Sep 21, 2010
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I had a question for aPD or others who may know. After one interviews at a certain program, do schools automatically rank applicants with higher board scores higher or is it possible for an applicant who scored between 200-225 on both step1/2 to be ranked above someone in the 225-250 range??????
This whole ranking thingy is a mystery to meee.:eek:
 

hot sauce

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Programs rank however they want. A program could choose to rank all the applicants in order of USMLE scores but the majority of programs use board scores as one component of ranking not the only factor. So yes it is possible that someone with a lower board score to be ranked above someone with a higher score and I would say it happens frequently.
 

mcl

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I had a question for aPD or others who may know. After one interviews at a certain program, do schools automatically rank applicants with higher board scores higher or is it possible for an applicant who scored between 200-225 on both step1/2 to be ranked above someone in the 225-250 range??????
This whole ranking thingy is a mystery to meee.:eek:
I think it depends a lot on what a given program is looking for in its residents. My program emphasizes fit and cohesiveness, so the interview scores and resident feeback are given the greatest weight during the rank order meeting, and USMLE scores become a factor when candidates appear equal in other respects. But each program is different and weighs various factors in various ways to come up with an ROL that works for them--which is why the process seems so mysterious.

Try not to worry too much about what criteria programs use in their final rankings or where you might fall on their list. They thought you were qualified to be a resident in their program or they would not have invited you. Do your best during the interview, follow up afterward to convey appreciation and continued interest, and rank the programs you visited in the order in which you'd like to match.
 

Law2Doc

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I had a question for aPD or others who may know. After one interviews at a certain program, do schools automatically rank applicants with higher board scores higher or is it possible for an applicant who scored between 200-225 on both step1/2 to be ranked above someone in the 225-250 range??????
This whole ranking thingy is a mystery to meee.:eek:
As mentioned, they rank them however they want. To the extent a program places emphasis on Step 1, they are going to limit their interviews accordingly, so if you got an interview, it means you probably have an adequate score for them. Programs have a finite number of interviews and try to cull the herd based on the paper file before they invite you in, so once you show up, it's really a question of whether they like you and think you are as dynamic in person as on paper.

They aren't going to say, we loved this first guy, but this other guy we didn't like as much got a 250 so we are going to take this second guy anyway. If that was their methodology, there would be no reason to have interviews at all. You have to realize that while numbers are important, finding folks that will make good residents from the group of folks who have adequate numbers is more important. The PD doesn't want a bunch of residents just because they have a 250. He'd rather have folks within his range (say, 220+) who can do the job without causing him any headaches.

The PD's goal is simple and twofold, he has to invite folks in for an interview who meet the paper standards of the program (wherever the cutoff for that particular program may be) who (1) can do the job without too much handholding or complaints about them, and (2) can pass the inservice exams and board certifications. So he sets his interview threshold for folks who seem to meet these criteria, and then refines this decision once he meets the folks in person. As hot sauce suggests, of the people who get interviewed, the ones who impress the most ON INTERVIEW DAY are the ones who get ranked highest, regardless of their board scores. So don't screw it up.

And don't psych yourself out if some dufus at the interview day mentions his stellar step 1. If he's throwing that out there, he's going to come off as too full of himself and is not getting the job.
 

Law2Doc

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... My program emphasizes fit and cohesiveness, so the interview scores and resident feeback are given the greatest weight during the rank order meeting, and USMLE scores become a factor when candidates appear equal in other respects. ...
I would say 99.9% of all categorical and advanced programs have this same mentality. You simply aren't going to find a place that just wants the high Step rather than someone who will be a solid member of the team. Prelim programs may be more score oriented, however, because some simply need bodies, know they are going to toss them aside in a year anyhow, and thus are satisfied with folks who will give them a high in-service exam average. Which is why you see many small community prelim programs stockpiling FMGs with crazy high test scores, even in cases where spoken english and experience with the US healthcare model is not at the level it ought to be.