SandP

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This has been asked before but I want a more updated response. Asking b/c I am trying to decide how to allocate my time as an M2. I.e.person A has step 1 of 270, all honors on rotations vs. person B has a 240 on step 1, all honors on rotations, and AOA. Who wins?
 

Rekt

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This has been asked before but I want a more updated response. Asking b/c I am trying to decide how to allocate my time as an M2. I.e.person A has step 1 of 270, all honors on rotations vs. person B has a 240 on step 1, all honors on rotations, and AOA. Who wins?
It's not rocket science. People don't want to hear it, but there's an obvious correlation to preclinical performance and Step scores. If you suck during your first two years, you're not magically going to get a 270. There's exceptions, but it isn't the rule.

People like to cite that their school "teaches low yield material", but my exam had tons of "low-yield" topics that wasn't hit on with UFAP, but I was lucky enough to remember from preclinicals.
 
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Jabbed

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This has been asked before but I want a more updated response. Asking b/c I am trying to decide how to allocate my time as an M2. I.e.person A has step 1 of 270, all honors on rotations vs. person B has a 240 on step 1, all honors on rotations, and AOA. Who wins?
You want the CV triple threat:

1. Step 1 >250
2. M3 Honors
3. AOA

Everything beyond that is icing on the cake imo (ivy league, ranked 1st in your class, notable research/experience, outrageous Step scores, impressive awards/LOR writers)

With regards to Step scores, I'm honestly unsure how much value gets assigned to 250 vs 260 vs 270. I feel like a 270 has to turn heads, but not sure if it actually translates onto rank lists.

With all that said, I would find person A to be more impressive.
 
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wegh

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PS, regardless of how you allocate your time, you statistically aren't going to end up either of those people. Just work hard and do your best
 
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With regards to Step scores, I'm honestly unsure how much value gets assigned to 250 vs 260 vs 270. I feel like a 270 has to turn heads, but not sure if it actually translates onto rank lists.
Depends whether the program director is a size queen. I've heard some PD talk about stratospheric step scores with awe and others couldn't seem to care less, as long as it's it's above some threshold.

My school didn't have AOA, so I don't know what goes into it exactly, but my impression is that step scores are often included in AOA consideration. And clinical grades. Clinical grades depend on shelf scores. Shelf scores will draw, to some degree, on stuff you learn for step 1. I don't see these things as goals that are at odds with each other.
 
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Dermpire

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The answer is likely specialty specific. Derm and Plastics have over 50% AOA and students with AOA have an approximately 90% match rate, while those without were drastically lower (I want to say around 50-60% but it's been a while so I don't remember for sure). Good Step and AOA is clutch, but no one can compare how many points on step AOA is worth.
 

Lexdiamondz

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AOA.

Your step 1 scores say how hard you studied for an 8 hr exam. AOA says more about 1) how you stack up relative to your peers and 2) how your institution views you. Ultimately that says more about the kind of student you are and the kind of resident you'd make.


Anecdotally, I know many clinically iffy people who did well on Step 1 because they generally do well on standardised exams. On the contrary, nearly everyone who made AOA was pretty damn solid (even if you don't think they quite deserved AOA status).

The value of a given Step 1 score values from specialty to specialty but AOA status is almost universally seen as an indicator of excellence and looked upon very favourably. You almost can't quantify how much it matters.
 

metview

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This has been asked before but I want a more updated response. Asking b/c I am trying to decide how to allocate my time as an M2. I.e.person A has step 1 of 270, all honors on rotations vs. person B has a 240 on step 1, all honors on rotations, and AOA. Who wins?
Person A wins without a doubt. If both have identical clinical grades, the higher step score wins especially if the difference is 10 plus. Certain specialties will not even look at your app if your score is below their step 1 cutoff. AOA selection is very subjective and political and takes into account your involvement with school organizations.
 
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mcloaf

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AOA.

Your step 1 scores say how hard you studied for an 8 hr exam. AOA says more about 1) how you stack up relative to your peers and 2) how your institution views you. Ultimately that says more about the kind of student you are and the kind of resident you'd make.


Anecdotally, I know many clinically iffy people who did well on Step 1 because they generally do well on standardised exams. On the contrary, nearly everyone who made AOA was pretty damn solid (even if you don't think they quite deserved AOA status).

The value of a given Step 1 score values from specialty to specialty but AOA status is almost universally seen as an indicator of excellence and looked upon very favourably. You almost can't quantify how much it matters.
This interpretation of AOA is heavily dependent on the nomination process and criteria, which can vary widely.

For schools that use softer criteria like volunteering or leadership I don't think those are highly reliable metrics or good indicators of clinical ability.

The alternative is to have it awarded based solely on grades and maybe step scores, which is great but what's the value added? You can see all my grades and the distribution for my class is in the MSPE, what new information does AOA status offer in that case?

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SpikesnSpookes

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AOA makes you stand out more than a single board score. Sure step 1 is important, but AOA is a marker of long term clinical success.
 

Foot Fetish

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This interpretation of AOA is heavily dependent on the nomination process and criteria, which can vary widely.

For schools that use softer criteria like volunteering or leadership I don't think those are highly reliable metrics or good indicators of clinical ability.

The alternative is to have it awarded based solely on grades and maybe step scores, which is great but what's the value added? You can see all my grades and the distribution for my class is in the MSPE, what new information does AOA status offer in that case?

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This.

AOA is a glorified good Samaritan award at some schools. At my school, for example, they basically pick the students who joined the most interest groups and took on the most student government positions. PD's know this. There is a reason that Step 1 is consistently cited as the #1 factor by PD's. Board scores are the only 100% objective metric on one's application.
 

SpikesnSpookes

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This.

AOA is a glorified good Samaritan award at some schools. At my school, for example, they basically pick the students who joined the most interest groups and took on the most student government positions. PD's know this. There is a reason that Step 1 is consistently cited as the #1 factor by PD's. Board scores are the only 100% objective metric on one's application.
You're probably right that the only 100% objective metric at your school, who gives AOA to students with interest group leadership, is board scores....at my school, and many others, AOA is determined only by academic performance over the course of 2-3 years. This is a big reason why 90% of AOA students in dermatology and ortho match....PDs know this significance of AOA. You can have a 260 and be clueless when it comes to real life decision making.
 
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Lexdiamondz

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This.

AOA is a glorified good Samaritan award at some schools. At my school, for example, they basically pick the students who joined the most interest groups and took on the most student government positions. PD's know this. There is a reason that Step 1 is consistently cited as the #1 factor by PD's. Board scores are the only 100% objective metric on one's application.
Board scores are consistently cited as the #1 factor because everyone takes them - AOA, in contrast, only applies to approx 10% of a given class. In reality, board scores are important because it makes it easy to filter out applicants, not because they mean anything substantive after a certain threshold. You're not gaining much by ranking a 265 over a 250.
 

Foot Fetish

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You're probably right that the only 100% objective metric at your wonderland school, who gives AOA to students with interest group leadership, is board scores....at my school, and many others, AOA is determined only by academic performance over the course of 2-3 years. This is a big reason why 90% of AOA students in dermatology and ortho match....PDs know this significance of AOA. You can have a 260 and be a total chump when it comes to real life decision making.
My school is not unique. You need to be the top quarter of the class to be considered , but then the actual selection criteria is based on extracurricular activity.
 
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Aug 15, 2017
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Step 1, then AOA.

However, there is a strong correlation between the two because those who did very well on Step 1 historically demonstrate success in their academic years, which essentially puts them in the running for AOA (not always, but typically).
 
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