qazwsx

New Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 13, 2006
2
0
Status
Hi everyone,

What do you think the chances are for md/phd students with step1 score of 228 for internal medicine at harvard? I know the score is not very high and im loosing hope. if anyone with a similar profile replies i would really appreciate it.

thanks and good luck to all...
 

Gfunk6

And to think . . . I hesitated
Moderator Emeritus
Lifetime Donor
15+ Year Member
Apr 16, 2004
3,673
839
SF Bay Area
Status
Attending Physician
Your chances are likely, on the whole, better than an MD grad w/ those scores but there are so many other things that matter. Which school you go to, how many/what quality pubs you have, how you did on your medical clerkship/sub-internship, your LORs, your grades, etc. etc.

A 228 should not dissuade you from applying to all the top IM programs. However, no matter how good you are, simply applying to only top programs is unwise. I would also apply to a few "safeties."
 

hrq

Junior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Aug 16, 2002
15
0
Visit site
Status
I've been having a similar sort of question. I just found out that I got a 215. I'm at a top 3 med school and have done tons of research, have several publications, and will be getting a second degree (non-PhD though). I would really like to end up at an MGH/Brigham/Hopkins. I'm sure there are lots of factors involved, but how big a factor will my score be for one of the top programs?

I know this is a totally annoying question, but I guess I'm just throwing it out there in case anyone has some helpful info.

Thank you!

-hrq


qazwsx said:
Hi everyone,

What do you think the chances are for md/phd students with step1 score of 228 for internal medicine at harvard? I know the score is not very high and im loosing hope. if anyone with a similar profile replies i would really appreciate it.

thanks and good luck to all...
 
About the Ads

Intermatic

New Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 17, 2006
3
1
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
I was in the same shoes a couple of years ago (MSTP with low-ish board scores with several publications) and wound up matching at "an MGH/Brigham/Hopkins."

These places places heavy emphasis on recruiting house staff with heavy research & publications (and the program I matched in actually prides in the number of MD-PhD's they can match), so that is a *tremendous* advantage.

The program can match the whole class with people with 250+ Step I's if they'd like to -- but just having people who have an uncanny ability to memorize clinical minutiae does not make an academic medical center...

Don't worry about it -- you will be heavily and actively recruited, even by places like MGH/Brigham/Hopkins.
 

eighty-twenty

Eighty-twenty
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jul 21, 2006
31
0
41
Bethesda
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
Intermatic said:
I was in the same shoes a couple of years ago (MSTP with low-ish board scores with several publications) and wound up matching at "an MGH/Brigham/Hopkins."

These places places heavy emphasis on recruiting house staff with heavy research & publications (and the program I matched in actually prides in the number of MD-PhD's they can match), so that is a *tremendous* advantage.

The program can match the whole class with people with 250+ Step I's if they'd like to -- but just having people who have an uncanny ability to memorize clinical minutiae does not make an academic medical center...

Don't worry about it -- you will be heavily and actively recruited, even by places like MGH/Brigham/Hopkins.
I have a similar situation to qaswsx's. Would like to apply for top IM programs (Brigham/MGH/Hopkins/UCSF/UWSeattle) but my third year clerkship grades will lower my GPA to 3.3-3.4 before I apply, with a big fat B in Medicine. (It's all because of the shelf exams. I have no answer for them.) I did well my first two years, luckily got a 255 on Step I, did a 6 month post-doc prior to re-entry, and have 3 first authors in lesser impact but well-respected journals. Clerkship evals and LORs from IM and ID faculty (my interest is ID) should be a plus. I'm very specialized in my interests at this point (malaria vaccines), so going to these programs is pretty important for me, since there are only a few places with excellent clinical training and malaria labs.

It looks on the transcript as if I'm a clinical klutz. Would my less-than-stellar performance during third year make those five hospitals out of reach? I'm getting mixed messages from people I talk to. I wonder only because at my program (Emory MSTP), the past MD/PhDs who went to those places were all AOA.

Any assurances or dissuasions much appreciated!
 

eighty-twenty

Eighty-twenty
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jul 21, 2006
31
0
41
Bethesda
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
Doctor&Geek said:
Hey eighty-twenty,

Help me out here and PM how your graduates matched this past year. :D

From last spring's MSTP class, the two that went into IM stayed here (for family reasons). Some others: one will be going to Mass Eye and Ear for Opthal in a year, one doing Surgery at UVA, and two are doing Peds and Neuro, respectively, at WashU.

