov.ish) so that residency directors will never know your score and you won't hurt yourself by getting a worse score. If you do poorly on Step 1 take Step 2 early (and study your *** off) so that you can redeem yourself. The residency directors I've talked to have told me that a great step 2 score carries more weight than a great step 1 because it is more clinically based.
  6. Jim Picotte

    Jim Picotte Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    I think the truth lies somewhere in between and is PD specific. Some PD's put more weight in Step 1, some put more weight in Step 2. Typically and traditionally, Step 1 has been the more important of the two.
  7. Rads

    Rads Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 21, 2002
    As a graduating senior from a US Allopathic school and having recetly gone through the match, all I can say is do everything you can to CRUSH Step I even if that means taking a few days off from class to study. Don't let anyone tell you that a Honors in Pathology is going to make up for a 190 on the Step. Unless you are gunning for AOA and have a realistic shot of Honors, your time is spent far more productively studying for Step I. Step II is easier, and for the most part is seen as a reprieve for those who canned Step I. Many competitive applicants don't bother with Step II until the spring of their senior year if their school doesn't require it before then.
  8. carddr

    carddr Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jan 29, 2002
    Every test is important to the PD, (although he may not verbalize it to you), but overall Step I has my vote for making a difference between two almost identical candidates for the program.
  9. tonem

    tonem Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Sep 13, 1999
    After re-reading my post, I realized that it was open to misinterpretation. What I meant to say was that Step 2 is only important if you don't do well on Step 1. If you do poorly on Step 1 and crush Step 2, residency directors will be able to rationalize that the great Step 2 score means you have solid clinical acumen and the poor showing on Step 1 was a fluke. Of course, it is always better to get it right the first time as subsequent posters pointed out.

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