What is my chance for general surgery residency??

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SouthernSurgeon

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    I think your chances 70/30 just have great support from your professors and doctors present yourself in an honorable way


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    70/30 is unfortunately a wildly optimistic guess.

    The overall match rate for US MD students applying in general surgery is ~80-85%, and that's for all students.

    The OP has a <190 Step I. According to the last two charting outcomes in the match documents, that would give him about a 30% chance of matching (7/27 in 2011, 12/33 in 2009). And I would venture that OP is a below average applicant even within the sub 190 cohort because...

    OP also has a conditional pass in surgery - which is honestly nearly as big a strike as the Step I score. And 3 pre-clinical failures.

    I think the OP's odds are very, very, very uphill. Your home program was/is probably your best bet. You could also consider doing some carefully targeted aways - but you need to first understand why you got a conditional pass in M3 year since if you do any away you would need to blow them out of the water. Edit: Didn't read that you'd done two aways already. What were the grades/feedback from those like? Have you done a home sub-I?
     
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    my head is spinning after reading your post...every time I thought your app was looking up there's another red flag. Lowest step 1 score possible + 3 preclinical failures + conditional pass in surgery clerkship = you better have a backup! Equally concerning is your seeming stubbornness (which may not come through in your app but makes me very concerned you won't approach the match in a way that will lead to success. 1) You didn't take the advice to take time off and ended up failing 3 classes, marginally passing step 1 and extending your second year 2) somehow you found time to work on 11 publications even though you were failing or marginally passing ....research is meant to be the cherry on top and probably won't save you at this point 3) you were below average during third year and then took a year off to do an MPH (what?!) 4) you ignored all the evidence and went through with 2 surgery aways instead of thinking more realistically about your chances despite having a whole year (while doing the MPH) to think about it 5) you decided to ask for help 2 weeks before apps are due when again you had a whole extra year to strategize

    Anyway, this is going to cost you a lot of money. You're going to need to apply to an absurd number of community programs and you should have a backup (like family medicine) which I'm guessing you're not planning on doing and probably haven't even considered.
     
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    SouthernSurgeon

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      my head is spinning after reading your post...every time I thought your app was looking up there's another red flag. Lowest step 1 score possible + 3 preclinical failures + conditional pass in surgery clerkship = you better have a backup! Equally concerning is your seeming stubbornness (which may not come through in your app but makes me very concerned you won't approach the match in a way that will lead to success. 1) You didn't take the advice to take time off and ended up failing 3 classes, marginally passing step 1 and extending your second year 2) somehow you found time to work on 11 publications even though you were failing or marginally passing ....research is meant to be the cherry on top and probably won't save you at this point 3) you were below average during third year and then took a year off to do an MPH (what?!) 4) you ignored all the evidence and went through with 2 surgery aways instead of thinking more realistically about your chances despite having a whole year (while doing the MPH) to think about it 5) you decided to ask for help 2 weeks before apps are due when again you had a whole extra year to strategize

      Anyway, this is going to cost you a lot of money. You're going to need to apply to an absurd number of community programs and you should have a backup (like family medicine) which I'm guessing you're not planning on doing and probably haven't even considered.

      These are all also good points.

      The other thing about the MPH and the publications - they don't fit into the OP's narrative. If you are "not that ambitious or into academics" then why do you have an Ivy league Master's degree and double digit publications? Community programs are less likely to care about those, and they don't fit into the picture of someone who just wants to practice medicine...

      And I also missed the part about wanting to be in NY or Cali. OP is in no position to be geographically choosy.
       
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      PL198

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        It seems like you've done everything possible to reduce your chances... Like after all that stuff and then being picky with location.... Good luck...
         
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        FIREitUP

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          "I'm a horrible candidate with terrible scores, multiple failures, and a conditional pass in my surgery rotation. I don't want anything really, I just want to match ANYWHERE as long as it's somewhere in the most competitive residency markets in the country."

          omg that was so mean, haha
           
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          Mad Jack

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            omg that was so mean, haha
            b8421e56d722a4dc87e0c3fdfff9ca85.jpg

            I just like to encourage realism.

            He stands a chance of matching surgery, but not if he limits himself to only the most competitive surgical residency markets.
             
