drseanlive

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I was wondering how much USMLE scores are factored in when applying for fellowship out of surgery. I recently heard that they are requested by programs. I am concerned because one of my steps is subpar, and i am hoping i am not starting residency with a handicap. Is this concern not reality because absites/research/letters are substantially more important or is there a reason for concern? I'm specificially talking about plastics fellowship

thanks
 

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I was wondering how much USMLE scores are factored in when applying for fellowship out of surgery. I recently heard that they are requested by programs. I am concerned because one of my steps is subpar, and i am hoping i am not starting residency with a handicap. Is this concern not reality because absites/research/letters are substantially more important or is there a reason for concern? I'm specificially talking about plastics fellowship

thanks
If your steps were poor, who's to say that your ABSITE scores will be better?

That being said, your USMLE scores will be on your application for fellowship, and they will factor in to the overall quality of your application. However, from what I've been told, your residency performance is weighted much heavier, so ABSITE scores, research, and letters would be more important.

Either way, plastics is an uphill battle. That being said, I did have a friend with below-average board scores who did well (>90th percentile) each year on the ABSITE, and he got lots of plastics interviews, and matched at his #3.
 

Guile

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From what I've heard through the grapevine, USMLE scores matter a great deal for the medicine subspecialties, especially cardiology. They actually really care about step 1 even. I've heard it's less of a factor for surgical fellowships by comparison.
 

Surgical FMG

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how about for other GS related subspecialties? e.g. transplant, surg oncology, paediatrics, HPB, MIS...

are high USMLE scores necessary? or do they just want you to be ECFMG certified?

weighing usmle scores in comparison to say, 1-2years of research under fellowship program director, for example, which may lead to a LOR from him/her
 
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Guile

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They don't care. Did you pass on the first try? If yes, then move on. If you're an FMG and didn't do an American general surgery residency, then I don't know the answer to that. I'm sure there are more important factors though.
 

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In general, USMLE scores are not weighted heavily or at allf or GS fellowships. They may ask, but they rank much lower than ABSITEs, LORs, connections, etc.

how about for other GS related subspecialties? e.g. transplant, surg oncology, paediatrics, HPB, MIS...
Transplant, HPB....are you breathing? If you are, you can get a position.

MIS? Somewhat more difficult.

Peds and Surg Onc...among the most difficult to match into regardless of your scores.


weighing usmle scores in comparison to say, 1-2years of research under fellowship program director, for example, which may lead to a LOR from him/her
Much less important. In my fellowship experience, the other faculty were calling the match process somewhat of a farce because the PD got the heaviest weighted vote since it was "his" fellow. This was also true in residency - if the PD and/or Chair liked a candidate, they were ranked highly, sometimes over the opinions of other faculty.
 

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Transplant, HPB....are you breathing? If you are, you can get a position.

MIS? Somewhat more difficult.
That's the opposite of what I've heard. One of my chiefs tried for HPB and didn't get any spots, and then got his top choice in MIS (at a respectable place). I thought there were fairly few HPB spots.
 

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That's the opposite of what I've heard. One of my chiefs tried for HPB and didn't get any spots, and then got his top choice in MIS (at a respectable place). I thought there were fairly few HPB spots.
There are fairly few spots but there are fairly few applicants as well, so not generally much competition. It tends to attract people who didn't match Surg Onc, so they may be a bit more competitive than your average joe.

But you're probably right, that its +/- with MIS depending on the applicant and program.
 

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From what I've heard through the grapevine, USMLE scores matter a great deal for the medicine subspecialties, especially cardiology. They actually really care about step 1 even. I've heard it's less of a factor for surgical fellowships by comparison.
Medicine fellowships also tend to put more weight on Step 3 than surgical fellowships do.
 

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In general, USMLE scores are not weighted heavily or at allf or GS fellowships. They may ask, but they rank much lower than ABSITEs, LORs, connections, etc.
That's great to hear. I'm probably going to do my surgical residency in singapore, in a program which is newly accredited by ACGME-International. (http://www.acgme-i.org/web/index.html). hopefully that sorta counts for something?

part of this program is that they make you take both MRCS and ABSITE! and the exit exams are still the FRCS (UK), but they might still be negotiating with ABS to let residents take the ABS final exams..
 

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weighing usmle scores in comparison to say, 1-2years of research under fellowship program director, for example, which may lead to a LOR from him/her
For the competitive fellowships you mentioned (e.g. Peds), research is almost mandatory. Tough to get in without some publications/abstracts/presentations, no matter how good your USMLE scores.

That's great to hear. I'm probably going to do my surgical residency in singapore, in a program which is newly accredited by ACGME-International. (http://www.acgme-i.org/web/index.html). hopefully that sorta counts for something?
Uh...are you looking to get into a US fellowship after a residency in Singapore? Might want to reconsider...
 
