drCA

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I'm a female CA Resident who went to med school in the midwest. I want a Gen Surg residency in CA, and I'm wondering if I'm competitive. My Step I Scores are ~220. Can I get USC, UCLA or Loma Linda w/ that? Also, what programs would you recommend that don't work you to the bone and are not malignant? I'm planning on taking Step 2 in March so my scores won't count towards apps. Grades/activities/letters of rec are above average, but nothing super. I do have a good personality, though. Please give feedback. Thanks.
-Trying to get home to CA :)
 
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drCA

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I know I could take Step 2 early, but I've talked to a lot of people who did not do as well on Step 2, and I know it looks worse if you do the same or +/- 5 points on Step 2. I'm not really feeling like studying that much, nor do I have the time (b/c of externships), so I've decided to put it off on the chance that if I do worse I screw myself over for residencies where I have a decent chance.
 

tom_jones

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drCA said:
I know I could take Step 2 early, but I've talked to a lot of people who did not do as well on Step 2, and I know it looks worse if you do the same or +/- 5 points on Step 2. I'm not really feeling like studying that much, nor do I have the time (b/c of externships), so I've decided to put it off on the chance that if I do worse I screw myself over for residencies where I have a decent chance.

You need to suck it up and study for step 2. 220 is a low score and g.s. on the west coast is competitive. If you don't put the effort in, you only have yourself to blame if you don't match.
 

doc05

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drCA said:
I know I could take Step 2 early, but I've talked to a lot of people who did not do as well on Step 2, and I know it looks worse if you do the same or +/- 5 points on Step 2. I'm not really feeling like studying that much, nor do I have the time (b/c of externships), so I've decided to put it off on the chance that if I do worse I screw myself over for residencies where I have a decent chance.

I don't understand this logic. You've asked if a 220 is good enough. It's barely above average, surgery is competitive again, and California is the most sought-after location in the country. Can you match with a 220? Maybe. But the only thing you can do to improve this area of your application is to put in your best efforts and take step 2 early.

I does NOT look worse if your score is about the same. It looks consistent. Most everyone gets very similar scores on steps 1 and 2: if you score the same, you're not hurting your chances. If you do better, it may help get a few more interviews. I would only recommend taking step 2 late if step 1 was a 240 or better.
 

whipple

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doc05 said:
I don't understand this logic. You've asked if a 220 is good enough. It's barely above average, surgery is competitive again, and California is the most sought-after location in the country. Can you match with a 220? Maybe. But the only thing you can do to improve this area of your application is to put in your best efforts and take step 2 early.

I does NOT look worse if your score is about the same. It looks consistent. Most everyone gets very similar scores on steps 1 and 2: if you score the same, you're not hurting your chances. If you do better, it may help get a few more interviews. I would only recommend taking step 2 late if step 1 was a 240 or better.

Come on people. Step1 of 240? Just be real. Applicants with step1 of 240 will not think about general surgery. ENT, OPTHO, RAD, ORTHO etc will be their goal. Anyway, taking step 2 early to better yr score helps. We can't force you to take step 2 if you don't want to. Step 1 220 to me is ok, but it seems u can do better and please don't stress yr self over this. Talk to yr PD, he/she knows better. Good luck.
Whipple
 

jayman

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whipple said:
Come on people. Step1 of 240? Just be real. Applicants with step1 of 240 will not think about general surgery. ENT, OPTHO, RAD, ORTHO etc will be their goal. Anyway, taking step 2 early to better yr score helps. We can't force you to take step 2 if you don't want to. Step 1 220 to me is ok, but it seems u can do better and please don't stress yr self over this. Talk to yr PD, he/she knows better. Good luck.
Whipple

Ummm...what are you talking about? I have a step 1 of 240 and I'm planning on doing general surgery. Are you implying that a high step 1 score all of a sudden changes med students' career goals...maybe if you're a tool it would, but most people I know still intend to go for whatever residency they like regardless of their step 1. I know some 250's going for I.M. and family med, and I know several 220's going for ENT and neurosurg.

My advice to the o.p. - if you're satisfied with your score and have other stuff on your app that you feel good about, then go with your instinct...but if you're going to stress about your step 1 during the whole process of matching, you might find that studying for step 2 may be the lesser of the two evils.
 

ZigZag

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doc05 said:
I don't understand this logic. You've asked if a 220 is good enough. It's barely above average, surgery is competitive again, and California is the most sought-after location in the country. Can you match with a 220? Maybe. But the only thing you can do to improve this area of your application is to put in your best efforts and take step 2 early.

I does NOT look worse if your score is about the same. It looks consistent. Most everyone gets very similar scores on steps 1 and 2: if you score the same, you're not hurting your chances. If you do better, it may help get a few more interviews. I would only recommend taking step 2 late if step 1 was a 240 or better.
I chronically feel that I am not reading enough through the 3rd year, so I feel like catching up on some reading before starting my 4th year electives just to be more confident about things when asked. Somebody inevitably will say that 4 weeks won't change the picture much, but I think I need these 4 weeks before the "important" electives. What do you guys think?

I am in a similar situation here with 220s, but I don't care much for location. How early is early? Will the end of October be too late?
Any opinions about which programs are easier to get into location wise ?

Does anybody know the average scores for people who didn't match into categorical G Surgery?
 

Winged Scapula

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ZigZag said:
I chronically feel that I am not reading enough through the 3rd year, so I feel like catching up on some reading before starting my 4th year electives just to be more confident about things when asked. Somebody inevitably will say that 4 weeks won't change the picture much, but I think I need these 4 weeks before the "important" electives. What do you guys think?

I am in a similar situation here with 220s, but I don't care much for location. How early is early? Will the end of October be too late?
Any opinions about which programs are easier to get into location wise ?

Does anybody know the average scores for people who didn't match into categorical G Surgery?
I'm not sure what you are referring to when you mentioned end of October. Taking Step 2, doing some surgical electives, filinf your app for GS residencies?

At any rate, since November 1 ( and sometimes October 15) is the traditional deadline or apps to GS programs, I'd say end of October is too late to take Step 2 if you want programs to know the score when making interview decisions (you would have to FAX it to them yourself because there is no guarantee they'll download it from ERAS after November 1), to late to do Surgery electives if you want LORs from those rotations nd cutting it close for applications.