USMLE

Winged Scapula

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    Why the best score you can get of course! ;)

    Traditionally, the thinking was that you needed 1 standard deviation above the mean to get into a surgical residency. General Surgery is not as competitive as it once as. However, this "rule" is still true for some of the more competitive general surgery programs and the more competitive subspecialties of Ortho, Neuro, Plastics, ENT, etc. Some schools require a certain score (ie, > 220). Since the mean for Step 1 is around 212 (I think) you should shoot for a score greater than 220, although bear in mind that a competitive application isn't all about your USMLE scores.

    good luck. :D
     

    Justin4563

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      keep in mind young lad that USMLE scores should be used for certification and licensing purposes only and Not for program directors to stratify candidates into the ones they want and the ones they dont want. IF they do that you dont want to be there anyway. That is why they have class rank and grades like honors pass/ fail. YOu are not in medschool to get a good grade on the usmle but to learn as much as you can and this reflects in your clerkship evals.....
       

      AJM

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        Originally posted by Justin4563:
        •keep in mind young lad that USMLE scores should be used for certification and licensing purposes only and Not for program directors to stratify candidates into the ones they want and the ones they dont want. IF they do that you dont want to be there anyway. That is why they have class rank and grades like honors pass/ fail. YOu are not in medschool to get a good grade on the usmle but to learn as much as you can and this reflects in your clerkship evals.....•

        Some schools, like mine, have no class rank, and straight pass/fail without honors through all 4 years. Residency directors are often forced to look at these students' USMLE scores because they have nothing else to go by to figure out how good a student they are.

        With that in mind, many of the very competitive residency programs use USMLE scores to help them figure out who they will interview. However, they still do consider other factors. A residency program is not going to choose their residents solely based on their Boards score.
         
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        study buddy

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          Okay I got 196 on my USMLE I, which is low (I know, and it sucks). I know what residency you get depends in a large part on other things (recommendations, grades, etc.), but how badly does that hurt me if i want to do a fellowship down the line (I was thinking of doing IM or Surg.). I wasn't aiming for super-residencies (i.e., ivy league) to begin with, just some place good to get my training. Have I doomed myself??
           

          Future GI Guy

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            Dear Study Buddy,

            I think a 196 is perfectly fine because it means that you passed. You should have no trouble getting into an IM residency, and, often, the fellowship applications don't even have a spot for USMLE scores on them, which shows just how much they care about that. What's more, by the time you apply for a fellowship, it will have been a good many years since you took Step I. (It's like asking if Residencies will care about MCAT scores...)

            The things you do during residency are important. You should try to publish. You'll be expected to do that in any fellowship you try for, because there's almost always a "research" year required to become BC / BE.

            Also, something to consider, and I don't mean this as a slight against anyone...but, fellowships have a high rate of International Medical Graduates. Thus, if you're an IMG...this is good for you. If you're not, it's even better because almost all American programs rank American graduates in the first tier (not out of snobbery, mind you; simply because the government provides more money to cover American grads--our salaries will come from Medicaid and other federal programs)

            One thing you might want to consider for next year, when you start looking at IM places, is...does the hospital you're going to offer the fellowship you want.

            If you impress the fellowship director while you're there, it won't matter what you got on Step I. You might not even have to apply. You'll want a letter from that doctor, anyway...so it's another thing to consider. Community IM programs might not be the best choice for your career.

            Good luck to you.
             

            Morgus

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              As a graduate MD with USMLE scores of 246 on Step 1 and 248 on Step 2, and class standing in the top 5% in a highly esteemed medical school, I can tell you that high scores and ranks CAN mean very little and that low scores and ranks WON'T EXCLUDE you as long as you PASS!

              I know bottom of the class MD's who barely passed both Step 1 and 2, who also took 5 or 6 years to finish a 4 year program, that have prestigious residencies (opthalmology, dermatology, surgery, orthopedics) because they were ultimate scutmasters with great personalities and attractive features. They did well only in 3rd year, because they played the game.

              Conversely, the serious medical intellectual like myself and many others I've known may be held back without such scutmaster and personality skills. You won't know what happens until you try it, so my advice is to play the game, be likeable, just PASS your exams and boards, and work hard as hell while in the hospital. I'd trade my grades and scores anyday for the ability to be able to endure long hours and call while maintaining fast manual skills such as drawing blood, inserting NG tubes, spinal taps, intubations, and the like.

              This is not to say that high grades and board scores are not good--it is to say that they won't carry you by themselves, and low ones won't exclude you if you have the other qualities. Of course, I can remember one of the residency directors interviewing me and telling me that his program had found that the only correlation between board scores and success as a resident was that lower board scores meant better resident performance and that higher board scores meant lower resident performance. I wish I had been tape recording his statement to expose him.

              Good luck to you and by all means, remember that getting a residency is primarily a numbers game--apply to 15 programs and you're almost certainly guaranteed to get one of them. I thought my academic records would get me anything I wanted, and so applied for only 2 programs in 1 big city, and got screwed. I'll never make the mistake again of thinking that high grades and board scores guarantee anything, and in the future, I'll devote my time to learning practical manual skills and political games, and just pass the exams without even studying.

              Dr. Morgus
               

              MikeS 78

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                i just bash morgus because he is vainly trying to make himself into some kind of paragon for the smart guy who got robbed......all the mean time he tells us how damn smart he is and how if it was a meritocracy he would have matched just fine (with the implication that he is obviously the most qualified for the job).......
                 
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