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Psychiatry Residency Concerns vs. Step 2 CK

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brightsatellite

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Hey there!

Thank you for taking the time to reading this and share your perspective.

Today is my last day to re-schedule Step 2 without penalty and I am soliciting advice on whether or not I should do so.

I did an away elective at my top choice which happens to be quite competitive. I do not feel like that competitive of an applicant numbers-wise and come from an unknown med school.

I do have other strengths (research, passion, extracurriculars, strong LORs from attendings at the institution, etc.) so hopefully I am not completely delusional in applying. =)

I took a practice step 2 and got what would be equivalent to a 180 (ouch!). I got in the low 220s on Step 1.

The test is a week away and I imagine that I could improve my score by studying very hard. I am concerned that my board score will go down and it may be wise to put the test off for a week or so (to hit around 220+).

Should I consider delaying Step II CK so I don't take a nosedive in my board scores? Am I over-reacting to the practice test?

Any advice is greatly appreciated!
 

chameleonknight

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If you did an away at your top choice, your Step II score is likely far less important than how you performed on that rotation (with the notable exception of failing the test).

What exactly is an unknown med school? Is it in a cave somewhere, or perhaps underwater?
 

CarleneM

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I would reschedule it- even an extra week can make a huge difference. Also, if you do well and/or programs require it to rank you, I think as long as you take it by the first week of January, it would likely be back before rank lists (though that is cutting it close). You don't want to risk failing and your practice score is in that range. You might want to ask people in the step II forum for their thoughts as well.
 

Still Kickin

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I'm in a somewhat-similar situation and would appreciate people's thoughts:

I have a really good Step I score.
I'm not worried about passing Step II, but I'm afraid it may not be all that stellar / may not be as good as my step I.

I've had interviews at some really high-level programs and am really interested in those types of programs.

Questions:
(1)For high-level programs is a mere "passing" score likely to hurt my app?
(2)But then again, they might not rank me at all without Step II score?

(ie - I'm wondering which is the bigger "gamble" for high-power programs at this point: Ho-hum Step II score vs. No step II score?)
(Or are they both equally crappy options?)
 

muddycup

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bump please - if you have a competative step1 score (250+) and are interviewing at competative programs, does step2 ck matter if it's to be taken in november?
 

psychattending

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One big concern the PDs have is whether somebody who matches will be able to work on July 1. Having a license is a critical factor. Thus, some important issues are:

1) If currently in school, does your school require CK to get an MD degree?
2) Are you an IMG? If so, then you need to pass in order to be ECFMG certified.
3) What was your Step I score? If one scores high on Step 1, it is less likely that one will not pass Step 2 CK.
 

psychattending

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bump please - if you have a competative step1 score (250+) and are interviewing at competative programs, does step2 ck matter if it's to be taken in november?

For me I would prefer having the CK score before I have to turn in my rank list in Feb.
 

CaMD

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My understanding is that as of this year UCSF is requiring all programs (psychiatry included) only rank candidates who have passed step 2 by the time the match comes around. Not sure if any other schools do this.
 

harmnot

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rank lists are due from programs the same day yours are, though most programs will meet and hash out the list in committee a couple of weeks prior to that.

If some programs finalize their list earlier, does that mean that these same programs have also finished interviewing prospective candidates? My last interview is in Feb/2010 and I have quite a few in January as well. That worries me that these programs may have already created their rank list already. Was I wrong to schedule interviews in January and Feb....i had no choice. Thanks
 

OldPsychDoc

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If some programs finalize their list earlier, does that mean that these same programs have also finished interviewing prospective candidates? My last interview is in Feb/2010 and I have quite a few in January as well. That worries me that these programs may have already created their rank list already. Was I wrong to schedule interviews in January and Feb....i had no choice. Thanks

They wouldn't be interviewing if they were done with their rank list. It's not like we enjoy the process so much that we inflict unnecessary interviews on applicants we have no interest in ranking! We don't meet at our program until the last interview is done. I can't imagine any other program interviewing after they've finalized their list. We're nuts, but not insane!
 

clement

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My understanding is that as of this year UCSF is requiring all programs (psychiatry included) only rank candidates who have passed step 2 by the time the match comes around. Not sure if any other schools do this.

Rumors are floating around in med-student land that Step 2 is becoming "more important" to programs (not just psych)-

I guess it makes sense considering the other rumor about Step 1 and Step 2 possibly merging.
 

VMSmith

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bump please - if you have a competative step1 score (250+) and are interviewing at competative programs, does step2 ck matter if it's to be taken in november?

I had a strong Step 1 score and scheduled Step 2 CK in December after all my interviews. My score (which was good, but lower than my Step 1 score) came back before rank lists were due. I doubt it had any effect other than to reassure programs that I would be eligible to work when the year started.
 

OldPsychDoc

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I had a strong Step 1 score and scheduled Step 2 CK in December after all my interviews. My score (which was good, but lower than my Step 1 score) came back before rank lists were due. I doubt it had any effect other than to reassure programs that I would be eligible to work when the year started.

THat's the key right there. We've got too much else going on to go back and re-rank based on whether A got 220 vs. B scoring 200...
 

Doctor Bagel

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I had a strong Step 1 score and scheduled Step 2 CK in December after all my interviews. My score (which was good, but lower than my Step 1 score) came back before rank lists were due. I doubt it had any effect other than to reassure programs that I would be eligible to work when the year started.

That's comforting. I took CK yesterday and am pretty sure my score will be lower.
 

gaccboom

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Rumors are floating around in med-student land that Step 2 is becoming "more important" to programs (not just psych)-

I guess it makes sense considering the other rumor about Step 1 and Step 2 possibly merging.

I got word from the HMS-Longwood program that they "require that all applicants take and ideally pass both Steps [1 and 2] by February 2010 to be considered for our final rank list."
 

gaccboom

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My understanding is that as of this year UCSF is requiring all programs (psychiatry included) only rank candidates who have passed step 2 by the time the match comes around. Not sure if any other schools do this.


The Harvard-Longwood program states that they "require that all applicants take and ideally pass both Steps [1 and 2] by February 2010 to be considered for inclusion on our final rank list."
 
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