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is virginia a competitive state for residency? I am looking at their Step 1 scores i.e. VCU and they seem pretty low - was wondering if it would be realistic for me to apply there. Thanks
 

Blue Dog

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There are 15 FM programs in VA. If you can't get in somewhere, the problem isn't your Step 1 score.
 
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Apr 25, 2015
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There are 15 FM programs in VA. If you can't get in somewhere, the problem isn't your Step 1 score.
I am applying for the first time (didn't apply last year, US graduate 190s (2nd attempt Step 1)/220s for step 2 CK)
So are you saying that if I can't get in at least 1 of the 15 Virginia schools that means the problem isn't my low Step 1 score.
Just wondering if Virginia is a competitive state or not?
 
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Blue Dog

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I don't think it's really accurate to refer to an entire state as "competitive" or not. In most states, as in VA, there are multiple programs to choose from, some more competitive than others. No single aspect of one's application guarantees success or failure, including Step 1 score.

That being said, I think VA is a great place to live, and we have some awesome residency programs.
 
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I don't think it's really accurate to refer to an entire state as "competitive" or not. In most states, as in VA, there are multiple programs to choose from, some more competitive than others. No single aspect of one's application guarantees success or failure, including Step 1 score.

That being said, I think VA is a great place to live, and we have some awesome residency programs.
Ok because obviously my biggest flaw in my application is my step 1 score. So I am using FREIDA to narrow my list - FREIDA lists minimum scores per school.

Basically any of the schools that have minimum step 1 scores in the 200s I have completely disregarded

My understanding is that +/- a few points from minimum score is okay.

I just noticed that Virginia had many schools with low Step 1 minimum scores (several in 190s) so thats why I was wondering if VA as a state was competitive.
 

Blue Dog

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I just noticed that Virginia had many schools with low Step 1 minimum scores (several in 190s) so thats why I was wondering if VA as a state was competitive.
Sounds like most VA programs are enlightened enough to look beyond a low Step 1 score. What's the problem?
 

cabinbuilder

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You apply to residency where they will train you to do what you want in your career and you will have a good fit and be HAPPY. It's 3 years of your life need to look at the entire process. Scores don't make a good doctor.
 

JustPlainBill

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You apply to residency where they will train you to do what you want in your career and you will have a good fit and be HAPPY. It's 3 years of your life need to look at the entire process. Scores don't make a good doctor.
Yes, yes, yes, agree, agree, agree!!!! -- As someone who went to probably one of the more toxic FM residencies (an anomaly, I know), recognize that it is probably one of the most important 3 years of your life -- I cannot tell you how many times, due to things that happened in residency, I have been impacted in my practice and through many phone calls/PMs/beers with friends/colleagues, some of them on this board, I have just recently been able to reverse the impact that the residency had on me.

If you are seriously considering a program, you should do an audition month there --- in my case, what was offered was NOT what was delivered, the seniors turned on the intern class and there are people out there that I flat out avoid in social, collegial situations and have to bite my tongue when they are mentioned in meetings/social situations -- it was that bad.

I agree that Va is a great place to live, very beautiful with all seasons plus a nice beach nearby --

You've had 2 people tell you board scores don't make a good doc -- I'm the third --- unless major egos are involved, most attendings know that if you can make it through med school, you can do the job -- but do you have a teachable attitude that works and plays well with others or are you a self important jerk who's going to be dangerous to patients?
 
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Yes, yes, yes, agree, agree, agree!!!! -- As someone who went to probably one of the more toxic FM residencies (an anomaly, I know), recognize that it is probably one of the most important 3 years of your life -- I cannot tell you how many times, due to things that happened in residency, I have been impacted in my practice and through many phone calls/PMs/beers with friends/colleagues, some of them on this board, I have just recently been able to reverse the impact that the residency had on me.

If you are seriously considering a program, you should do an audition month there --- in my case, what was offered was NOT what was delivered, the seniors turned on the intern class and there are people out there that I flat out avoid in social, collegial situations and have to bite my tongue when they are mentioned in meetings/social situations -- it was that bad.

I agree that Va is a great place to live, very beautiful with all seasons plus a nice beach nearby --

You've had 2 people tell you board scores don't make a good doc -- I'm the third --- unless major egos are involved, most attendings know that if you can make it through med school, you can do the job -- but do you have a teachable attitude that works and plays well with others or are you a self important jerk who's going to be dangerous to patients?
thanks for all your advice..definitely appreciate the "from the heart response"...I will make one comment though...Scores do paint a blurry picture about a student's intelligence and willingness to work hard...But I get what you mean good scores don't necessiarly = good doctor and bad scores does not necessiarly mean bad doctor. Unfortunately step 1 score filters are used by Program Directors and many application may never see the light of day b/c of low step 1 scores

because of my situation I am not in the position to be choosy....I will obviously rank places where I would most likely want to end up... I am just desparate to match anywhere and trying to apply to places that are realistic for my poor step 1 score. thanks again ;)
 

JustPlainBill

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thanks for all your advice..definitely appreciate the "from the heart response"...I will make one comment though...Scores do paint a blurry picture about a student's intelligence and willingness to work hard...But I get what you mean good scores don't necessiarly = good doctor and bad scores does not necessiarly mean bad doctor. Unfortunately step 1 score filters are used by Program Directors and many application may never see the light of day b/c of low step 1 scores

because of my situation I am not in the position to be choosy....I will obviously rank places where I would most likely want to end up... I am just desparate to match anywhere and trying to apply to places that are realistic for my poor step 1 score. thanks again ;)
Completely understand your point about not seeing the light of day -- but here's a little secret --- at least at the residency I went to ---

Screening criteria are used -- at the time in FM in Texas, failure of boards or of a year of medical school (not a class that was successfully remediated) were not necessarily an automatic disqualifier -- I can think of 3 residencies where they were a disqualifier and all of those residencies had a high opinion of themselves that was not necessarily shared by others -- There were several good, quality programs where a year of failure or failing boards were looked at and needed an explanation but were not an automatic disqualifier.

We would look at the candidates who had applied that didn't meet the exclusion criteria -- at that point, if they had gone to the same school or were known by personal relationship or had done an audition rotation, they generally got an invite to interview

Key point being audition rotations can make up for bad board scores and bad is a real relative term -- if your grades are decent and you've got decent LORs, especially from FM docs, this can make up for poor boards;