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10+ Year Member
Dec 22, 2008
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  1. Medical Student

Had a question, would appreciate help from anyone with background in residency match, or has solid foundation of knowledge on the subject.

I am currently a carrib. medical studnet, just finished third semester. To make a long story short, did "okay" first semester (c's and one b), second semester ran into problems on island with living situation (not like roomate b.s., crime, robberies, actual stuff), etc.., and failed 3/4 classes (should have simply withdrew for semester, tried to suck it up and pass, know it hurt me). Came back, swallowed by pride, retook all those classes and did well especially on shelf exams). This last semester (third), ended up doing very well (both classes and finals, all b's).

Now with that said, here is my question. I know that I have by no means "set myself up", but have I officially screwed myself? I know the importance of step 1 (as I know I need to nail it, as many do, and plan on doing so), but my real concern is preclinical grades, specifically that second semester. I really want to go into peds (not extremely competitive, but would still like a decent shot at a legit res), am I completely out? Will I even get an interview, chance to explain my transcript pending I do well on step 1?

I have heard mixed things (step 1 REALLY MATTERS, in addition to 3rd year grades, and pre-clinical is not THAT important...what about with failures, but steady progress afterwards, and good step one?). Any truth to that? By no means am I giving up, but would just like to be realistic here with my goals...ending up in family medicine, or is peds still realistic (even though it doesn't sound to be a lot higher in terms of competition)? Fellowship still possible or out of contention. Sorry for the sense of urgency in writing, someone (an *******, but still want to seek out advice), asked me "why I even bothered to stay", as I will never get a res. after passing step 1. Thanks for time and help.


Junior Member
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Jul 22, 2004
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I'm by no means an expert on this, but I'll give it a shot...

What you have been told is true - on the list of things pd's consider when ranking residents, basic science grades fall well below step 1, clinical grades, step 2 ck, LOR's, etc. Assuming you do well enough on those not to raise questions, I would think you should be fine even in peds. That being said, you should expect at some point during the interview process to be asked about your grades, and you should have an answer prepared.

I'm not aware of any programs setting cutoffs based upon GPA, simply because of the variability that exists from school to school. So while it may limit you opportunities for more competitive matches, many interviewers are simply going to have glossed over that part of the app. Example - I went through the entire match with a failing grade on CS and was never asked about it one time, even though it appeared on every copy of my application, and matched at my #1. But be ready to explain if you have to, and make sure the rest of your app. is strong.


Building Mind and Body
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15+ Year Member
Dec 21, 2002
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I posted in your other thread already but I'll say that I agree with Kingalls with everything he said.

Some of my dear friends have continued their education at AUA (by after transferring from my school) and they have not only failed a few classes but also transferred schools. And they should still be able to continue as long as they do decent on the Steps.

Don't worry too much about it now. Enjoy your vacation and turn it all around starting next semester.
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