Programs for Below-Average MD Applicants?

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Full Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 26, 2014
  1. Medical Student
    Any advice on programs to target as a very below average applicant? My and my wife’s family are in Philly, so we want to stay close-ish (maybe 5-6 hour drive tops) and like urban much more than rural. I’m hoping to go into ID which I gather isn’t the most competitive but want to keep the option open. Academic places preferable but beggars can’t be choosers so anywhere is OK!

    Med School: Top 20 Northeast
    Step: 216 step 1, expecting not amazing on step 2 (practice ~235)
    M3: Half honors (but not medicine)
    Research: 3 first-author publications, 3 conference presentations
    Other: Leader of sex ed program in two local high schools, did healthcare investment banking for 4 years before med school, no failures/retakes/etc.

    Thoughts on Temple/Drexel, Hofstra/Einstein, GW/Georgetown/UMD as reaches? Then any strong community programs to target? Already planning Pennsylvania Hospital, Einstein Philly, SLR + Beth Israel among others but not sure what level I should be aiming for.
    Last edited:
    I think you've got a decent shot at a university program. Don't forget about Montefiore in the Bronx, the other AECOM program Jacobi is a decent community program as well. Johns Hopkins Bayview in Baltimore is also a strong community program.

    I don't think Jefferson would be completely out of the question pending your Step 2.
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