Aug 15, 2016
3
1
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Medical Student
Hi all,

I'm currently scheduled to take STEP 2 CK at the end of September, so I won't get my score back until the beginning of November. I was thinking that this wouldn't get in the way of too many interview invites, as I was lucky on STEP 1 and got a 250.

Looking on FREIDA, the vast majority of FM programs (over 80%) require STEP 2 scores for interview consideration. Can anyone comment about the accuracy of this? Should I be taking CK earlier?

Thanks for any advice!
 

Natividad Resident

FM resident
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Aug 13, 2016
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I wouldn't trust FREIDA on this. More specifically, "Step 2 scores required" doesn't generally mean "Step 2 scores required to apply".

Generally if your Step 1 is solid you don't need to worry about ERAS/interview scheduling. Generally programs want your Step 2 scores before they interview you, or at least early in the interview season. I can't imagine this being a problem even with October interviews.

Look for specifics on program websites. For your favorite programs, maybe send an email to confirm. Moving up a September CK or CS date should not be suggested nor required with a solid Step 1.
 
OP
F
Aug 15, 2016
3
1
Status
Medical Student
Thanks for the reply. I understand that it's perfectly acceptable to apply w/o a STEP 2 score, but the only reason why I got concerned was that the phrase on FREIDA is "USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 requirements for interview consideration" with breakdowns for yes/no for STEP 1 and STEP 2. All programs say "yes" for STEP 1 (obviously) and almost all programs say "yes" for STEP 2.
 

Natividad Resident

FM resident
2+ Year Member
Aug 13, 2016
50
89
Monterey County
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Thanks for the reply. I understand that it's perfectly acceptable to apply w/o a STEP 2 score, but the only reason why I got concerned was that the phrase on FREIDA is "USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 requirements for interview consideration" with breakdowns for yes/no for STEP 1 and STEP 2. All programs say "yes" for STEP 1 (obviously) and almost all programs say "yes" for STEP 2.
FREIDA is a directory hosted by the AMA, which sends out an annual survey to programs. You can see on a FREIDA program page when the survey was returned. You can frequently see how imprecise the answers are, such as a minimum 190 on Step 2. That's not a passing score. That's a minimum Step 1 score from 5+ years ago.

FREIDA doesn't own residency app/interview requirements. Programs do. Thus my suggestion to look at program websites, and email your favorite programs for clarification.

Family medicine programs tend to get a lot of applicants who got low Step 1 scores or needed multiple attempts to pass. Such applicants definitely need Step 2 for interview consideration. If you look at programs that list their minimum scores on their websites, you'll see a whole lot of 209 for CK. That's not a minimum score - it means you're required to pass. With a 250 on Step 1, PDs aren't actively worried about you passing Step 2. No FM PD is going to let your app sit in a pending pile waiting on a CK score when you have a 250. PDs know that the med school requirement for passing CK tends to be "by the end of the year" and they don't actually literally always require you to schedule your CK in July/August of your 4th year when a lot of strong students are doing sub-I's and aways.

Regardless, if you were to move up your date to tomorrow, you still wouldn't get your scores before ERAS submission date. You're applying without a Step 2 score. Hopefully it's well known that applying after the submission date is a mistake.

Seriously, pick one program, make a phone call to their coordinator. Call/email a few more as your schedule allows. You have to be clear that you have a 250 on Step 1 while you're asking. I wouldn't believe a "yes you have to have CK before you apply even with a 250 on Step 1" answer that comes from anybody other than the PD.

If you find that I'm totally wrong, kindly repost with the programs you contacted, and make sure to let your med school know that they did you wrong by letting you believe you could wait to take CK.
 
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OP
F
Aug 15, 2016
3
1
Status
Medical Student
Thank you so much for all the time that you put into this thoughtful response! It's greatly appreciated. You're right- I just need make a few phone calls to coordinators.

Thanks again for the great advice.
 
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