Sep 10, 2017
Medical Student
Hello, long time lurker

So its another one of those WAMC type of posts. I've looked on previous threads, even as far back as 06 but really haven't found any recent ones that are similar to my scores (some scores are either just really good like 240+ or not so good like 200-210).

Step1: 227
Step2/COMLEX 2 will take soon. I was just wondering how many programs should I be applying to and if I am competitive enough to match (I'm not geographically restricted as long as its not in the boonies lol). Thanks guys! Also if there are any threads or if you guys have any advice for me please lmk


10+ Year Member
Nov 19, 2008
Medical Student
227 is a decent score and you will probably match. But its more about your experiences, recommendation letters, how well you interview etc. We have seen a number of more competitive applicants with scores as high as 250s step 1 applying these days.


7+ Year Member
Jul 19, 2011
2nd everything above. Your scores are fine. Might keep you from interviews at "top" programs if you don't have good PM&R elective experience and all of the other stuff that matters now more and more (research, letters, etc). It can be random though and scores are much less important in this field compared to others. Based on your scores being close to average I would apply to as many programs as you could see yourself wanting to go to. TBH there aren't that many compared to other specialties (70ish?) After you look at the list of programs i'm sure there will be places you just say "nah I have no interest in living there for 3-4 years", or there is just nothing about the program that interests you. By then you might be down to 50ish programs you could see yourself at least interested in interviewing at if given the chance, and that's not too terribly high of a number of applications.

Everyone worries about the cost when trying to decide how many programs is too many to apply to. IMO the expensive part is actually going on the interview and not the application. So you might spend a couple hundred bucks extra to cast a wider net, but then if you find yourself getting plenty of interviews you just start canceling or declining the places you aren't as interested in. Much better to spend a few hundred extra bucks after already spending 200k + on med school than trying to nickel and dime number of applications and then not getting enough interest.

BOTTOM LINE: your numbers won't keep you from matching in and of themselves, BUT you need to make sure you are checking all the other boxes in terms of elective exposure, interest in the field, letter of rec from PM&R, research if doable, etc. Apply to as many programs as you could actually see yourself going to and would at least be interested in interviewing at. This late in the game is not the time to start trying to be frugal since there aren't even that many programs to begin with.
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