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madmax1001

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hi Dr. Doan and the forum-
im a third year med student thats new to the forum. my concern is that i have a 217/88 on step 1, and i havent honored a 3rd year clerkship yet. as for the big 2, honors in medicine are pending as i just took the exam 1 week ago; and i just started surgery and will have neuro and psych as my 1st rot in my 4th year. i recently found out that i missed letters by 1.5 point in family med, which i may be able to salvage.
so far my evals and LORs are absolutely fantastic, ive already visited a Big 10 ophtho program earlier in my 3rd year and will be able to get a letter from the chair of one of the departments there.
my concern is that i am a horrible test taker. my evals mention that in clinic when i get pimped my answers are accurate and concise. its just taking the standardized tests that prevent me from getting honors.
i have 4 years of research without a publication in ophtho. i am currently working on a short term project that i am told will be published.
what are the next steps that i should take, should i take step 2 early because i have had medicine and surgery back to back? Any advise would be appreciated. Thank you!
 

Andrew_Doan

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Welcome to the forum!

I don't think taking Step 2 early helps all that much unless you get 250+.

Standardized tests help to compare applicants, but it's not a good measure of how well you'll do as a physician. If most of your peers haven't taken Step 2, then this is not a particularly helpful piece of information in regards to comparing your performance to others.

If you have outstanding LORs and clinical experiences in ophthalmology, then you may still be competitive. I recommend you ask the chairman who's writing your LOR about programs that you should apply to. Perhaps a little nepotism will help.
 

madmax1001

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Dr. Doan-
thank you so much for your help. i was wondering if you thought taking a year of to do research would help. in your opinion what programs should i be looking at with a 217/88; do you think that score is going to keep me out of a lot of programs? i sincerely appreciate all your help and all the advise everyone has put on the forum. thank you.
 
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Andrew_Doan

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Originally posted by madmax1001
Dr. Doan-
thank you so much for your help. i was wondering if you thought taking a year of to do research would help. in your opinion what programs should i be looking at with a 217/88; do you think that score is going to keep me out of a lot of programs? i sincerely appreciate all your help and all the advise everyone has put on the forum. thank you.

I need to emphasize that a 217 score on Step 1 isn't going to prevent you from getting an interview if you have other strong elements on your application. After you receive the interview, the USMLE score is less important. I'd apply to 40 programs, including some of the top programs, and see who invites you to interview. If you fail to match, then consider plan B.
 

madmax1001

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thank you very much for your help Dr. Doan; i have been so worried ever since i got my scores back, i am glad that there is still some hope.
 
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