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question about residency

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by ekom, Apr 26, 2001.

  1. ekom

    ekom New Member

    Apr 25, 2001
    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?
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  3. GreatPumpkin

    GreatPumpkin Mystical Treatbringer 10+ Year Member

    Mar 23, 2001
    Likely your specialties will not be very competitive still when you apply, so getting a good residency will not be to tough. But, that said certain places ie. Mass General, California will be very competitive. If you want one of these you better have good clinical grades. And, with good clinical grades and good USMLE scores your preclinical grades will not matter quite as much. Good Luck.

  4. Annette

    Annette gainfully employed Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Aug 24, 1999
    The Land of Lincoln
    ekom, you shouldn't have as much trouble transitioning to the clinical years as you might think. It really is about how you think about the patient's problem, not how much biochemistry you remember. With your research ways of thinking, you should be ok. My favorite IM prof's favorite question is "Why are you doing that?"
  5. ekom

    ekom New Member

    Apr 25, 2001
    Thanks Annette - but I already know that MD-PhD's (at least at my school) have a tough time transitioning to the clinic. I've already heard some stories [​IMG]

    It's not really surprising, anyway - no matter which way you turn it, medicine is about a knowledge base; and if that knowledge base is less fresh in your mind than it is in that of the 24-year-old next to you, he's going to be ahead of you in the line for honors [​IMG]
  6. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2000
    hSDN Member
    While I agree Medicine is about the "knowledge base" don't count yourself short because you might have a less fresh base than your counterpart.

    Honors count more than your fund of knowledge. How you interact with the patient, your curiosity, your ability to play with the team, etc. will also win you points with the attending. I found very few attendings who were willing to discount me if I didn't know something - as long as I was willing to invest some time researching it, or gave at least a thoughtful, well reasoned appropriation of the answer. The ability to reason in medicine is much more valuable than the ability to spout off the top 10 differentials for hematuria. That can be memorized.

    Take good care of your patients, keep your reasoning skills sharpened, and be curious, friendly and motivated and I'm sure you'll do well.

    Penn State University
    Department of Surgery

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