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Typical Step I and II scores needed to get into RAD/ONC

Discussion in 'Radiation Oncology' started by hawaiigirl2006, Dec 2, 2005.

  1. hawaiigirl2006

    5+ Year Member

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    Hi
    I am a MS and I wanted to know what are typical board scores that will get you an interview and get you a position.
     
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  3. drcoke

    drcoke Junior Member
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    Aim for 250's and higher...as an minimum try and attain at least a 230
     
  4. DOCTORSAIB

    DOCTORSAIB Ophtho or bust!
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    :eek:

    To the OP, so exactly what fields are you considering at this point. You posted the same question in several forums. Also, you can find alot of good info in a book called "Getting into A Residency" by a guy named Iserson. Look it up. G'luck.
     
  5. stephew

    stephew SDN Super Moderator
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    this is NOT correct. Obviously we are seeing very very high scores. But I can tell you at JHH and harvard in the last 3 years we've taken people in the "two-teens" as well; there were other things that made them attractive. Please see the FAQ.
     
  6. Ursus Martimus

    Ursus Martimus Ursus Martimus
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    I think it is misleading to think that just anyone with board scores in their teens will get into radonc at Harvard or JHH. Perhaps you would tell us some such things, in specific, that might compensate for such scores. Or is this just another case of annedotal information that you don't feel you have to share with the rest of the forum members?
     
  7. RadOncAnon

    RadOncAnon Junior Member
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    I cannot talk about Harvard specifically (where I was rejected) but it is possible to get an interview in a top 5 program with boards in the 220s. You just have to do an away and impress the hell out of them. I emailed a PD from a top 10 program after I was rejected and he told me that, given the extremely high quality of the applicant pool, Step 1 scores were a fast and easy cut-off (249 average at the school in question). Caveats occur if you do an away rotation there and impress.

    However, I believe Ursus is correct in that there are a lot of other things that enter into the equation. For example, if you are not vastly superior in one area to compensate for average boards (e.g. Junior AoA, several publications w/ PhD, very, very strong LORs from world-famous attendings) then you probably won't have a shot.
     
  8. COhiker

    COhiker Member
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    Fortunately (and unfortunately), matching is not formulaic – as has been discussed in detail by far more articulate people than myself elsewhere. Clearly this is true because departments look for (and at) different things. But more generally, it’s because a formula is impossible. As has been alluded to, there are politics, egos, and random chance which play a significant role. Although the field is increasingly popular, departments are still catching up with this fact and are trying to figure out how to get the best matched candidate into their program. (some are trying to stack their program with PhDs while others may focus on board score cut-offs and others still may focus on geographic issues). Questions like “What board scores you need to match?” cannot be answered accurately without the data and I don’t think that any of us have the data (but we all have anecdotes) plus they capture only part of what is increasingly clearly a complex system.

    All that said, it’s comforting to try to understand factors which we can control like board scores and I certainly appreciate the question having just been through the process. It seems like the best we can do is provide our own data for others to interpret as they will. There is even a thread already set up which does exactely this...
     
  9. stephew

    stephew SDN Super Moderator
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    It may have been murky, but I think you need to re-read my post above. and no, i will not violate the privacy of any individuals to satisfy your challenge.
     
  10. stephew

    stephew SDN Super Moderator
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    an away rotation is certainly one good method (unless you are the sort of sort to annoy people or dont do a good job). i think the last sentence in my reply about the " two-teens" must have been invisible to some users so just in case, I did note that there were other factors that made them attractive.
     
  11. RadOncAnon

    RadOncAnon Junior Member
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    Indeed you did -- sorry I missed that.
     
  12. stephew

    stephew SDN Super Moderator
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    phew- I was just beginning to get worried about invisible ink and some weird font only mods can see.
     
  13. Ursus Martimus

    Ursus Martimus Ursus Martimus
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    Of course no one is asking to give anyone's name away. However, if you read the post it was titled "TYPICAL BOARD SCORES". I think that the average, is around 230. 210's are not typical. Secondly one must remember that PD's can set filters for board scores, PhD's etc. However I am unaware of setting filters for "well known letter writer" or "where you did away rotations." The idea is that you might not even be looked at by programs with such cut offs. As far as step II, some programs (Mayo) will take a step II exam score over a step I score, if you have taken both. However many programs aren't so interested in step II, unless you have taken them. The conventional wisdom is that if you did well on step I, think seriously about taking, or at least releasing scores for, step II

    Again the idea is that, while it is could to be encouraging, being unrealistic helps no one. Reading through your FAQ's I found nothing about specicifically compensating for low board scores. I wonder however, when an attending asks someone, who read the post, what brachytherapy means, there may be a snicker with the answer "close" therapy, as it is greek for "short".

    And the invisible ink comment.....pls
     
  14. PolarBearsSuck

    PolarBearsSuck New Member

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    Ursus Martimus is the smartest person in the world...just ask him.
     

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