Suppose your grades in the preclinical two years are mediocre. To what extent can you make up for this by doing lots of research and having good USMLE scores? To clarify, I'm interested in the less-than-competitive specialties of neurology and psychiatry, and I'm in an MSTP program, so I'll have research coming out of my ears by the time I graduate. Given my fairly good memory and previous record on standardized tests, I can expect to do well on the USMLE. Unfortunately, it will be very difficult for me to do well in my clinicals, since I'll have been away from the medical stuff for a long time by then. So I guess my question is, is it worth it to bust ass in the clinical years trying to get a good residency, or am I going to be doomed by my slacker preclinical grades, or are my specialties of interest going to be so noncompetitive that I don't really have to worry about it?