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Step 1 and IM

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wes c. adle

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Hey Gang -

I'm a second year starting to fret about the boards and realize I have very little idea about what score I should be shooting for in trying to land an IM spot. I'm not looking to go to the Harvard/Hopkins of the world, but still looking at fairly competitive east coast programs nonetheless (Brown, Pitt, Tufts, etc....).
Anyone know what kind of score I should be shooting for to land an interview at these types of places? I'm coming out of a SUNY school, good preclinical grades, probably won't be AOA, a little research without publication.
Thanks. Good luck with match day.
 

Kalel

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My impression is that the top ~10 programs (MGH, Hopkins, etc) are the only IM programs that use step I cutoffs. For those programs, you should aim for 235+. For the mid-tier programs, just aim for above avg and you should be fine. I know of some students who are getting good interviews with below avg step I scores and good clinical grades as well, so I don't think that step I matters all that much for most IM programs.
 

avendesora

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You should shoot to do better than average. That's really all the better you need. More important to honor your core clerkships and get strong (better than "Joe is a good student") letters.

That being said, 255 is always going to go over better than 215.
 

yomanjr

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For the most part, unless your a foreign medical grad, the pressure to ace Step 1 is minimal. It would help only of your other areas are weak. AOA is fine for ENT but for IM, the caliber of the evaluations and your letters of rec have more clout. 255 over 215.... that's a fixation with numbers. 230 has been quoted by many applicants as a cutoff. Do not be misled. This is not essential and again the whole package is considered. Remember, IM programs particularly the strong ones want candidates that have particular strengths that will add diversity to the class. Choose your strength and emphasize that on your applications when you apply. Good luck.
 

cbc

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It'd be nice if you could please list all of these programs that use a cutoff. At least we know in the future if we are average we will specifically not apply to these places.

Originally posted by Kalel
My impression is that the top ~10 programs (MGH, Hopkins, etc) are the only IM programs that use step I cutoffs. For those programs, you should aim for 235+. For the mid-tier programs, just aim for above avg and you should be fine. I know of some students who are getting good interviews with below avg step I scores and good clinical grades as well, so I don't think that step I matters all that much for most IM programs.
 
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