Among the MD class, I believe several people matched at UCSF for IM and a couple at the Harvard and Hopkins hospitals, which is the consistent trend for Emory. Not sure what the MDs credentials were, but I would guess they had to be stellar.
 

VCMM414

10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 26, 2003
434
3
Visit site
Status
Attending Physician
20 Emory grads going into categorical/primary care (ie. not prelim or transitional) IM this year:
4 UCSF, 1 BWH, 1 MGH, 2 Hopkins, 1 UW, 1 UTSW, 5 Emory, 1 Vanderbilt, 1 UNC, 1 UCincinnati, 1 Lincoln Medical Center (Bronx), 1 military.
 

oldmudfud

10+ Year Member
Mar 23, 2009
1
0
Status
I'm an MSTP at a mid-tier program with a 219 on step 1. I'm still in my PhD years and had hoped to match at a top tier IM program. My biggest fear at this point is that my application will just be sent to the trash because of my board score without review. I'll have several quality articles, and I obtained an F30 but I've heard mixed reviews about my chances of being able to even interview at places like MGH. I have a few questions for the group:

Is it possible to take step 1 again before matching on the grounds that I wouldn't be able to take all three steps in 7 years? Additionally I have heard that the USMLE may change to one exam after 3rd year, has anyone heard If MD/PhDs would be eligible to take this combined exam if we have previous step 1 scores?

Do you know of anyone with step1 below 220 in any top tier programs at all?
(is there hope?)
 

CanIMakeIt

It will get better once you are...still waiting :)
15+ Year Member
Oct 8, 2003
1,492
14
Status
Attending Physician
I have a similar situation to qaswsx's. Would like to apply for top IM programs (Brigham/MGH/Hopkins/UCSF/UWSeattle) but my third year clerkship grades will lower my GPA to 3.3-3.4 before I apply, with a big fat B in Medicine. (It's all because of the shelf exams. I have no answer for them.) I did well my first two years, luckily got a 255 on Step I, did a 6 month post-doc prior to re-entry, and have 3 first authors in lesser impact but well-respected journals. Clerkship evals and LORs from IM and ID faculty (my interest is ID) should be a plus. I'm very specialized in my interests at this point (malaria vaccines), so going to these programs is pretty important for me, since there are only a few places with excellent clinical training and malaria labs.

It looks on the transcript as if I'm a clinical klutz. Would my less-than-stellar performance during third year make those five hospitals out of reach? I'm getting mixed messages from people I talk to. I wonder only because at my program (Emory MSTP), the past MD/PhDs who went to those places were all AOA.

Any assurances or dissuasions much appreciated!

I don't think anyone "Luckily" gets 255 LOL!
 

Neurontin

Cardiology Convert
10+ Year Member
Nov 19, 2008
16
0
Status
MD/PhD Student
I think you are all worrying for no reason. I'm an MD/PhD, had pretty average-ish clinical grades (pre-PhD) because I was so sure I was going to do a postdoc and never do residency, changed my mind and decided to IM. My Step 1 score wasn't certainly in the high range, but I had several solid papers in well-respected basic science journals. I got interviews from virtually every program I applied to including BWH, MGH, Hopkins, UCSF etc. etc. The only time I *EVER* got asked about my clinical grades was at BWH, and that too was as a curiosity, rather than a criticism. In any case, I ended up matching at Hopkins (my first choice). The point here is you'll do fine; by virtue of your PhD you automatically get a free-pass for sub-par clinical grades/Step 1 scores. I know that isn't fair for the MD's who work very hard and don't make the cut, but I guess they value something more than just your clinical skills as a resident. :rolleyes:
 

