Argentus

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I have come to a dilemma recently and have not been able to come to a viable solution by myself so I turn to you folks for some assistance. I have good but not great grades 1st and 2nd year a few A's, mostly B's and one C; A's for peds, medicine and family pracitice so far, OB/GYN grade is still pending, probable A-B on psych and surgery. Step I score 222, average 217 for my year. I am very enthusiastic about EM and truly feel that it will be a specialty that both satisifies my professional and personal goals in life. My question is: should I take Step II before or after I apply? An additional factor is that my wife and I will be couples mathching; she is applying for rads, AOA, 240 step I. Any responses will be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your help in advance. :)
 

mikecwru

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Argentus said:
I have come to a dilemma recently and have not been able to come to a viable solution by myself so I turn to you folks for some assistance. I have good but not great grades 1st and 2nd year a few A's, mostly B's and one C; A's for peds, medicine and family pracitice so far, OB/GYN grade is still pending, probable A-B on psych and surgery. Step I score 222, average 217 for my year. I am very enthusiastic about EM and truly feel that it will be a specialty that both satisifies my professional and personal goals in life. My question is: should I take Step II before or after I apply? An additional factor is that my wife and I will be couples mathching; she is applying for rads, AOA, 240 step I. Any responses will be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your help in advance. :)
I would say take it. It's easier, and if you study for it, it will probably help you. You sound like a pretty good applicant regardless.

Note, check and see if your school requires step 2 by a certain date. Mine required it by Jan so all the residencies saw my score regardless.

mike
 

WilcoWorld

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As for timing, I recommend taking it sometime after your 1st or 2nd EM rotation. I felt that those rotations emphasised the breadth and priority-oriented approach that were incredibly similar to what I saw on Step 2.

As for performance, I studied about 1/10th as had as I did for Step 1 & significantly increased my score. Judging from all accounts I've heard, this is rather common.
 

willlynilly

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nice job with the wife. aoa. nice.

222 is not going to get you any interviews, but it also wont reject you from too many places. once again, as it's been said ad nauseaum on these boards... there is so much more to being a good EM applicant then a good boards score... i think wilco's advice is good. just study a couple of weeks, and you should improve your score, esp after an EM rotation.
 

ekydrd

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willlynilly said:
222 is not going to get you any interviews...
I'd have to differ with you on that one. My score was lower than that and I got some very good interviews, so it may be better to say that it won't keep you from getting any interviews, it just won't help get more.
 

doc05

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step 2 is really easy compared to step 1. I suggest you take it right after you've finished 3rd year. that will allow you to get it out of the way before your EM rotations when you'll want to devote all your energies to impressing important attendings.
 
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Argentus

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It seems reasonable to take the Step 2 right after third year, theoretically at that tiime third year will be freshest in my mind.
 

USAF MD '05

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Argentus said:
It seems reasonable to take the Step 2 right after third year, theoretically at that tiime third year will be freshest in my mind.
Yep- That is a good plan. The USAF required me to take mine by Sept 15th this past year. I was really bummed at first, but I did super well with almost no study, since i had just finished all those damn Shelf exams. It was very nice to have it over and done with. I feel bad for my buddies who are studying OB/Gyn for the first time in a year and a half, since it seemed that my test had lots of it on there. Take it early and smile at all the others later. Good luck. :luck:
 

12R34Y

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Argentus said:
It seems reasonable to take the Step 2 right after third year, theoretically at that tiime third year will be freshest in my mind.
I agree with the taking step 2 right after 3rd year. I've scheduled mine for 1 month after third year ends. Can't wait to get it over with.

later
 

Purulent DC

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Argentus said:
I have come to a dilemma recently and have not been able to come to a viable solution by myself so I turn to you folks for some assistance. I have good but not great grades 1st and 2nd year a few A's, mostly B's and one C; A's for peds, medicine and family pracitice so far, OB/GYN grade is still pending, probable A-B on psych and surgery. Step I score 222, average 217 for my year. I am very enthusiastic about EM and truly feel that it will be a specialty that both satisifies my professional and personal goals in life. My question is: should I take Step II before or after I apply? An additional factor is that my wife and I will be couples mathching; she is applying for rads, AOA, 240 step I. Any responses will be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your help in advance. :)
I had step I scores a half a dozen points below average and got too many interviews. I had attended an east coast school and wanted to return to the west coast. I interviewed at most (but not all) programs in California, and didn't really feel limited by this unimpressive score. I think your clinical grades are more important, combined with your EM 4th year rotation evals, rec. letters, etc. I didn't take Step II until December, and my score, a dozen or so points above average, wasn't back until mid-January. When I told PDs while interviewing that I had just gotten my Step II scores back, several asked merely, "Did you pass?", and none seemed interested in the actual score.

Realize that this is a process with MANY components involved. Some will shine in some areas, others will shine in other areas. Very few will shine in all areas. If you have a dream program, rotate there and express you interest and work hard accordingly. Be a team player and have people stoked to have you on their shift, and you'll get the recs you need.
 

dchristismi

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I agree with the others and would take it relatively soon after third year. I did a home EM month (which also allowed for generous study time) in July, and took it at the end of July. It's a lot easier than Step 1, in that it's all clinical. I'd highly recommend Step 2 Secrets (or Crush - they're almost identical, just different formats) and Boards and Wards - high yield stuff there.

I hit the average on step 1, and my step 2 was 29 points higher.

And I'm very, very glad I got it over with when I did. I scheduled some cush months during interview season, and was really glad I wasn't having to study. (Or even think about it.)
 

Hercules

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So just to offer an alternate point of view, let me add my 2 cents. Waiting to take Step 2 until later has been presented as stressful here. It really isn't. I took my Step 2 last Friday. I never felt like it was hanging over my head b/c I knew that by postponing it, it became a P/F test. I read Crush the Boards once a couple days before the test, worked a couple hundred practice questions, and took the test. I would definitely do it again.
 

Dr.Evil1

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I had very similar grades and such up until 4th year. I did very well in my EM clerkship and took Step 2 in Oct. I applied to 18 EM programs and got interviews at 13 before getting back my Step 2 scores (40 points higher). I got 1 additional interview that I can attribute to my Step 2 score....you would think this isn't that important but I ranked this program number 1.

I would say that you can't hurt yourself by taking a little time and taking Step 2. You can definetly help yourself.