craniotome

2+ Year Member
Sep 13, 2015
3
0
Status
Medical Student
Long time lurker here finally posting for some advice.

Just received my Step 1 score, and it wasn't as high as I had hoped based on NBME practice exams. I've been set on neurosurgery for the longest time. Just hoping for some advice on how this changes things:

Step 1: 245 (not bad, but definitely nothing special for neurosurg residencies)
Clinical grades: just started on rotations
Research: will likely have around 8-10 papers (2 first authors) and 5 posters this year (they're in the pipeline, with some accepted, some pending revisions, etc.).
School: well known medical school

My questions:
1. Does my step 1 score put me out of running for top tier programs? I've heard some have 250 cut offs, but idk if that's a fact or just rumors.
2. Should I be applying to some gen surg programs as well for back up?
3. Should I take Step 2 before applying? I was told to take it's better to take it if Step 1 is low, otherwise hold off. Not sure which side I fall.

I know this is still early, but I just want to make sure I'm adequately prepared when the time comes. Aside from doing well on rotations, rocking sub-Is, and getting solid LORs, what else can I do to improve my chances?

Thanks! Apologies for the word vomit; still in panic mode...
 
Apr 18, 2015
125
191
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Neurosurgery is not that competitive of a field. The field selects for "interesting" people who get their jollies off on the idea of a decade-long training path. The kind of people who like to brag about how long they've been on call or how many divorces they've been through.

Provided you go through your clinical year, get exposed to the horror that is neurosurgery, and still want to do it...you'll be fine.
 

fastlane

7+ Year Member
Mar 28, 2011
158
118
Status
Medical Student
Dude, take a deep breath, RELAX, you will be fine. It seems like you're just looking for a pat on the back. 8-10 papers by the time you apply is a ridiculously high number. Your step 1 score is right on the average which isn't going to hurt you. Apply to gen surg if you want to do gen surg.
 
Aug 26, 2015
7
4
Status
Medical Student
In 2014, average step 1 for those who matched in NS was 244. Do well on your surgery clerkship and get a letter. Do NS electives/aways at reputable institutions and get letters. Keep publishing. Get connections. You're golden pony boy.
 
OP
C

craniotome

2+ Year Member
Sep 13, 2015
3
0
Status
Medical Student
Haha, thanks guys. Guess I'm still suffering the initial shock from seeing my score. What's done is done; gonna take a breather.

Any thoughts on when to take Step 2? Before/after applying?
 
Aug 26, 2015
7
4
Status
Medical Student
My personal opinion is to only take it with the intention of submitting it with your initial application if you are very confident in your ability to beat your step 1. Right now your step 1 is a strength and will not be the reason you don't match neurosurgery. I would think a 255 on step 2 would help at least some, but what if you have an off day and get a 230? Risk outweighs reward in my opinion.
 

W19

Membership Revoked
Removed
Removed
Account on Hold
Gold Donor
2+ Year Member
Sep 24, 2014
6,096
4,210
Status
Resident [Any Field]
My personal opinion is to only take it with the intention of submitting it with your initial application if you are very confident in your ability to beat your step 1. Right now your step 1 is a strength and will not be the reason you don't match neurosurgery. I would think a 255 on step 2 would help at least some, but what if you have an off day and get a 230? Risk outweighs reward in my opinion.
Don't most residency programs require step2 CK to rank you?
 
Last edited:

Merely

Account on Hold
Account on Hold
7+ Year Member
Jul 12, 2012
1,570
1,374
Somewhere Sunny
Status
Medical Student, Resident [Any Field]
It's an absolutely depressing day when receiving a 245 starts to become a "disappointment."
 
OP
C

craniotome

2+ Year Member
Sep 13, 2015
3
0
Status
Medical Student
Jumping on sdn right after checking my score clearly wasn't the brightest idea...
 

Wordead

10+ Year Member
Dec 21, 2007
1,854
2,031
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Don't most residency programs require step2 CK to rank you?
CK is not considered to be very important for most of the surgical subspecialties. I didnt even have mine in until after match day.
 
  • Like
Reactions: W19