Step 1 score preclude me from considering academic DR programs on coasts?

Jul 6, 2017
235
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New M3 trying to put together a game plan to position myself optimally for residency apps.
I recently scored a 237 on Step 1 (unfortunately underscored, likely related to COVID/Prometric rescheduling).

I'm originally from the South and currently attend a top ~25 med school in the South; however I went to undergrad and did M1 summer research on the East Coast (both major but different cities). I would love to either return to the East Coast (NYC/Bos/Philly) or explore a new city on the West Coast (LA/SF/Seattle) for residency. Would prefer an academic program (thinking along the lines of Mt. Sinai, Albert Einstein, Downstate in NYC, Tufts/BU/BID/Brown, maybe even Yale?), mostly because I don't want to close doors on academic radiology and think my little bit of research experience may help "boost" me for these programs. But I'm also not at all opposed to solid community programs.

Currently haven't started any rotations yet (thanks again Covid) but planning to work like hell to H as many as possible and do well on Step 2 (goal = 250+). Hoping that since I graduate in 2022 and that's when Step 1 goes P/F, then maybe programs will pay more attention to Step 2 even my year.

Research: I have an amazing relationship with a pretty popular and well-connected radiologist at my home department. On track to publish 1+ first-author pub(s) in DR (definitely submitting a scientific one, may add another lower-key one), and planning to submit 1 first-author pub in IR (not super interested in IR; just found the QI research interesting; faculty member is a big name though). Also have 1 pub in high-impact journal from undergrad (not even close to 1st or 2nd author though).

Also have decent ECs (leadership, volunteering, work experience) but from what I hear they're more boxes to check and not looked at thoroughly.

I guess I just feel like my extremely average step score is really the one thing "holding me back"! I am just curious what level of programs on the coasts are considered my "targets," especially taking into account regional bias. Thanks in advance!
 
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pterion-fx

7+ Year Member
Sep 9, 2013
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I matched at a top 20 on the West Coast. The programs on the coast are extremely competitive. Because radiology training is long and the hours are nice people rank nice locations over maybe how they “should.”

So academic+nice location is going to be super competitive.
If you’re at Harvard/Yale/Hopkins you’ll get looks nice matter what your score is.
 
Jul 6, 2017
235
132
I matched at a top 20 on the West Coast. The programs on the coast are extremely competitive. Because radiology training is long and the hours are nice people rank nice locations over maybe how they “should.”

So academic+nice location is going to be super competitive.
If you’re at Harvard/Yale/Hopkins you’ll get looks nice matter what your score is.

Thanks for your input. I know I probably am not competitive for a "top" program, which is why I listed some low-mid tier academic ones! Do you think that my step score would not be considered at those as well?
 
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redalert

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Sep 24, 2018
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I actually think you have a chance at very good but maybe not the most elite programs. UW, UCSD, Yale, Mt Sinai, BU for example should be within your reach if you do well in your clinical rotations
 
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TheThirdLevel

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Feb 12, 2010
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If you are at a T25 with a solid letter from a well known name, you will easily match at a solid academic east coast program as long as you apply broadly. The very top ones might be a bit tougher, but for most of those on your list I'd be surprised if you weren't in the mix.
 

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