shindog

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I keep hearing that preclinical grades can be a major factor in residency selection. But that doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Many med schools have gone to pass/fail evaluations for the first two years. So how can RDs possibly compare a student at school A with all passes in the preclinical years to a student at school B with all C's = 2.0 GPA in the first two years? Or what about student A with all passes and student B with a 4.0 GPA? You have no way to tell the specific grades of the students at pass/fail schools. Therefore, you can't really compare them with prelinical grades. I believe that board scores, LORs, and clinical evaluations must be the sole basis for selection by a RD. This especially holds true for internal medicine residencies, even the top programs.

Any other thoughts?
 

Hercules

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Actually I've heard that your basic science years are one of the least important factors in residency matching. I believe this has been confirmed on this board several times as well. Does anyone have a different take on things?
 

fourthyear

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Yep, I've heard the same as both of you are saying.

There are only 2 small groups of people which the preclinical grades really matter in:
1. Those who fail courses.
2. Those who are in the running for AOA. Although clerkship grades usually outweigh the first 2 years, all your grades count towards putting you in this top-of-the-class group.

For everyone else, just try to learn as much as you can in the preclinical years in order to get the most out of med school and to prepare for Step 1, which does matter in residency selection. But don't worry so much about grades affecting residency yet - 3rd year grades are way more important.
 
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Andrew_Doan

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The preclinical years aren't that important. Residency directors care more about your performance during the clinical rotations. The most important thing is outstanding letters of recommendations from faculty you've worked with.
 

Celiac Plexus

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They're more important for the more competitive residencies. Radiology, ENT, ortho, urology... They definitely matter. And since AOA status is calculated by your class standing, preclinical grades are critical. For fam prac., peds, path, etc... passing is usaually sufficient.

I would also add that pass/fail schools will generally report your class rank to residency directors if asked. And, at most schools, the dean's letter identifies which third or quartile you are in thereby nullifying any perceived advantage to a pass/fail system.

Having said all of this, I would agree that 3rd year grades are slightly more important to program directors in all fields. After all, residency is not a serious of multiple choice tests...

Peace and good luck.
 

dr.evil

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AOA is Alpha Omega Alpha, the National Honor Medical Society. It usually means that you are in the top ~10% (or so) of your class although you are elected into the society so extracurricular activites and various other activities could possibly get you elected.
 

tecoboy

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How does one get elected into the AOA? Is it based solely on class ranking? I'm an IMG, is the AOA exclusive to students from US med schools or can IMG's also gain the AOA status?
 

Andrew_Doan

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Originally posted by tecoboy
How does one get elected into the AOA? Is it based solely on class ranking? I'm an IMG, is the AOA exclusive to students from US med schools or can IMG's also gain the AOA status?

AOA selection is through your medical school. I'm not sure if your foreign medical program has an AOA society; however, there may be an honor society that's called a different thing.
 
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