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            Chewme85

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              Ok... well... thank you all for your comments. Even though they were harsh, I will take them.
              ppl who chose to make fun of my situation without giving me a constructive or helpful feedback, remember that karma's a bitch.
              I would appreciate inputs from current GS residents (not med students or residents of other specialties).
              To answer some of your questions...
              1. Publications: I looked at research as an opportunity to increase my chance for residency as it was suggested by my mentor (surgery faculty). I also looked at it as a chance for me to make good connections with two surgeons whom I got the strong letters from. They are heavy into research.
              2. CP on surgery: I actually scored pretty high on the shelf, but failed an oral exam.
              3. Away rotations: I was actually not that into doing aways, but my assistant dean and adviser recommended that I should do aways to increase any chance that I may have later.
              4. Location: Just because I am not a strong candidate, I don't even get to state my preferences?? NEVER said that I would only applied to those states.
              5. Pre-clinical: At the time, I did not want to waste a year and take another year of loans. And I did not anticipate my last two surgeries to happen at all (complications).
              I decided to stick with applying for GS, because my adviser noted that no one who score above 260 on step 2 went unmatched from 2011. I realize that I should have a back up plan, so I will most likely apply to IM as a backup (no disrespect for IM, just that there are a lot more positions available). Thanks
               

              Chewme85

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                "I'm a horrible candidate with terrible scores, multiple failures, and a conditional pass in my surgery rotation. I don't want anything really, I just want to match ANYWHERE as long as it's somewhere in the most competitive residency markets in the country."
                I can see that you are a first year DO med student from your previous posts. It's hard to imagine you'd know what the F you are talking about.
                 

                Mad Jack

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                  I can see that you are a first year DO med student from your previous posts. It's hard to imagine you'd know what the F you are talking about.
                  I can get you in touch with a couple residency directors I know personally in the NE if you'd like verification of how boned you are if you don't broaden your application pool to something outside of the areas you are looking at.
                   
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                  DermViser

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                    1. Did your surgery faculty who mentored you know about your entire academic record at the time? I noticed you did it right after MS-3 likely as a salvage measure. Yes, research helps. But in general, it's ancillary. It's the cherry on top so to speak. I don't know of any specialty which research trumps other factors - it does highly mitigate it though.

                    2. Whatever you do on your interviews don't tell your interviews that you got a Conditional Pass bc you did well on the shelf and failed the oral exam. General Surgery has an oral exam as part of their boards. What surgery residencies will worry about is your performance on the ABSITE - and unlike other fields that pat you on the back and help you to pass it - Surgery uses it as a promotion measure.

                    3. "I was actually not that into doing aways" --- Wow, just...wow.

                    4. "Just because I am not a strong candidate, I don't even get to state my preferences??" --- no, you don't. You're not even an average candidate.

                    Let's count up the number of red flags: All passes in your first year (I'm assuming you're H/HP/P), 3 failures in 2nd year causing you to have to repeat a year, Step 1 score right at the passing score at the time which would be considered failing now when most people's scores begin with the digit 2, Clinicals - nearly all passes, and the specialty you want to go for is the one you got a conditional pass in, and nearly failed.

                    So no, you don't get to be geographically picky, esp. as you don't even make the cutoff of your OWN home program for an interview.
                     
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                    MediCane2006

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                      OP - not to be harsh but realistically this is going to be an uphill battle.

                      First, you are NOT going to match in NY or Cali. I probably wouldn't even waste money applying to those programs. I would apply widely to a lot of smaller programs in "less desirable" geographic areas (although as has previously been pointed out, your research/MPH isn't necessarily going to help you here especially with the community programs). Additionally, programs where your mentors/letter writers have strong connections may be a good place to look.

                      Second, your best chance is honestly your home program. Especially as you seem to feel that your clinical performance has been strong and isn't reflected by your scores. Do you know for certain that they won't offer you an interview??

                      Third, yes, I would definitely have some backup specialties in mind. What do you like about surgery? You may be able to find some of the same attributes in another specialty that's less competitive. Family med, which was suggested, can have a wide variety and can allow you to tailor a fairly unique practice.

                      Good luck! A lot of good advice in this thread....
                       
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                      Ok... well... thank you all for your comments. Even though they were harsh, I will take them.
                      ppl who chose to make fun of my situation without giving me a constructive or helpful feedback, remember that karma's a bitch.
                      I would appreciate inputs from current GS residents (not med students or residents of other specialties).

                      Can you be any more entitled? You certainly have that air of undeserved arrogance that tends to plague surgery residents.

                      I'm just going to mention that IM is more competitive than you think it is...especially in NY and CA. Also presenting an application with "this is my backup" written all over it (surgery letters, surgery subIs, surgery research, surgery aways) doesn't bode well for your chances. Obviously (or not so obvious to you) if you do apply IM you should apply to lots of low tier and less desirable community programs. The only thing you have going for you with regards to an IM application is the strong step 2 score which is looked at more in IM than other specialties.
                       
