ninini

5+ Year Member
Sep 11, 2011
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My step 2 ck score just came out: 214. I have no idea how this happened. I felt so prepared.

Step 1:235

My stats were not great to begin with and now this. I'm from a top 10 school and am taking a year off to do research, hoping to have several pubs by the end of the year.

Do I still have a shot at rad onc?
 

ramsesthenice

7+ Year Member
Dec 2, 2011
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208
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Attending Physician
Its certainly not a good thing. Don't let this site get to you, a 235 is a fine step 1 score. Hopefully people stop looking there. Did you request USMLE to send your scores out when you registered for step 2?. As I have said many times before here, programs are not going to chase down a step 2 score. If you didn't ask USMLE to send it, they are not going to. Then it would be a non-issue unless someone asked you about step 2. I never got asked once on the trail.
 
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ninini

5+ Year Member
Sep 11, 2011
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The problem is I took a year off to do research so I am not applying until next year. I took step 2 early because I wanted to crush it. I did so well on practice tests this honestly came out of left field. Do you think there is any wu for me to still withold this score?
 

ramsesthenice

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Dec 2, 2011
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I have always thought not many people pay close attention to step 2. I really don't know in this case. I doubt it will keep you out of the field but it's not helping, that's for sure.

I've said it before, I'll say it again. You had a good but not great step 1 score. You had very little to gain by "crushing" step 2. It wasn't going to push you into a higher tier. The consequences of not doing well are now going to follow you. The potential downside far outweighed the potential upside. For most people, like yourself, there is no reason to take it early.
 
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ninini

5+ Year Member
Sep 11, 2011
26
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Yeah I really really regret it now. How else (besides working as hard as I can on research) can I make up for it? Any other opinions on the topic?
 

ramsesthenice

7+ Year Member
Dec 2, 2011
446
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Attending Physician
Relax. Step 1 is way more important and people with 214s on step 1 do match (quite often actually). You said your at a top program so you should be able to good letters from good people. Add some publications, you can certainly match. Nothing you can do about step 2 now. Just keep your eyes on what's ahead of you.
 

thecarbonionangle

5+ Year Member
Aug 23, 2014
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never should have taken it so early. bad angle there brotha. I don't think there is a way to withhold the score now because you will check to submit your USMLE transcript to every program. In some people's mind the score may take a bit of shine from your step 1 score. You will very likely be asked about it and it will keep you out of some programs. It will not keep you out of the field however. Do well on your aways. Pick them very smartly. Avoid any place that is "top". I think the best aways are solid midtier low tier places that actually get you an inteview TBH.
 

evilbooyaa

Staff member
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7+ Year Member
Oct 10, 2011
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For the record, since you took Step 2 so early, there is no way to only send Step 1 and not Step 2. Sorry I can't give you any advice besides lower your outlook slightly in terms of where you might end up matching, and do well on aways/research/letters (the areas of your application you can control now).
 
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ninini

5+ Year Member
Sep 11, 2011
26
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Thanks for the advice guys. What I'm gathering now is that I can still match into the field, just not at a great program.

I'm definitely going to work hard from now on and hopefully produce a couple of papers this year. I'm close with my program director so hopefully my letter will be good.

This is just so unexpected and incredibly stressful right now. I was overconfident and I definitely shot myself in the foot.
 
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ninini

5+ Year Member
Sep 11, 2011
26
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Any more advice? Do you guys think it is necessary for me to apply to another field as a back up? I'm planning to apply to all the rad onc programs anyway.
 

withrye

7+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2010
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You go to a top 10 school and you're about to spend a year doing research. Have an honest discussion with your PD next spring about how your application looks and take her/his advice to heart regarding whether you should apply to more than one field. You have every reason in the world to prioritize your PD's honest advice over a collection of strangers on the internet who don't know you and your strengths/weaknesses as well.
 
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ninini

5+ Year Member
Sep 11, 2011
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Thanks. I actually scheduled a meeting with him next week. I guess I'm just so anxious and kind of in a state of shock right now. I'm trying to get as many opinions as I can, especially from those who have recently matched or work in the field, which is why I'm turning to sdn so much.
 

hot sauce

7+ Year Member
Mar 10, 2010
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Attending Physician
Sorry about the disappointing score. I would agree with others that the score should not prevent you from matching. I think some programs look at step 2 and others do not at all. So, it may hurt you at some programs but not all.

I disagree with those saying step 2 early was a mistake. If you are taking a year off for research between 3rd and 4th year, I would argue it is better to take step 2 while 3rd year information is fresh.