pass/fail worth it?

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streetlight

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I've heard conflicting things about having Pass/Fail in med school? Some have said it's good because it removes competition, some say it hurts for residency placement because they don't have much to judge you on. What's the real deal here? How does P/F for the basic science years affect an applicant to residencies?
 

cbrons

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I've heard conflicting things about having Pass/Fail in med school? Some have said it's good because it removes competition, some say it hurts for residency placement because they don't have much to judge you on. What's the real deal here? How does P/F for the basic science years affect an applicant to residencies?



I was wondering this as well....
 

stixx

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I've heard conflicting things about having Pass/Fail in med school? Some have said it's good because it removes competition, some say it hurts for residency placement because they don't have much to judge you on. What's the real deal here? How does P/F for the basic science years affect an applicant to residencies?
No....

Residency directors barely care about pre-clinical grades to begin with since grading is so variable, and there's a standardized score (Step 1) that shows your depth of understanding of that material anyway.
 

serikk85

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I've heard conflicting things about having Pass/Fail in med school? Some have said it's good because it removes competition, some say it hurts for residency placement because they don't have much to judge you on. What's the real deal here? How does P/F for the basic science years affect an applicant to residencies?
Take a look at the match lists of your pass/fail schools when you interview. See how they do. I know Stanford, Harvard, and Yale are pass/fail (Hopkins will be next year too) and their match lists are AMAZING!!! So I wouldn't be too worried about it.
 

streetlight

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Take a look at the match lists of your pass/fail schools when you interview. See how they do. I know Stanford, Harvard, and Yale are pass/fail (Hopkins will be next year too) and their match lists are AMAZING!!! So I wouldn't be too worried about it.

cool, i get that, i guess i just don't know how to judge a match list (tell if one is good or bad).
 

SiR99

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"weird little laugh, Every medical school ranks its students, doesnt matter if its pass/fail or with grades, anyone who thinks otherwise is just wrong and naive"

This is what an Adcom told me when I asked about pass/fail schools


Harvard, Yale and everyother top medical school have amazing matchs because they have the top students
 

Rain Rabbit

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"weird little laugh, Every medical school ranks its students, doesnt matter if its pass/fail or with grades, anyone who thinks otherwise is just wrong and naive"

This is what an Adcom told me when I asked about pass/fail schools


Harvard, Yale and everyother top medical school have amazing matchs because they have the top students

ditto...

i don't think the pass/fail system could work if all the med schools did this... even with ranking the students, who is to say a ranked 1 student at X school is the same as a ranked 1 student at Y school
 
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moab336

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"weird little laugh, Every medical school ranks its students, doesnt matter if its pass/fail or with grades, anyone who thinks otherwise is just wrong and naive"

This is what an Adcom told me when I asked about pass/fail schools

True. I heard from NYU students/staff that while this isn't always used for internal or letter of rec purposes, your % grades/ranking are/is necessary for the medical honor society Alpha Omega Alpha who accepts the top 17% of the class.
 
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Jolie South

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cool, i get that, i guess i just don't know how to judge a match list (tell if one is good or bad).

None of us (as pre meds or preclinical med students) are in a position to say whether a match list is good or not. I'd like to hear exactly what the above poster found in a match list.

I do know that residency rankings do not follow the "it's an Ivy, so it's good" rule. Also, we don't know the intentions of the people matching. Maybe, there were a lot of people interested in primary care vs. a school not preparing students. Who knows?

A match list is a pretty poor reason to choose a med school. Will other people be matching in your spot? No. You are the biggest determinant of your destiny. Thus, you need to choose a school that you will be comfortable at, regardless of its match list. I don't think a match list is going to help you get through a curriculum that you hate or spend 4 years in an environment that you don't like. Being surrounded by "greatness" is not going to help you learn what you need to or improve your performance.
 

MedMan25

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True. I heard from NYU students/staff that while this isn't always used for internal or letter of rec purposes, your % grades/ranking are/is necessary for the medical honor society Alpha Omega Alpha who accepts the top 17% of the class.

Our school is pass/fail and we were told at the beginning of the year that although the curriculum is p/f, med schools are required to report some type of class rank to NMRP as part of your academic report.
 

alwaysaangel

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cool, i get that, i guess i just don't know how to judge a match list (tell if one is good or bad).

You can't. They're meaningless because they say more about the particular make-up of a class than the quality of students. You could have 50 brilliant 250 Step 1 scorers who want to do primary care and match into FM. Match lists say a lot about the interests of a class and the locations they wanted to be in - and not much outside of that.

As far as P/F. You need to find out what it means at that particular school. Some schools are P/F but keep all your percentages and give you a numeric ranking (eg. 54/100). Some put you in a 'category' that is vaguely implied in the letter (eg. outstanding resident applicant, good applicant, adequate applicant) based on how well you did relative to your peers. Overall, it really doesn't matter, step 1 is more important unless you're looking to do something super competitive. I like a P/F environment because its a lot less stressful and competitive so there is a lot more collaboration and sharing of study aids.
 

socmob

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As a med student who pretty much only applied to p/f schools b/c everyone raved about them, I can officialy say that Pass/Fail is TOTALLY worth it. Beyond the ivies, a ton of schools in the top 40 are pass/fail. Preclinical grades seriously seriously don't matter. Step 1, LORs, clinical grades matter a lot. Beyond that, there's the personality of the applicant and how well he/she fits with the program. If you had two applicants before you for residency, what would you judge them on? Would you really pick someone (who you have to practically live with for the next several years) b/c they had an amazing preclinical record over someone who vibed better or had amazing LORs, fabulous research, or a great clinical record? Please. Save yourself a TON of stress and go P/F. Not to mention the add'l huge benefit that p/f schools will tend to give you more chill, relaxed, non-competitive classmates. That said, it is important to know whether or not the school is secretly ranking you. @ my school we're P/F w/ no ranking. It's awesome.
 
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Loon

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Also don't forget get that some schools say "We have a pass/fail system. The possible grades are: High honors, honors, high pass, notable pass, pass, satisfactory, mediocre, worrisome, unacceptable and fail."
 

socmob

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Yeah, we're only talking about TRUE P/F.
 

cbrons

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Also don't forget get that some schools say "We have a pass/fail system. The possible grades are: High honors, honors, high pass, notable pass, pass, satisfactory, mediocre, worrisome, unacceptable and fail."

so they've replaced the alphabet with catchy labels. Boy would I love to take a "high pass" home to mom and dad. Do schools really have a mark called "worrisome"? How funny would it be to get back a paper that has nothing but "worrisome" on it.
 
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