Sep 6, 2017
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Unfortunately I just found out that I failed Step 2 CK by a few points (201 with minimum 209). I met with an educational adviser who suggested that I should retake the test at the beginning of November in order to fully prepare (I have research for the next few months). I am an MD/PhD applicant hoping to pursue an academic pathology program. I had multiple first author publications during my PhD with a few second authors. I have submitted a case report in pathology. I did average during my clerkships (mostly passing grades with a few high pass and honors). I have several interesting additional activities including coordinating visits by distinguished NIH researchers and a Nobel prize winner. I have additional research experience with electron microscopy, flow cytometry, and IHC.

I'm hoping to get advice on my application submission. Should I go ahead and submit with the failing Step 2 CK score - or wait to submit with a passing score?
How many programs should I apply to? There are great programs that fill spots through the SOAP every year - so should I keep more competitive programs on the list in case they interview me or just drop higher tier programs completely?

Is there anything else I should consider in this process?

(I know that people will ask so yes, I am meeting with academic advisers both at my institution as well as 2 other large academic institutions. I'm merely hoping to solicit additional advice.)

Thank you!
 

jmarkant

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Aug 31, 2012
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Unfortunately I just found out that I failed Step 2 CK by a few points (201 with minimum 209). I met with an educational adviser who suggested that I should retake the test at the beginning of November in order to fully prepare (I have research for the next few months). I am an MD/PhD applicant hoping to pursue an academic pathology program. I had multiple first author publications during my PhD with a few second authors. I have submitted a case report in pathology. I did average during my clerkships (mostly passing grades with a few high pass and honors). I have several interesting additional activities including coordinating visits by distinguished NIH researchers and a Nobel prize winner. I have additional research experience with electron microscopy, flow cytometry, and IHC.

I'm hoping to get advice on my application submission. Should I go ahead and submit with the failing Step 2 CK score - or wait to submit with a passing score?
How many programs should I apply to? There are great programs that fill spots through the SOAP every year - so should I keep more competitive programs on the list in case they interview me or just drop higher tier programs completely?

Is there anything else I should consider in this process?

(I know that people will ask so yes, I am meeting with academic advisers both at my institution as well as 2 other large academic institutions. I'm merely hoping to solicit additional advice.)

Thank you!
Your a US MD/PhD I think you'll be fine apply with some backup programs in mind. Did you not prepare for Step 2 CK if not do 2 pass of UWorld.
 

SetecAstronomy

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Sep 29, 2016
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I was also a US MD/PhD that failed CK. I got interviews at just about every place I applied to, including BWH (ie, THE Brigham). I matched at my #1, and my Step 1 score was not impressive (really, it's not a humblebrag). You'll be fine if you interview well and you don't have your heart set on any one particular program.
 
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