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Discussion in 'Radiology' started by RunwayModel, Apr 9, 2004.
if you want to go into radiology, go for it. maybe take this with a grain of salt because i am also in your shoes - an MS 3 with a 219 from a medical school not known in the US - only people in the Midwest and Indian people across the country know the medical school because it is a 6 year medical program right out of high school where you skip two years of college - i am an MS 5 in the program but technically an MS 3.
also, i keep shooting myself in the foot in MS 3 because i mess up the shelf exam on each rotation and ruin my chances at honors or a high pass even when i seem to get good evaluations (the one rotation i did get a high pass in i did not have to take a shelf exam).
There are plenty of people out there with worse scores than you in rads residency. You should find a spot some place.
I second that. My scores weren't that great either. I got into a university program. Granted, it's not top 10, but it's good. Just send out lots of applications (60+), do research, get good letters, go on away rotations, and try every connection you have to get interviews.
so you have a 219 step 1 and a...gpa (??? that's college, right?). okay, i'm going to answer your question like you have a 219, poor preclinical grades, and medicocre clinical grades to date. it's definitely doable, but you have to get a little more proactive now. in this scenario in order to match you need to do the following:
1. do very well in your remaining third year courses
2. get a very strong rec from someone who believes in you. you can get this by doing well in a third year rotation, doing well in a preceptor-ship in fourth year, doing well in an away rotation (in july, august, early enough for rec to get out) or doing research with someone so they get to know you and give you a good rec.
3. kick butt on step 2 (preferably >230, and over 240 is looking really good)
4. a publication could look good, if you don't mind taking a year off and if you honestly think you might be interested in research.
5. talk to fourth years at your school and look at sites like this to get inside angles on the rads admissions game.
so the deal is your step 1 is low by radiology standards (actually it's above the national average for med students, but you'd never realize it in radiology b/c it's so competitive) and usmle doesn't allow you to retake it. you can, however, do better on step 2, which will address concerns about your ability to test well. think about it, if someone got a 1550 on the sat the second time you don't care so much that they got a 1000 the first time (oh, you'll think, they didn't take it seriously). same thing with the steps.
mediocre preclinical grades is not too big a deal. mediocre clinical grades is a double-whammy b/c clinical grades are important, and then it's also harder to get a good rec. trends are important. if you start doing very well at the end of third year then you'll fit into the 'late bloomer' narrative. in this story you've bloomed into the superstar student you really are and will be, whereas early medschool represents just several false starts on what will now a smooth road.
lastly, do not let yourself feel too insecure, b/c that feeling will hurt you more than numbers will. if you feel like you suck and you should've done better, you're hesitant, you question yourself, you get labeled in others' minds and not very good. people often label others based on weak psychological cues, and then they take any subsequent data (numbers, grades) and try to fit it into how they already feel about you. so you want to fit into a good psychological category, and not the opposite. this is a good life skill. so in this scenario, people will be like 'he/she's really great....hmm, low step 1, well it's not so important, and probably wasn't gunning and obsessive about it, and look here, they did well on step 2', vs. the opposite like 'he/she sucks...and other people think so too, see poor grades, forget it..)
hope that's helpful.
Actually that GPA is medical school GPA; Unfortunately our classes are graded. Thank you for the advice, I'll just have to put more work into Step 2 and other things that I can help. Thanks!