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USMLE Step 1 (board) scores by school?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by po' boy, Jan 13, 2001.

  1. po' boy

    po' boy Senior Member

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    Hey, does anyone know where I can find a list of board scores by medical school? I've looked everywhere online and am having a hard time tracdking this info down. I want to compare the effectiveness of curriculae at various schools. Please advise.

    Also, i have a question for Jimi -- where does it look like you'll be going next year, of the schools you've been accepted at?
     
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  3. Because there is some positive correlation between MCAT and USMLE scores, I think you might be better served at looking at average admission standards for schools. That is, a school with a high pass rate on USMLE may be so privileged because of the higher academic standards of its students. I think it would be a mistake to assume that the curriculum is the major factor in doing well on USMLE, although there is some evidence that students in PBL curriculums (of which I was one) fare worse on Step 1 but better on Step 2.

    ALL US (and many foreign) medical schools will prepare you well for the USMLE. The major factor, IMHO, are the students themselves. The average pass rate for Step 1 in the US about 92% - the vast majority of schools will boast scores near this and any slight variation from that is not likely to make much difference to YOU. YOU will make the difference in your score. I doubt you will be looking at schools which only have a 50% pass rate, for example.

    I will step down from my soapbox and say that although I am sure the NBME does keep the data you are asking for, I have never seen it dispensed in a public manner. You *might* be able to get the information from the schools or students themselves. Certainly you want to be assured of attending a school which will offer you the best chance at doing well on the USMLE, but I would venture that the vast, vast majority of US schools do not have significantly different pass rates.
     
  4. po' boy

    po' boy Senior Member

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    Thanks for the info. However, I am more interested in the average scores for schools than their pass rates. I am sure all of the schools I am considering will prepare me well for the boards, but I want to know how the average scores compare with the national mean (1 standard deviation above, for example). This number is one important factor (albeit not the only one, by any means) that residency directors will be looking at.

    Granted, if a school's average is very high, it may be an indication of the caliber of the school's students. But it may also reflect the efficacy of the curriculum at the school. These are questions that don't have clear or easy answers, and I am simply looking for more information that may help me to make an informed decision.

    [This message has been edited by po' boy (edited 01-14-2001).]
     
  5. Seems a reasonable piece of information to desire - regardless of whether its pass rates or average score, although again, IMHO, both of these will be affected by the STUDENTS more so than the curriculum (ie, a school which has students with higher gpas and MCAT scores, will likely produce students with higher USMLE scores).

    Again, I don't think that information has been made available publically but you could certainly ask the schools in which you are interested. Also try the NBME and see if the do provide that information or publish it somewhere.

    And believe me, I understand the desire to do well and its effects on residency. Had I score > 1 SD above the mean I'm sure I'd be getting more interviews! [​IMG]

    [This message has been edited by kimberlicox (edited 01-14-2001).]
     
  6. gower

    gower 1K Member

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    Kimberlicox is right on target. It is foolish, in my opinion, to choose a medical school to attend because of giving weight to board scores. Like the MCAT, test-taking skill is a major component of doing well on any kind of test, multiple choice especially. Most students admitted to medical school have already demonstrated that skill with high grades and MCAT scores. It is no surprise, then, that a very high percentage of grads pass USMLE I, II, III.
    And if perhaps a higher percentage of grads of Harvard and other medical schools of that ilk pass the USMLE, why, they were selected in the first place by their averaging higher MCAT scores. One of the last things for anyone to waste time and energy focussing on.
     
  7. jimi

    jimi Senior Member

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    po' boy:

    Sorry about the delayed response...I just read your post today.

    Right now I'm in a really tough spot...I know I may sound horribly picky since I've gotten into Hopkins, but this is a serious decision. Which is why I'm planning on visiting the school again before making my final decision.

    The one thing I've learned through my interview experiences (I stayed with students for pretty much all of my 16 interviews) is that no matter where I'll end up I'll be pretty well prepared to be a physician. That is why at this point the quality of life I will have is becoming very important to me (hence my hesitation about Hopkins.)

    But right now out of my acceptances it's looking like it's down to UCI or Hopkins. (My family lives down the street from UCI! So that's a big plus.)

    [​IMG]
     

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