mercaptovizadeh

ἀλώπηξ
15+ Year Member
Oct 16, 2004
6,893
1,040
Status
I think you are all worrying for no reason. I'm an MD/PhD, had pretty average-ish clinical grades (pre-PhD) because I was so sure I was going to do a postdoc and never do residency, changed my mind and decided to IM. My Step 1 score wasn't certainly in the high range, but I had several solid papers in well-respected basic science journals. I got interviews from virtually every program I applied to including BWH, MGH, Hopkins, UCSF etc. etc. The only time I *EVER* got asked about my clinical grades was at BWH, and that too was as a curiosity, rather than a criticism. In any case, I ended up matching at Hopkins (my first choice). The point here is you'll do fine; by virtue of your PhD you automatically get a free-pass for sub-par clinical grades/Step 1 scores. I know that isn't fair for the MD's who work very hard and don't make the cut, but I guess they value something more than just your clinical skills as a resident. :rolleyes:
It should be mentioned that this is perhaps something that only holds for the more traditional specialties, IM being one of them. I doubt that sub-par clinical grades and a poor Step 1 can get you a top radiology spot, even given an excellent PhD and publications. And I believe some residencies don't care for the PhD whatsoever (orthopedic surgery?).
 

dragonfly99

10+ Year Member
May 15, 2008
5,092
51
Status
Attending Physician
Actually, some ortho programs like having MD/PhD's as well.

I agree with most of the comments above. The top IM programs like MD/PhD's, and would often take one with lower Step 1 score vs. a straight MD with higher Step 1 score. The Step 1 is not the be-all and end-all. You should try to honor your subI if your 3rd year grades were not great.

There's no guarantee of getting into Harvard for ANYONE. However, I think that as an MD/PhD you should try for any IM program you want, including Harvard. Just leave yourself a couple of safeties and you will be fine.

The person with the 215 who wants to retake Step 1: don't do that. It's not necessary and would just look weird. Instead, try to honor your medicine rotation, if you can, and definitely try to honor your medicine subI. Also, try for a higher Step 2 score (like 230's-240's). If you study hard you should be able to do it most likely. Take the test by November or December at the very latest...the residencies will have your score by the time they make their rank lists.
 

rackd8ball

Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Nov 28, 2003
107
0
Visit site
Status
I go to Hopkins, I'm staying here for the IM residency. Our PD ranks the components of an IM application in the following manner:

-Clinical clerkship grades (Medicine > Peds/Neuro > Surgery/OBGYN/etc)
-Medicine sub-I grade
-Other advanced medicine clerkship grades (MICU, CCU, consults, etc)
-Your letters of recommendation, especially sub-I
-Research/PhD/Year off/Leadership/Something that makes you stand out
-Preclinical grades
-Step I score
-AOA? I forgot where this went

(I can't remember if the following go on this list, but I personally think that: where you go for med school matters a little, and whether your school will pick up the phone and make calls for you matters)

Anyway, I can't even remember the order beyond line 4 or 5, but I am sure the Step I factored in low. I was shocked when I heard how low he considered the step I score. But that's how it goes here. As long as you didn't fail your first attempt or get way below mean, you'll be fine. I echo everyone else in saying that a 215-225 won't hurt you since you all have PhDs. That being said, I do believe (my personal belief) that a bad medicine clerkship/sub-I grades and letters will hurt somewhat.
 
Last edited:

mercaptovizadeh

ἀλώπηξ
15+ Year Member
Oct 16, 2004
6,893
1,040
Status
I go to Hopkins, I'm staying here for the IM residency. Our PD ranks the components of an IM application in the following manner:

-Clinical clerkship grades (Medicine > Peds/Neuro > Surgery/OBGYN/etc)
-Medicine sub-I grade
-Other advanced medicine clerkship grades (MICU, CCU, consults, etc)
-Your letters of recommendation, especially sub-I
-Research/PhD/Year off/Leadership/Something that makes you stand out
-Preclinical grades
-Step I score
-AOA? I forgot where this went

(I can't remember if the following go on this list, but I personally think that: where you go for med school matters a little, and whether your school will pick up the phone and make calls for you matters)

Anyway, I can't even remember the order beyond line 4 or 5, but I am sure the Step I factored in low. I was shocked when I heard how low he considered the step I score. But that's how it goes here. As long as you didn't fail your first attempt or get way below mean, you'll be fine. I echo everyone else in saying that a 215-225 won't hurt you since you all have PhDs. That being said, I do believe (my personal belief) that a bad medicine clerkship/sub-I grades and letters will hurt somewhat.
It's peculiar that Step 1 comes after preclinical grades, which aren't even standardized. Are recommendations really all that different across the board? I thought most recommendations employed extreme bombastic language which does little to differentiate between individuals.
 

