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One of *those* posts - advice needed.

westerly

New Member
10+ Year Member
Oct 23, 2007
6
0
  1. Medical Student
    Hi everyone,

    So, despite the fact I'm a lowly MS-III, rumblings have begun in the bowels of my school (student affairs) letting us know that Now Is The Time To Evaluate Careers. I had peds inpatient, loved it and don't really see myself doing anything else. People always give me a skeptical look, but well...I'm decisive like that. Choices scare me (heh, only sort of kidding).

    Anyway, among the new terms being thrown willy-nilly about, was the term "MSPE." I looked it up and found a long pdf detailing the proper way for schools to fill this out. I think it was from the aamc - it was a few links away from Frieda, so I think it was official. Now, this pdf discussed at lengths how medical schools are to disclose where in the class hierarchy each medical student is. I believe Appendix A is supposed to compare the student to the class in each academic subject, per their test scores.

    This has freaked me out. I was a spectacularly bad student first and second years. Really bad...bottom of the class bad. I never failed anything or remediated anything, but holy crap...this is going to look terrible on my application. If they do it...I haven't confirmed it yet.

    Besides the grades thing, which wasn't for a lack of effort...it just never happened for me, I've done okay. I got a 213 on step 1, co-captained a club, worked as a Medsib, and am in line to get a first authorship if I can get the article published (which isn't totally unrealistic, my mentor and I are preparing to submit the data to the statistician for analysis). I have one other publication as well. Oh, and my medical school is a top ranked research institution.

    I'm confident I'll probably match *somewhere,* but my love is inpatient medicine. I've done outpatient, and while it was okay, I don't think I could do it on its own. I would eventually want to do a fellowship. I think to best achieve this, I'm going to need a program with its own children's hospital with a fairly high volume of patients.

    Is this realistic for me? I don't particularly care about rankings...I just want a big program that will let me see a lot of patients and have good exposure to potential fellowships.

    Many thanks for all the assistance.
     

    m1234d

    Full Member
    10+ Year Member
    5+ Year Member
    Aug 9, 2006
    176
    1
    1. Resident [Any Field]
      i just reviewed my MSPE, and depending how your school does grades, it could be completely benign ultimately. so, for example, my school has honors, pass, and fail for yrs 1 and 2. if you are between 71%-89% you got a pass, end of story, and that is ALL it shows in your deans letter. mine had a bar graph, and each class had 2 boxes, one was % honored, the other % passed, and there was an arrow pointing to whichever box i belonged in.

      also, my school rates as such: m1 yr is 15% of class rank, as is m2 yr. m3 cores make up the last 70%. thus my amazingly average performance m1 and m2 yr worked out ok for me when i rocked my clerkships and ended up in the top 10% of my class.

      research is wonderful, i would recommend also trying to go to a national conference, maybe you mentioned it in your post or not, but i thought it was really interesting, and everyone i have shown my CV to has mentioned my poster presentation.

      finally, congrats on finding something you love. i love the NICU and definitely get looks like i have 3 heads from some people, that's ok :), peds is not extraordinarily competitive, nor are fellowships, especially if you do well while a resident. really, as long as you are professional, follow through, and honestly try to learn, it'll all be ok. don't let them freak you out too much, deans are good at that.
       

      westerly

      New Member
      10+ Year Member
      Oct 23, 2007
      6
      0
      1. Medical Student
        i just reviewed my MSPE, and depending how your school does grades, it could be completely benign ultimately. so, for example, my school has honors, pass, and fail for yrs 1 and 2. if you are between 71%-89% you got a pass, end of story, and that is ALL it shows in your deans letter. mine had a bar graph, and each class had 2 boxes, one was % honored, the other % passed, and there was an arrow pointing to whichever box i belonged in.

        also, my school rates as such: m1 yr is 15% of class rank, as is m2 yr. m3 cores make up the last 70%. thus my amazingly average performance m1 and m2 yr worked out ok for me when i rocked my clerkships and ended up in the top 10% of my class.

        research is wonderful, i would recommend also trying to go to a national conference, maybe you mentioned it in your post or not, but i thought it was really interesting, and everyone i have shown my CV to has mentioned my poster presentation.

        finally, congrats on finding something you love. i love the NICU and definitely get looks like i have 3 heads from some people, that's ok :), peds is not extraordinarily competitive, nor are fellowships, especially if you do well while a resident. really, as long as you are professional, follow through, and honestly try to learn, it'll all be ok. don't let them freak you out too much, deans are good at that.

        That sounds very realistic, likely and reassuring. We are also honor/pass/fail. I couldn't quite picturing them spelling out exactly how much I sucked on in-house exams, but well...anything is possible.

        I'm not sure my research is national caliber. We have discussed presenting it, certainly inhospital, possibly outside, but nothing is certain. I'd be happy with just getting the damn data analyzed at this point.

        Deans are very nerve-racking...especially when they are absentminded, forgetful and throw strange acronyms about without bothering to explain school policy on them, beyond the fact we should start preparing for them. ::sigh::
         
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        swannliz

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        Oct 25, 2007
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          Westrly do you have any specific programs or Locations in mind? I don't think I/II year grades matter that much. No offense, but I think your step 1 score is more troubling. Just because high-volume areas are usually located in a city. The competition is stiffer. But there are many second-tier programs in cities as well. (Tufts, DuPont Children's, Loyola, Rush, Children's Oakland, Maimonadies-just to give you a flavor from different cities).
           

          westerly

          New Member
          10+ Year Member
          Oct 23, 2007
          6
          0
          1. Medical Student
            Westrly do you have any specific programs or Locations in mind? I don't think I/II year grades matter that much. No offense, but I think your step 1 score is more troubling. Just because high-volume areas are usually located in a city. The competition is stiffer. But there are many second-tier programs in cities as well. (Tufts, DuPont Children's, Loyola, Rush, Children's Oakland, Maimonadies-just to give you a flavor from different cities).

            Eh. I'd like to stay in the NorthEast or Northwest, if I could. My family is there. The Northmiddle is okay too (wisconsin, minnisota, michigan, the dakotas). I've started looking around at what's out there, but I'm finding it difficult to evaluate programs.

            You think my step 1 score is bad? Really? When the mean for people applying to peds is 217, you think a 213 is "troublingly" low? I had been under the impression it was unremarkable.
             

            lobon

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            Sep 20, 2007
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            1. Fellow [Any Field]
              I also did pretty poorly on my first two years compared to the rest. In my MSPE, three sentences were devoted to my first two years. We have a letter grade system so it read: Applicant Z received first year grades of A, B, C, D, E etc for a GPA of X. Applicant Z received second year grades of A, B, C, D, E etc for a GPA of Y. She scored __ on Step 1. There was much more time devoted to my activities and even my undergrad performance than my 1st two years. There were 3-4 pages of comments from my third year clerkships for comparison. It is your Dean's job to get his/her students matched successfully so they try hard to accent your successes and minimize your weaknesses
               
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