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Need advice from current residents who had less than stellar Step 1 scores

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Jan185, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. Jan185

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    So, I got a 189 on step 1. I high passed all my preclinical classes and am starting off my 3rd year clerkships, but the wind has gotten taken out of my sails. I've always tested way above average on standardized exams, and was not expecting this at all. I thought I studied my butt off, was scoring about 60% on Uworld so I wasn't expecting to hit it out of the park but certainly not this. I wonder if I would rather have failed it. I've always wanted to be a surgeon, but am now wondering if I will even be able to match into regular medicine (which I have zero interest in... NO OFFENSE to you guys out there that are!).

    I realize that I have a very uphill battle in front of me, and that its virtually impossible to get into any competitive residency with this kind of score, that barely passing is a red flag to program directors, etc etc. I'm looking for SPECIFIC input, guidance, or anecdotes from current residents who ended up and made it through the same position I'm currently in. I'm working my butt off in clerkships and am going to take step 2 early, obviously. I am considering taking a year off for research to add to my CV (was doing ortho research previously--HAH that worked out). The student advising at my school is pretty crappy so I'd rather get REAL advice from someone who went through it. Thanks so much for your responses and kindness.
     
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  3. gutonc

    gutonc No Meat, No Treat
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    Oh no you din't!?!?

    I actually quit reading your post after this part. I hope you don't Match into anything...ever.
     
  4. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    Oh, come on, don't kick the guy while he's down.

    OP, you need to find a mentor, because none of us knows you well enough to give you specific advice. Does your school have a surgery residency? If so, I would make an appointment with the PD and go over your CV with him. See what he tells you to do to improve your app. That will be better than you trying to guess or ask random people on the internet.

    Also, you should consider that if you're just starting third year, you may not ultimately wind up even wanting to do surgery. Keep an open mind this year as you go through your rotations, and don't knock medicine (or any other specialty) until you've tried it.

    Hope this helps, and best of luck. :)
     
    Tuf likes this.
  5. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse
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    +1.
     
  6. cyneuron

    cyneuron cyneuron
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    -1 :annoyed:

    Guess you were mentored like that only !!!
     
  7. cyneuron

    cyneuron cyneuron
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    This is a good advice. Get out of your room, and ask people in real world. It will help more than SDN (not saying SDN won't help. You got this advice here only; and i hope more good advice to come)
     
  8. Jan185

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    I didn't mean it that way. If I had put IM, IM residents would have jumped on me. If I put FM, FM residents would have jumped on me. If I had put _____, etc, etc, etc, etc. Its no win when someone talks or asks about "less competitive" matches because someone is always insulted, no matter how many "no offense" disclaimers are put up. I only meant regular medicine in the sense of not being subspecialized, since in all the "charting outcomes" data those average step 1 scores tend to be higher. Its not a reflection on you, its just a fact. Did I sound like I was in a place to judge or be picky? That is the opposite of what I was trying to say, you know it, stop trolling.

    If there is anyone out there that I legitimately offended, I was just trying to be sincere in my original post and was not hating or bashing any specialty. I'm sorry. Thanks to everyone else for the input.
     
  9. Jan185

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    also gutonc, its a little hypocritical to make a comment like that to me when you make a post like this on the same day:

    "...You are being remediated in a relatively non-competitive specialty (which I say as somebody in that same field).... Your chances of getting another spot in the same field or a less competitive field (of which there are few)..."

    but i know, who can pass up kicking someone when they're down, right? thanks for the love.
     
  10. J-Rad

    Physician Moderator Emeritus 15+ Year Member

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    Moving to Allo.
     
  11. Medicine4Bruhs

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    QoQ, didn't you get like a 42 on the mcat or something? And you're a resident now. Damn, has it been that long?

    Also, OP, how did you study for the step? What would you have done differently?
     
  12. OveractiveBrain

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    So. My friend got a 207 on her Step 1. She's a surgeon now (an intern). She was told, specifically by three program directors on her interview trail, that she earned her interview with her Step 2. Im not going to lie to you, 189 sucks balls. Like hard. That might be too much to overcome to make it into surgery.

    Here's the deal. If you like the operating room, and thats what you really want, then you should consider OB. You get to operate. You get to be in the OR. You get to cut and you get to sew. It may not be what you wanted (maybe you REALLY like cutting on the GI system) but there are avenues available to you. OB is easier to match into than Gen Surg, but either way, be prepared to work harder than other people and end up at a worse program than others would. Apply broadly. Have a backup. Go Gen Surg and OB.

    Your situation is dire, but not hopeless.

    That being said, whatever you do, you gotta rock the socks off your clerkships, DESTROY Step 2 (that same friend got a 232 on Step 2), and network like its your job. Suck up to your home program director. Suck up to the clerkship director. Suck up to anybody and anything. I don't usually recommend this, but since Step 1 is so important to screening, you need to overcome your crap Step score to have a shot.
     
  13. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    Not only am I a resident now, but I even took a fifth year for research during med school and got a clinical research MS. So yes, it's been that long and then some. ;)
     
  14. Dawn1980

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    To the OP:

    Believe it or not, I actually had a lower Step 1 score than you. Didn't do well on Step 2 either. Didn't do well on Step 3 either. (What can I say? Exams have never been my kind of thing). I know this feels like the end of the world at the moment, but please keep in mind that you passed. This is WAY BETTER than failing (as you have to report this when you apply for residency, fellowship, a medical license, etc).

    I ended up getting 7 interviews for Path, and I ended up at my #1 choice. How? Hard work and politics. You've got to play your other cards now that the Step score is down. I strongly recommend spending 3rd year figuring out what you really want to do (if it is indeed surgery) and where you want to do your residency -- then set up 4th year away electives at your top choices in these locations. Most importantly, MAKE A DAMN GOOD IMPRESSION. This can absolutely save you from the Step score. It saved me twice (both away rotations I did informed me that they ended up ranking me first -- and they would not have interviewed me at all had I not done an away rotation as I would have been screened/thrown out for a low Step 1).

    Hang in there. A low Step 1 blows. Hell, I've been there 3 times. The most important thing is that you passed, and you now have to strategically maneuver yourself into your desired residency. It can definitely happen!
     
  15. gman33

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    Step 1 is done. You can only look forward now.

    Do well on your clinicals, take Step 2 early and really take the time to prepare.

    BTW - The mean Step 1 score for IM is 225, general surg is 224 (based on the last charting outcomes that I saw).

    Do your best and apply for the field that you really want to do.
    If surg is your thing, apply to that and hopefully you'll match.
    If not, there are tons of open prelim surg spots every year (i think).
    This doesn't guarantee you anything, but if you do a great job, hopefully you can find a categorical spot.

    :luck:
     

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