dragonfly99

10+ Year Member
May 15, 2008
5,092
51
Status
Attending Physician
mercapto,
You are right I think a lot of the LOR's say similar things, however sometimes WHO the letter is from matters. I think it matters less in IM than for say a surgical subspecialty, and I matched fine without any LOR's from famous people or dept. chair types, but I know that a good sounding letter from a dept. chair or someone well known in his/her field often carries more weight than one from a random medicine attending.
 

mercaptovizadeh

ἀλώπηξ
15+ Year Member
Oct 16, 2004
6,893
1,040
Status
mercapto,
You are right I think a lot of the LOR's say similar things, however sometimes WHO the letter is from matters. I think it matters less in IM than for say a surgical subspecialty, and I matched fine without any LOR's from famous people or dept. chair types, but I know that a good sounding letter from a dept. chair or someone well known in his/her field often carries more weight than one from a random medicine attending.
That was my suspicion - that the name counts a lot. OK, but let's say you're at a top 15 school but not a top 5, so there's some real famous faculty but most are not particularly famous. How does one go about developing a relationship with famous faculty? Away research rotations in the lab of someone famous, or what?
 

Friendly

Resident
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Aug 21, 2003
312
18
37
California, USA
Visit site
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I go to Hopkins, I'm staying here for the IM residency. Our PD ranks the components of an IM application in the following manner:

-Clinical clerkship grades (Medicine > Peds/Neuro > Surgery/OBGYN/etc)
-Medicine sub-I grade
-Other advanced medicine clerkship grades (MICU, CCU, consults, etc)
-Your letters of recommendation, especially sub-I
-Research/PhD/Year off/Leadership/Something that makes you stand out
-Preclinical grades
-Step I score
-AOA? I forgot where this went

(I can't remember if the following go on this list, but I personally think that: where you go for med school matters a little, and whether your school will pick up the phone and make calls for you matters)

Anyway, I can't even remember the order beyond line 4 or 5, but I am sure the Step I factored in low. I was shocked when I heard how low he considered the step I score. But that's how it goes here. As long as you didn't fail your first attempt or get way below mean, you'll be fine. I echo everyone else in saying that a 215-225 won't hurt you since you all have PhDs. That being said, I do believe (my personal belief) that a bad medicine clerkship/sub-I grades and letters will hurt somewhat.
Interesting. Charlie Wiener cares very much about where you went to medical school. ERAS file accolades mean little if the school is not right.
 
Last edited:

dragonfly99

10+ Year Member
May 15, 2008
5,092
51
Status
Attending Physician
I think where someone goes to school gets looked at, particularly at the more famous IM programs. I think it comes into play if you have someone who perhaps wasn't AOA, but did fine/solid at somewhere like WashU or UCSF, vs. someone who might have gone to a med school with MCAT score average of 9.5 or something, and average entering GPA of 3.65, vs. those schools with so many gunners and MCAT averages of 11.9 and 3.9 GPA or something. Then they might take into account that the person who got AOA at the school that's a bit easier to get into, vs. the non-AOA person at the other school. However, somebody who barely scraped by at JHU or Harvard and had something suspicious in the dean's letter, and nothing outstanding in terms of research or other activities, would be unlikely to be preferred over someone from a random state medical school who was AOA, great LORs and dean's letter, etc. I honestly think that all the different stuff gets looked at, even at the so-called "top" schools. The students from the more research oriented and bigger "name" med schools are probably more likely to have published research, and perhaps to have other degrees (or done entire extra research years, etc.) which may help to get into these types of residencies.
 

rackd8ball

Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Nov 28, 2003
107
0
Visit site
Status
Interesting. Charlie Wiener cares very much about where you went to medical school. ERAS file accolades mean little if the schools is not right.
I agree. Just as it always has at every level of this process. Whether you're a top tier academic or a community program, where a person went to medical school will factor in. Just as where we went to college mattered for med school apps, where we went to HS mattered for college apps, etc etc.

That being said, if you look at the roster of any top program, you'll see folks from schools all over the country, and from different "tiers." It just goes to show that it doesn't matter if you can distinguish yourself anyways.

I'm sure the school you come from factors into the committee's decision here, but I couldn't remember where it went. That's why I added it in at the end. I'd venture to guess that Dr. Wiener doesn't mention it to us when he presents his list of important things because he gears his discussion to our own applicants, and we're all from the same school.
 
About the Ads