subtle1epiphany

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15+ Year Member
Oct 18, 2003
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UIowa <- UNM <- MSU <- SoCal
www.msu.edu
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Attending Physician
Basic situation:

MS4 at DO school
USMLE Step 1 - 240/99
COMLEX Step 1 - 617/91
COMLEX Step 2 - 588/88
Sigma Sigma Phi - not sure how much it helps
Basic and Clinical Research including abstract at national conference
4 solid to great letters, including research
MSPE is very solid to excellent, no red flags, all great comments on rotations

Applying to ACGME Internal Medicine programs.

Questions:

1. I've paid to take the USMLE 2CK, but situation with rotations were such that I wasn't able to sit for it. It's now extended, but my feeling is that I'm not adequately prepared and would not fare well.
If I do not take the exam will it be seen when I rank or release to the program where I match?
In short, other than losing money, will it hurt me?

2. The situation with my COMLEX 2 exam won't help me, and may possibly hurt me (almost 1SD above the mean, but not a great showing).
My inclination is to not release it unless I feel that I need to do so. How do I find out if my top choices require or anticipate that I will?
I checked their websites, but didn't find this noted, my thought is to directly contact them.
Is asking this taken to show that you are reluctant to release and reflect badly on my file, or am I overthinking this?

Thanks in advance for the advice!
- s1e
 

NotAProgDirector

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Oct 11, 2006
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1. No one will ever know or be able to tell.

2. You are overthinking this. Your comlex II score is fine. I would release it, I doubt it will hurt you in any way, and a solid Step 2 score makes allo PD's more confident ranking DO's. (That's a very general, broad statement based on no data but my own preferences and gut instinct)
 

LadyGrey

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Congrats, you've got a very nice USMLE Step 1. (Another anecdata point in my contention that some of us actually do better on USMLE than COMLEX). At this late point in the season, I see no value to suffering through Step 2. In my own experience, even though I took it pretty early (mid September) none of the PDs looked at it.
 
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subtle1epiphany

Junior Faculty
15+ Year Member
Oct 18, 2003
772
6
38
UIowa <- UNM <- MSU <- SoCal
www.msu.edu
Status
Attending Physician
1. No one will ever know or be able to tell.

2. You are overthinking this. Your comlex II score is fine. I would release it, I doubt it will hurt you in any way, and a solid Step 2 score makes allo PD's more confident ranking DO's. (That's a very general, broad statement based on no data but my own preferences and gut instinct)
Thank you for allaying my fears about this issue. Your help is so awesome on this forum.
There is no question that given the appropriate opportunity (meaning adequate prep) I would overwhelmingly prefer to sit for the USMLE. It is important to me at the very least and I'm sure that a solid and consistent score would only solidify me as a promising choice in the match.

As we start to enter the last month of the interviewing period is there anything I should be doing to enhance my chances of matching at my top choice (an academic medical center, not into disclosing "everything" online, just all my scores...)?
When do applicants generally send letters to programs they will rank highly?
 

Abram Hoffer

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Aug 22, 2008
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Thank you for allaying my fears about this issue. Your help is so awesome on this forum.
There is no question that given the appropriate opportunity (meaning adequate prep) I would overwhelmingly prefer to sit for the USMLE. It is important to me at the very least and I'm sure that a solid and consistent score would only solidify me as a promising choice in the match.

As we start to enter the last month of the interviewing period is there anything I should be doing to enhance my chances of matching at my top choice (an academic medical center, not into disclosing "everything" online, just all my scores...)?
When do applicants generally send letters to programs they will rank highly?
Bump bump... Good questions! Surely others are wondering similar things.
 

NotAProgDirector

Pastafarians Unite!
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10+ Year Member
Oct 11, 2006
8,726
8,860
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Attending Physician
Thank you for allaying my fears about this issue. Your help is so awesome on this forum.
There is no question that given the appropriate opportunity (meaning adequate prep) I would overwhelmingly prefer to sit for the USMLE. It is important to me at the very least and I'm sure that a solid and consistent score would only solidify me as a promising choice in the match.

As we start to enter the last month of the interviewing period is there anything I should be doing to enhance my chances of matching at my top choice (an academic medical center, not into disclosing "everything" online, just all my scores...)?
When do applicants generally send letters to programs they will rank highly?
A solid USMLE step 2 score would definitely help. A poor score would hurt you very much.

Honestly, you have already done much of what you can do. You can certainly write to those programs in whom you are very interested and tell them that, but how much effect this happens in large programs is unclear.

Bump bump... Good questions! Surely others are wondering similar things.
Bump after 2 hours? Exactly how often do you think I check SDN? :)
 

Abram Hoffer

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Aug 22, 2008
195
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Medical Student
A solid USMLE step 2 score would definitely help. A poor score would hurt you very much.

Honestly, you have already done much of what you can do. You can certainly write to those programs in whom you are very interested and tell them that, but how much effect this happens in large programs is unclear.



Bump after 2 hours? Exactly how often do you think I check SDN? :)
Sorry, wasn't clear. Wanted to bump because I agreed that your help is awesome! :thumbup:
 

subtle1epiphany

Junior Faculty
15+ Year Member
Oct 18, 2003
772
6
38
UIowa <- UNM <- MSU <- SoCal
www.msu.edu
Status
Attending Physician
A solid USMLE step 2 score would definitely help. A poor score would hurt you very much.

Honestly, you have already done much of what you can do. You can certainly write to those programs in whom you are very interested and tell them that, but how much effect this happens in large programs is unclear.



Bump after 2 hours? Exactly how often do you think I check SDN? :)
That's my thought, glad to know that I can at least see things similarly to someone who's been doing this for a bit.

In my situation, I'd have until the end of the month to take the USMLE Step 2CK, including studying during an IM sub-I. While I'm sure it's possible, and perhaps I'd be able to do this, but I think it's a risky move.

Not sure if I should be taking a chance like that now after having been invited for an interview and having done well at that interview and my audition rotation at my first choice. Hopefully I'll have an abstract published relatively soon, but otherwise I'll write to them and that's the most I can do.
 
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