Dec 15, 2013
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Medical Student
Do you guys know of any programs that require step 2 ck/cs before the program puts in tits rank list?
 

Trastuz

5+ Year Member
Oct 15, 2012
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Everyone always says yes but no one can ever explicitly name a program besides UCSF. Curious to see the responses here.
 
Oct 17, 2013
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None that I know of do it explicitly, but the program at my institution will assign a value of step I - 20 points for people who don't report one. They just assume that you did much worse if you aren't going to share it or be prepared enough to take it in time.

I'm not sure how ethics works into it. If they think Step 2 is an important measure of successful residents in their program or have been burned in the past by residents not being able to start their internship because they didn't pass, it is their right to use it as a criterion.
 

tco

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Apr 22, 2008
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None that I know of do it explicitly, but the program at my institution will assign a value of step I - 20 points for people who don't report one. They just assume that you did much worse if you aren't going to share it or be prepared enough to take it in time.

I'm not sure how ethics works into it. If they think Step 2 is an important measure of successful residents in their program or have been burned in the past by residents not being able to start their internship because they didn't pass, it is their right to use it as a criterion.
This is the second thread that you've chimed in about how your institution does this, but did not name the institution. Where are you, exactly? As stated earlier, there's only one known program that will not rank if CK/CS are omitted. If you don't feel that your anonymity can remain with naming the program, that's understandable...

This is not the norm, I'm 100% sure of it. If you bombed step 2 CK, but have a great Step 1, do not report it. You have a better chance of matching somewhere respectable without it, even if you don't end up matching at Mac or Miller's institution. They're willing to bet on you if you have a great step 1...Anyone could have a bad day, and programs are ruthless about seeing a poor score report. Deal with the repercussions after you match.

Also, Re: Ethics - Ethics has nothing to do with it. Programs can do whatever they want, and rightly so.
 
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Oct 17, 2013
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I agree to not report it if you "bombed" it; it's just that "bombing" it means different things for different programs. You called a 240 mortal previously; that is still over the average and very high for the people we interview.

Where I am is a vastly different place than you, but I can't say. We don't have 250+ people come to where I live. This has been an issue on SDN forever--it is a forum over-represented by people who are 2 standard deviations over the typical student.

As you said, programs are ruthless about seeing a poor score report. Somebody on the other thread said programs don't want you to submit a low score report.
 

tco

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Apr 22, 2008
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I agree to not report it if you "bombed" it; it's just that "bombing" it means different things for different programs. You called a 240 mortal previously; that is still over the average and very high for the people we interview.
This is what I was addressing in the other thread. If some SDNers "bomb" step 2, it can be a whole SD drop from where they were on Step 1, but still well above average for the nation. I feel this is a dangerous place to be as an applicant, as you have to explain why you only beat the average by 1 SD.

Where I am is a vastly different place than you, but I can't say. We don't have 250+ people come to where I live. This has been an issue on SDN forever--it is a forum over-represented by people who are 2 standard deviations over the typical student.
Agreed. I've interviewed at a number of programs (that I've liked a lot) who have basically looked at me, puzzled, because I was interviewing there with a high boards score, and I definitely don't represent the upper class of students on SDN. I hate big cities, and only made a few exceptions to the "no big cities" rule. That leaves me with smaller programs that aren't usually too competitive, which I'm fine with. I don't need someone else to tell me that a program is good for me to want to go there.

As you said, programs are ruthless about seeing a poor score report. Somebody on the other thread said programs don't want you to submit a low score report.
I think that was me. One of my interviewers told me to not submit it if I wasn't happy with the result.
 
Oct 17, 2013
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Just to sum up some of my thoughts about step 2 reporting before rank lists are final and maybe explain where I am coming from...

In 2006 when the earlier "Charting Outcomes" documents were coming out, step 1 overshadowed step 2 because this was back when only something like 20-25% of radiology applicants were submitting step 2 CK scores at all; and this was mainly those who felt like they needed to show improvement. This was as radiology was approaching its peak popularity.

In about 2009-2010, step 1 averages had gone way up, from about 230-232 to 238 in 2011. Programs got drunk off of the applicants and didn't interview enough of them (leading to increases in unfilled slots), but step 2 became more important as the specialty was attracting plenty of 240+ people who were clustering and in need of additional discrimination. Plus 220er's needed to prove themselves. So programs started accumulating more data on how step 2 CK might correlate with resident success.

In 2006, a 225 step 1 applicant could (I know several who did) easily snare 10 interviews and match a second tier program in the region without difficulty. By 2010, the same second tier program wasn't interviewing sub-230.

Some programs stuck by step 1 as their primary discriminator, others started putting more weight on step 2 CK. Take 2 classmates from the Class of 2011 at my alma mater:
Applicant 1: 232 step 1, AOA, didn't get an interview at second tier program X that was interviewing people from his school the year prior at 225; applicant 1 gets (and reports) a 252 on step 2 CK and matches a top tier program Y nationally.
Applicant 2: 262 step 1, AOA, interviews at both program X and Y, doesn't report step 2 CK, slides past program Y on his list and matches locally.

These are similar applicants otherwise, and both interview well.

I will say that at some places, they won't respond to applications that are too competitive because they don't match those people and want to save their interview spots for people who will actually match.

The point is that all regions are different. If you live in California, you very well may need a 250 and to report a 250 step 2 CK to be competitive. I don't know. If you are in the middle of the country, however, there are places that don't fill with US grads if at all.