curiousKatz

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I’m an MS1 in mid-tier school with P/F grades. I am remote at home with very little access to profs or mentors, with no US doctors in my family. I struggled initially cos I didn’t know what to expect, but got my study strategy in place and have been doing steadily better, though I am barely average for this sem. I am told our chances at good residency is shot cos school is mid-tier, is p/f for grades and USMLE is also now p/f. What should I focus on next sem and in MS2 to improve my chances? My MS2 mentor says focus everything on USMLE score, but it is p/f for my class of 2024.
What should I prioritize after studies? Research, paper publication, ECs (what kind), good relationship with profs or something else? I feel a bit lost and would appreciate guidance please.

I hope this also helps other MS1s in mid-tier or low-tier medical schools that worry about reduced opportunities due to USMLE Step 1 becoming P/F.
 
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BacktotheBasics

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I’m an MS1 in mid-tier school with P/F grades. I am remote at home with very little access to profs or mentors, with no US doctors in my family. I struggled initially cos I didn’t know what to expect, but got my study strategy in place and have been doing steadily better, though I am barely average for this sem. I am told our chances at good residency is shot cos school is mid-tier, is p/f for grades and USMLE is also now p/f. What should I focus on next sem and in MS2 to improve my chances? My MS2 mentor says focus everything on USMLE score, but it is p/f for my class of 2024.
What should I prioritize after studies? Research, paper publication, ECs (what kind), good relationship with profs or something else? I feel a bit lost and would appreciate guidance please.

I hope this also helps other MS1s in mid-tier or low-tier medical schools that worry about reduced opportunities due to USMLE Step 1 becoming P/F.

The Step 1 P/F deal was a good idea. It makes it so that memorizing tRNA structure and knowing more about spliceosomes doesn't determine who is a good residency candidate. There's this thing called Step 2 CK. I guarantee you it will be required before interviews for the residency cycle you're applying for. It the closest thing we have now that measures your ability to apply basic medicine to clinical scenarios. Rotation grades are also critical. Until then focus on learning medicine and not minutiae your biochemistry professor thinks is important.
 
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curiousKatz

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Thank you so much for the advice. I was (and am still) worrying about what type of research to pursue and how to get into one coming summer, with CoVid and all. I am currently starting a literary review with a prof at a non-medical college near my medical school, and I actually like the topic. If I keep up with it, I can grow it into a lab research in an organ system I choose, which I was hoping to decide when I identify my specialty preference. It may or may not work out the way I anticipate but I expect to be able to publish. Should I stop that and go after targeted research for summer? Also, do I focus on engaging in clubs? I turned around a straggling club in my UG and got a Leadership Award, but my interest now is more to expand my knowledge than to grow clubs. How should I view clubs/ECs in medical school?

Sorry if I sound a bit lost. I’m a bit of an introvert as it is, and not having MS1s or seniors around to (hear them) talk through these topics is very limiting, so hoping for shared advice here.
 
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BacktotheBasics

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Thank you so much for the advice. I was (and am still) worrying about what type of research to pursue and how to get into one coming summer, with CoVid and all. I am currently starting a literary review with a prof at a non-medical college near my medical school, and I actually like the topic. If I keep up with it, I can grow it into a lab research in an organ system I choose, which I was hoping to decide when I identify my specialty preference. It may or may not work out the way I anticipate but I expect to be able to publish. Should I stop that and go after targeted research for summer? Also, do I focus on engaging in clubs? I turned around a straggling club in my UG and got a Leadership Award, but my interest now is more to expand my knowledge than to grow clubs. How should I view clubs/ECs in medical school?

Sorry if I sound a bit lost. I’m a bit of an introvert as it is, and not having MS1s or seniors around to (hear them) talk through these topics is very limiting, so hoping for shared advice here.

I'm an introvert too. Sorry if my post came off as brusque. ECs/Clubs in medical school are for networking and your benefit. Virtually zero resume points. Leadership on student senate or committees may be seen differently. Research is valuable in my opinion.

Regarding research, you need to find your identity.

Hardcore: Anything with a bench/wetlab
Quality Clinical: Start with a systemic review, find a hole in the literature, make that hole the topic of your own research project: chart-review. Rinse and repeat. If you have computer literacy, you can use R and bypass the whole "stats-person" which is an annoying barrier. This will make you prolific.
Resume Builder: Ask those senior to you to be a chart review monkey. You collect the data on a cell-sheet. Then ask to write some of the paper. For your efforts, expect 2nd or 3rd author.

You're probably the first person who writes the name for the pandemic as I first did. I tried to make it a thing but no one followed me :/
 
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curiousKatz

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Your post is very helpful, thank you.

I did help a PhD candidate in a wet lab for a couple of semesters during UG but it was very slow research. I’m trying to start over again now, hoping to get published this time. I’ll keep your research tips in mind. My main takeaway is to prioritize studies over all else.

I guess CoVid is supposed to be spelt the way we both spell it, but with everything being informal text, I guess no one bothers :p
 
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Good step 1 probably = good step 2. Step 2 will probably be more heavily looked at now due to 1 being P/F.
Research + a pub or two is always impressive. This video shows some of the basics. And due to everything being remote, you may even be able to reach out to some other institution to do research if there is no one at your school that publishes. Bench research takes forever, so most people do clinical.
Something you enjoy -- a few hours at a food bank or a local medical student clinic if you have one is good.

A bad personality makes everything above useless.
 
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curiousKatz

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Thank you for the thoughts. I’m realizing more and more that doing something I enjoy for my ECs is more important than checking off some box. I have no idea what specialization I am interested in. I am doing some scholarly research this semester that might become wet lab research in the future. For summer, should I pursue clinical research and how would one go about that? I have absolutely no clue and would appreciate any tips and suggestions.
 

softball2344

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Yes Step 2 will be important but I also think extracurriculars are going to become more crucial tbh. Research >> ECs but not everyone can publish a ton (a lot of research comes down to luck and not all schools have good infrastructure) so next thing residencies will look for is leadership and that crap. Do something you genuinely enjoy yes but also do something that looks good on paper it sucks but that's what p/f step is doing to us.

Disagree with the post above that step 1 requires you to memorize tRNA structure (it doesn't LOL) there is obviously a lot of relevant material too, you should def study more than to barely pass it will help on rotations to have a good knowledge base
 
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Thank you for the thoughts. I’m realizing more and more that doing something I enjoy for my ECs is more important than checking off some box. I have no idea what specialization I am interested in. I am doing some scholarly research this semester that might become wet lab research in the future. For summer, should I pursue clinical research and how would one go about that? I have absolutely no clue and would appreciate any tips and suggestions.
Look at your institution and find people in specialties that you are interested in on scopus or Google scholar that publish a lot recently and put students name on research. Then cold email asking to help and honestly I’d be direct and say you want to produce something of publishable quality
 
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curiousKatz

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Mar 31, 2017
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Look at your institution and find people in specialties that you are interested in on scopus or Google scholar that publish a lot recently and put students name on research. Then cold email asking to help and honestly I’d be direct and say you want to produce something of publishable quality
Thank you, that is a valuable tip. I’ll start reaching out once I know when I’ll be back at school and post an update here 👍
 

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