1. What do you find most helpful? Give us your feedback on the 2019 SDN Member Survey to help further the SDN mission (and win prizes!)
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Dismiss Notice

USMLE Scores

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by dispatchblue, Dec 1, 2008.

  1. dispatchblue

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I have been searching everywhere for some type of chart/table that compares the USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 scores of each medical school. Does anyone know where we could find this information? I feel like it would be useful to know how your schools stack up to others.

    Now I know a number of schools publish this stuff independently, but that's horrifically inefficient and it would take me days to collect it all. I feel like someone out there has probably already done this (Princeton Review? AMCAS? Anyone?) and I would love to just download some Excel spreadsheet that they created.

    Thanks for the help everyone!
     
  2. OP
    OP
    dispatchblue

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Just to expand this topic a bit, I was wondering what would be a "good" score. Schools often say "we're x standard deviations above the mean" and things like that, but at what point does that start to matter? And what would be a 'good' score?

    My next question concerns the quality of students. People who go to Harvard have a much higher base MCAT score and consequently are probably better test takers. This means that they will probably score higher on the USMLE than other schools regardless of whether or not Harvard actually gives them a good education. So how do you know when a school's good scores are actually due to a good education and not just the consequence of having the top students?
     
    #2 dispatchblue, Dec 1, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2008
  3. 87138

    87138 Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Messages:
    2,879
    Likes Received:
    14
    Status:
    Medical Student


    You don't. And you'll find out when you hit the interview trail that, in a strange twist of fate, every single US Allopathic school's USMLE Step 1 scores are above the national average.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  4. Depakote

    Depakote Pediatric Anesthesiologist
    Rocket Scientist Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Verified Expert Verified Account 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2004
    Messages:
    20,811
    Likes Received:
    102
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    does your undergrad publish average MCAT scores to prospective pre-med students?
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  5. JackInTheBox

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    Messages:
    848
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I've seen this analogy used before, and I think it's a specious argument at best. There are hundreds of possible majors at any undergrad institution, so it would be dumb for a school to publish MCAT scores. There are going to be thousands of people taking the test, all coming from different fields, so the pre-reqs and classes they've taken may be vastly different. You also have tons of people who want to be doctors, but find out after taking the test that they don't have what it takes. On the other hand, each medical school has at most a few hundred students, all of whom are there for one reason, and one reason only: to earn a medical degree, and they've all followed the exact same curriculum as the other students at that school.

    With that said, I do think that Step 1 scores are much lower on the list of things that one should consider when choosing a medical school.
     
  6. Dulcina

    Dulcina =)
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    Messages:
    1,436
    Likes Received:
    4
    MDApps:
    Status:
    Medical Student
     
  7. 87138

    87138 Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Messages:
    2,879
    Likes Received:
    14
    Status:
    Medical Student
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  8. Terpskins99

    Terpskins99 Fear... The Stig
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Messages:
    3,435
    Likes Received:
    7
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Not that it'll make a difference (since most schools do not publicize their Step 1 averages), but any reports of a school with a high failure rate on Step 1 should raise a ton of red flags.
     
  9. alibai3ah

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,422
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I agree with JackIntheBox that analogy is absolutely ridiculous. Medical schools have far fewer numbers than undergrads, and therefore they should have a much easier time gathering tangible data from 120-180 students in a class. With respect to the OP's question, I believe that the scores reflect the student's motivation itself and not necesarrily the quality of the education you get at that particular medical school. You can see this even in undergrad, the top schools probably produce a greater number of 37's/38's on the MCATs; however, there are still a good number of students with high MCAT scores that go to "no name" undergrad schools as well. Same thing with USMLE's, the reason that Harvard has a high USMLE average says more about the student's than it does the school.
     
  10. Raryn

    Raryn Infernal Internist / Enigmatic Endocrinologist
    Physician Verified Expert 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2008
    Messages:
    7,297
    Likes Received:
    5,992
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    The ones that publicize their scores are all above the national average.

    If they're below average, why the hell would they tell you?
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  11. Dulcina

    Dulcina =)
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    Messages:
    1,436
    Likes Received:
    4
    MDApps:
    Status:
    Medical Student
     
  12. Depakote

    Depakote Pediatric Anesthesiologist
    Rocket Scientist Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Verified Expert Verified Account 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2004
    Messages:
    20,811
    Likes Received:
    102
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    If you don't like my analogy, refine it to your school's pre-med program. The reason I like that analogy is because your USMLE Step I score is largely a representation of your individual preparation.

    Your class average might wind up being somewhere around 220, but in that you'll have people that failed the exam and people that scored over 260. The student that failed took the same courses as the student that got 260, they attended the same lectures, they're both there to be doctors. It comes down to individual preparation and performance.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  13. JackInTheBox

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    Messages:
    848
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Just out of curiosity, what would be considered a "high" failure rate? All the schools I've interviewed at always cite a high 90s first time pass rate. Also, the only times I've personally seen schools give hard numbers during their presentations are when the average score is 230+.
     