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From my experience (MIS/Bariatric) it is a simple pass or fail, they do not ask for numbers. Your ABSITE, letters of rec and research will open all the doors for you.
 

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For the competitive fellowships you mentioned (e.g. Peds), research is almost mandatory. Tough to get in without some publications/abstracts/presentations, no matter how good your USMLE scores.



Uh...are you looking to get into a US fellowship after a residency in Singapore? Might want to reconsider...
how so? many of my seniors have completed basic surgical training in singapore (they get FRCS edinburgh when they complete and fulfil their requirements) and then go overseas for a year or 2 of fellowship, under this governmental scholarship called HMDP (human manpower development program), essentially singapore MOH pays your year's wages, u just need to get accepted as a fellow somewhere, and in return, u make sure u come back and have a "bond" to work in the government hospital for 3 years. if u go for 2 years fellowship the bond is 5.

anyway, strangely after 15 publications (incl a letter in Lancet, an editorial in Archives of Surg, some others in TMIH, JSE, Am Surgeon, Surgery, etc) and a top grade during my surgical internship (PGY1), i still didnt get through the national panel interviews (which were some ethics based questions, in a 4-station OSCE style manner). despite the program director telling me he will rank me and take me, but he couldnt since i didnt get through the 1st stage!! its a strange system still in its infancy (see link if interested).

and co-incidentally, fiance and wife to be going to NY to finish up her phd and research (she's a 3rd yr phd student), so i applied for some MPH programs in the meantime, (as i havent completed my USMLE steps), will aim for residency!

just contemplating -- between march to july -- step1,2ck,2cs. should i then start my MPH ((fingers crossed at Hopkins), or go to Seattle do their sub-i 8 week program to get clinical LORs. i suppose the time at Seattle will be much better spent and the clinical LOR is more valuable?
 

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how so? many of my seniors have completed basic surgical training in singapore (they get FRCS edinburgh when they complete and fulfil their requirements) and then go overseas for a year or 2 of fellowship, under this governmental scholarship called HMDP (human manpower development program), essentially singapore MOH pays your year's wages, u just need to get accepted as a fellow somewhere, and in return, u make sure u come back and have a "bond" to work in the government hospital for 3 years. if u go for 2 years fellowship the bond is 5.

anyway, strangely after 15 publications (incl a letter in Lancet, an editorial in Archives of Surg, some others in TMIH, JSE, Am Surgeon, Surgery, etc) and a top grade during my surgical internship (PGY1), i still didnt get through the national panel interviews (which were some ethics based questions, in a 4-station OSCE style manner). despite the program director telling me he will rank me and take me, but he couldnt since i didnt get through the 1st stage!! its a strange system still in its infancy (see link if interested).

and co-incidentally, fiance and wife to be going to NY to finish up her phd and research (she's a 3rd yr phd student), so i applied for some MPH programs in the meantime, (as i havent completed my USMLE steps), will aim for residency!

just contemplating -- between march to july -- step1,2ck,2cs. should i then start my MPH ((fingers crossed at Hopkins), or go to Seattle do their sub-i 8 week program to get clinical LORs. i suppose the time at Seattle will be much better spent and the clinical LOR is more valuable?
Just know that those people who complete residencies outside of North America and then go on to obtain fellowships in the US are in the minority. It is very hard to do this, and I would not count on it if you have a strong desire to get into a US fellowship. This goes without saying if you're trying to get into a competitive fellowship, like Plastics, Peds Surg or Surg Onc.

If your goal is getting into a US residency (and it sounds like it is), doing well on the Steps and getting good USCE with strong letters of recommendation is your goal. Are you trying to get an MPH because you're truly interested in the program, or because you think it's going to help your application?
 

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Just know that those people who complete residencies outside of North America and then go on to obtain fellowships in the US are in the minority. It is very hard to do this, and I would not count on it if you have a strong desire to get into a US fellowship. This goes without saying if you're trying to get into a competitive fellowship, like Plastics, Peds Surg or Surg Onc.

If your goal is getting into a US residency (and it sounds like it is), doing well on the Steps and getting good USCE with strong letters of recommendation is your goal. Are you trying to get an MPH because you're truly interested in the program, or because you think it's going to help your application?
thanks 'buzz me' for replying and providing your insight

re: MPH, its a bit of both. im truly interested, but that doesnt necessitate that i do it now. between pgy3 and 4 is ideal and what most residents do it, as i understand. another reason to do it, is more for the research. as u know, some mph programs are heavy on biostats/epi and also require u to finish a capstone project. this project is done with a capstone supervisor, who ideally is a prospective fellowship program director or sth, so u get a few papers with him/her, putting u into better position for the fellowship application.. in my case, letters for the match will be a decent goal from the yr doing the MPH
so is the MPH gonna really help? im not entirely sure - think some USCE (prob through UWash's IMG program) may be better.
 

Buzz Me

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Little confused about your reply above. I would not go for the MPH if all you're trying to do is improve the competitiveness of your app.