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John146

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A friend of mine (MS III) recently got her USMLE Step I score back and scored a 180.

She is considering taking a one month leave of absence from rotations to focus on studying and, then, re-take the exam at the end of the month (December). Note: her school doesn't require a passing score until March 2011.

1) In general, how do residency programs view leave of absences?

2) How would a leave of absence in this particular situation look (in the middle of 3rd year and after failing on her first attempt)?

3) What would you do in this situation?


If anyone has any thoughts/advice please help ASAP!
 

Winged Scapula

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A friend of mine (MS III) recently got her USMLE Step I score back and scored a 180.

She is considering taking a one month leave of absence from rotations to focus on studying and, then, re-take the exam at the end of the month (December). Note: her school doesn't require a passing score until March 2011.

1) In general, how do residency programs view leave of absences?


It certainly is a red flag since most of her compadres will have passed on the first attempt and did not need extra time to do so.

2) How would a leave of absence in this particular situation look (in the middle of 3rd year and after failing on her first attempt)?
See above - this is predicated on the assumption that she passes after taking the time off.

3) What would you do in this situation?
1) I suggest she figure out why she failed; was it lack of studying time, studying focus, not knowing the material in depth enough, or a certain topic that derailed her? Simply studying MORE is not necessarily the answer; she needs to study smarter.

2) I question whether she will really get enough studying done in 1 month, especially the month of December (when the tendency is to go to holiday parties, spend time with friends and family, etc.)

3) does she really need to take a leave of absence? Is there a light on hours rotation she can do (perhaps a research month) in which she could devote every night to studying?

4) what is her goal score? Simply passing or is she trying to score the average (which is around 220 now, I seem to recall) or above average? How high she is shooting for may impact how much studying she needs to do.

All in all, the failure looks bad. Taking time to study also looks bad since most other students don't have to. A second failure looks even worse.

In the end, it probably doesn't matter what she does as long as she passes.
 
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