  14. 87138

    87138 Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Messages:
    2,879
    Likes Received:
    14
    Status:
    Medical Student

    Obviously. Did you think I wasn't being sarcastic?
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  15. Terpskins99

    Terpskins99 Fear... The Stig
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Messages:
    3,435
    Likes Received:
    7
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    And well they should. The average pass rate for first time takers of the USMLE (from an allopathic medical program) is 95%.

    So just my opinion, any allopathic school that passes less than a 90% of their first time test-takers should make you think twice about going there (good luck finding this information). Of course, its a no brainer if you have to chose between them versus nobody and waiting another year to re-apply. ;)
     
  16. streetlight

    streetlight Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2005
    Messages:
    381
    Likes Received:
    15
    MDApps:
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    why can't people just answer his question if there is a compilation of this data available? it's a legit question and if he wants to choose his medical school based on that information, then its his prerogative, not yours.
     
  17. Depakote

    Depakote Pediatric Anesthesiologist
    Rocket Scientist Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Verified Expert Verified Account 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2004
    Messages:
    20,811
    Likes Received:
    102
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    no such compilation exists.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  18. bcat85

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    1,776
    Likes Received:
    41
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I wish the title of this forum was

    "Pre-Allopathic: It doesn't matter how other medical students at a school do, you're the student who determines how good of a doctor you're going to be."

    Average Step scores don't matter.

    Neither does ranking.

    Neither does match list.



    But, to answer the OP's original question... A lot of schools do not report their step scores, so it would be unlikely you would find this anywhere.
     
  19. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels
    Staff Member Administrator Physician Gold Donor Verified Expert Verified Account 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Messages:
    9,735
    Likes Received:
    1,504
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Maybe SDN users should attempt to compile a list of all the Step 1 averages that we can find? I'd be surprised if there wasn't a thread that had done this before.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  20. lainapox

    lainapox A little crazypants
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Messages:
    435
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Y'know, we could create a list based on all the stuff we've found out along the interview trail (%p/f as well as numerical score).


    I wonder what y'all think about the significance (or insignificance) of the MCAT vs. USMLE(1) ratio. For example, comparing the %p and average scores of different schools with similar admitted student MCAT scores. Would that be useful at all? It might indicate that the school teaches students to be better test-takers, teaches specifically to the USMLE, or genuinely has an awesome and effective curriculum. Or it might mean nothing. What do y'all think?
     
  21. ChubbyChaser

    ChubbyChaser Yummmy
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    Messages:
    13,168
    Likes Received:
    5
    Status:
    Medical Student
    theres one out there....i doubt the accuracy of it though.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  22. Instatewaiter

    Instatewaiter But... there's a troponin
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Messages:
    6,016
    Likes Received:
    2,016
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    .
     
    #22 Instatewaiter, Dec 1, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2009
  23. ChubbyChaser

    ChubbyChaser Yummmy
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    Messages:
    13,168
    Likes Received:
    5
    Status:
    Medical Student
    ummm this is a little different than match lists. The mean is roughly 220 so anything above that would be good, 240 is great, 250 is superb.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  24. diosa428

    diosa428 SDN Angel
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Messages:
    2,662
    Likes Received:
    9
    Aaaand every school probably boasts of an average between 225 - 235. It is somewhat irrelevant b/c some schools have outliers who don't bother studying b/c they've decided to go on to something other than residency and eventually need to pass but don't need the numbers to go into something competitive. Or they don't try hard b/c they want to go into family med. Or whatever. Additionally, who knows if the schools "averages" take into account the failing grades, or only the passing ones? B/c you can't graduate from most schools unless you've passed... so everyone who is graduating has to have passed, even if they didn't do so the first time they took the test. Who knows.
     
  25. lord_jeebus

    lord_jeebus 和魂洋才
    Moderator Physician Verified Expert 15+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2003
    Messages:
    5,823
    Likes Received:
    166
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Variation in scores within schools is very high.

    Variation in scores between schools is low.

    Hence, the influence of school choice on USMLE scores is negligible.
     
  26. littlealex

    littlealex little tiny alex
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Messages:
    2,101
    Likes Received:
    7
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Honestly it's up to you to study. You're going to feel unprepared no matter where you go. Just have to buckle down and study hard at the end of the day.
    Like many above had implied, it's dependent on the student much more than the school.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  27. OP
    OP
    dispatchblue

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Thanks a lot for the help everyone. In general, I'm getting the impression that:

    1. USMLE scores are unlikely to tell you very much useful of information.

    2. Crappy schools aren't going to report them anyway

    3. Most people don't report, so there is probably not going to be the kind of information I was hoping to find.


    If anyone else finds something, please shoot me a message or something! Otherwise, I wanted to just say thanks to everyone for taking the post seriously and giving me some feedback.
     
  28. TexasPhysician

    Moderator Physician Verified Expert 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    Messages:
    4,606
    Likes Received:
    1,682
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Most US MD schools have good average scores anyway.
     

Share This Page