JMK2005

Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 3, 2004
678
19
Status
Attending Physician
I thought most med schools now were honors/pass/fail.

What percentage are still grades?

When reviewing applicants in the pass, didnt recall med school gpa to be a big criteria since not all schools have it.
 
Jan 29, 2013
4
0
Status
I was told that 3rd year clinical grades are very important when applying to Ophthalmology. The more honors the better. Particularly medicine and surgery. Especially if you're aiming for the top programs in the country.
 

MullerCell

10+ Year Member
Sep 11, 2008
101
52
Status
Attending Physician
Having reviewed tons of applications in the past few years, it is very hard to distinguish what each grade signifies at each medical school. Some schools give 10% honors, 85% pass, 5% fail. Others give 30% honors, 30% near honors, 35% high pass, and 5% pass. Grade distributions are often different on different 3rd year rotations in the same school. In the dean's letter, they do typically tell you what the distribution of grades is for each rotation, but nobody is going to comb through it when they have 100 applications to review. Grades are very inconsistent amongst different institutions, and thus are hard to use as a way to compare applicants. Good 3rd year grades certainly won't hurt, and early AOA will help for sure.
 

sven

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Oct 13, 2004
155
0
37
Status
As a medical student, I remember really stressing over every detail of my rotation evaluations and the exact composition of my dean's letter. In medicine, we tend to be perfectionists so this is only natural. You only have one application to look at - yours. Getting to review them from the other side, however, you realize that this is overly neurotic. Most readers only have time to skim them briefly. Most of the attention is usually focused on a few biographic details that make you a interesting person and then the summative paragraph that puts you in context and compares you to your fellow medical students and applicants. Nobody sitting down to interview you has any idea what line 3 of your ob/gyn evaluation said.

It also takes too much time to figure out exactly what grades mean in the context of a poorly-xeroxed and confusing sheet that gives the distributions for your specific school(s). The things that will put this in context are nuggets that can easily be grasped - e.g. junior AOA, USMLE scores, academic honors, etc. These things are easier to compare across institutions.

I think what honestly make an application stand out (beyond evidence of commitment to ophthalmology and good academic standing) are a compelling narrative and interesting life accomplishments. When crafting your application, I'd suggest you look it over and try to figure out what the top 5 things that a potential interviewer will glean from it will be. Be sure that you come across as an interesting person and not just a compilation of statistics.
 

DrZeke

yzarc gniog ylwolS
10+ Year Member
Apr 25, 2005
2,659
566
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I agree WHOLEHEARTEDLY with this statement. It is very confusing for other institutions to interpret what the heck your transcript even means. So, things like "AOA, top 10%..." are going to be distinguishing on a transcript. On the other end of the spectrum...a glaring negative remark in a narrative that may stand out can also be bad. Other than that, it seems like nobody cares. Board scores are very helpful and equalizing for many programs reviewing your app.

Good luck people and stop stressing over 3rd year grades...

As a medical student, I remember really stressing over every detail of my rotation evaluations and the exact composition of my dean's letter. In medicine, we tend to be perfectionists so this is only natural. You only have one application to look at - yours. Getting to review them from the other side, however, you realize that this is overly neurotic. Most readers only have time to skim them briefly. Most of the attention is usually focused on a few biographic details that make you a interesting person and then the summative paragraph that puts you in context and compares you to your fellow medical students and applicants. Nobody sitting down to interview you has any idea what line 3 of your ob/gyn evaluation said.

It also takes too much time to figure out exactly what grades mean in the context of a poorly-xeroxed and confusing sheet that gives the distributions for your specific school(s). The things that will put this in context are nuggets that can easily be grasped - e.g. junior AOA, USMLE scores, academic honors, etc. These things are easier to compare across institutions.

I think what honestly make an application stand out (beyond evidence of commitment to ophthalmology and good academic standing) are a compelling narrative and interesting life accomplishments. When crafting your application, I'd suggest you look it over and try to figure out what the top 5 things that a potential interviewer will glean from it will be. Be sure that you come across as an interesting person and not just a compilation of statistics.
 
OP
R
Jan 25, 2013
6
0
Status
thank you all for the responses. Best of luck to everyone in the match for the upcoming year.
 

airplanes

10+ Year Member
Jun 30, 2008
7,378
255
The Danger Zone
Status
Attending Physician
Just keep in mind that AOA and Top quartile are only possible with great clerkship grades, so while each rotation and the subsequent evaluations may not be super important, they all do contribute to the overall picture.
 

DrZeke

yzarc gniog ylwolS
10+ Year Member
Apr 25, 2005
2,659
566
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Actually at some schools they grant junior AOA without taking into account clerkship grades. EAch school has their own criteria for AOA...
 

airplanes

10+ Year Member
Jun 30, 2008
7,378
255
The Danger Zone
Status
Attending Physician
Actually at some schools they grant junior AOA without taking into account clerkship grades. EAch school has their own criteria for AOA...
Fair enough. Guess each applicant should assess how their schools do that sort of thing and plan accordingly. Our school had 5 junior AOA's a little over halfway through M3, and another 10 were given senior AOA in October, with all of third year accounted for. I think at our school, for the purposes of AOA and Class rank, M3 grades were approx double the value of M1/M2.
 

DrZeke

yzarc gniog ylwolS
10+ Year Member
Apr 25, 2005
2,659
566
Status
Resident [Any Field]
My school does Junior AOA halfway through 3rd year and none of the 3rd year grades are taken in account. It's top 15% then top 6 board scores.

Senior AOA is awarded early 4th year and takes top 25% of class along with other factors on CV and board scores...award about 10