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                      DermViser

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                        OP - not to be harsh but realistically this is going to be an uphill battle.

                        First, you are NOT going to match in NY or Cali. I probably wouldn't even waste money applying to those programs. I would apply widely to a lot of smaller programs in "less desirable" geographic areas (although as has previously been pointed out, your research/MPH isn't necessarily going to help you here especially with the community programs). Additionally, programs where your mentors/letter writers have strong connections may be a good place to look.

                        Second, your best chance is honestly your home program. Especially as you seem to feel that your clinical performance has been strong and isn't reflected by your scores. Do you know for certain that they won't offer you an interview??

                        Third, yes, I would definitely have some backup specialties in mind. What do you like about surgery? You may be able to find some of the same attributes in another specialty that's less competitive. Family med, which was suggested, can have a wide variety and can allow you to tailor a fairly unique practice.

                        Good luck! A lot of good advice in this thread....
                        Love your avatar - you're a plastic surgery bad***.
                         
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                        Chewme85

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                          OKKK easy ppl. Where did I say I'd only apply to CA in NY???
                          Am I going to apply broadly?? YES
                          Am I going to apply to community programs?? yes
                          Can I at least HOPE to end up somewhere in CA or NY (two states with most GS programs)? I'd like to think so.
                          Are my mentors aware of my records? yes, they still encouraged me to apply for GS
                           

                          Chewme85

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                            1. Did your surgery faculty who mentored you know about your entire academic record at the time? I noticed you did it right after MS-3 likely as a salvage measure. Yes, research helps. But in general, it's ancillary. It's the cherry on top so to speak. I don't know of any specialty which research trumps other factors - it does highly mitigate it though.

                            2. Whatever you do on your interviews don't tell your interviews that you got a Conditional Pass bc you did well on the shelf and failed the oral exam. General Surgery has an oral exam as part of their boards. What surgery residencies will worry about is your performance on the ABSITE - and unlike other fields that pat you on the back and help you to pass it - Surgery uses it as a promotion measure.

                            3. "I was actually not that into doing aways" --- Wow, just...wow.

                            4. "Just because I am not a strong candidate, I don't even get to state my preferences??" --- no, you don't. You're not even an average candidate.

                            Let's count up the number of red flags: All passes in your first year (I'm assuming you're H/HP/P), 3 failures in 2nd year causing you to have to repeat a year, Step 1 score right at the passing score at the time which would be considered failing now when most people's scores begin with the digit 2, Clinicals - nearly all passes, and the specialty you want to go for is the one you got a conditional pass in, and nearly failed.

                            So no, you don't get to be geographically picky, esp. as you don't even make the cutoff of your OWN home program for an interview.
                            1. Yes. I am aware that research does not make up for everything. Would I have done better at school without all the research projects? Maybe or maybe not. I am hoping it's better than nothing.
                            4. Thank you for pointing out that I am not even an average candidate.
                            5. No our school only has Pass/CP/Fail for pre-clinical years. And my 3 failed exams in the 2nd year did not literally result in Fs on my transcript, but with CP as they were remediated with subsequent exams. Not that they are any better.
                            6. My home program is actually one of the more competitive GS programs to get into. Our school policy guarantees an interview to all the applicants from our school. So, I know I'd get an interview at least. Beyond that, most likely not (225 step 1 min. is more for when they rank I believe).
                             

                            DarknightX

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                              Ok... well... thank you all for your comments. Even though they were harsh, I will take them.
                              ppl who chose to make fun of my situation without giving me a constructive or helpful feedback, remember that karma's a bitch.
                              I would appreciate inputs from current GS residents (not med students or residents of other specialties).
                              To answer some of your questions...
                              1. Publications: I looked at research as an opportunity to increase my chance for residency as it was suggested by my mentor (surgery faculty). I also looked at it as a chance for me to make good connections with two surgeons whom I got the strong letters from. They are heavy into research.
                              2. CP on surgery: I actually scored pretty high on the shelf, but failed an oral exam.
                              3. Away rotations: I was actually not that into doing aways, but my assistant dean and adviser recommended that I should do aways to increase any chance that I may have later.
                              4. Location: Just because I am not a strong candidate, I don't even get to state my preferences?? NEVER said that I would only applied to those states.
                              5. Pre-clinical: At the time, I did not want to waste a year and take another year of loans. And I did not anticipate my last two surgeries to happen at all (complications).
                              I decided to stick with applying for GS, because my adviser noted that no one who score above 260 on step 2 went unmatched from 2011. I realize that I should have a back up plan, so I will most likely apply to IM as a backup (no disrespect for IM, just that there are a lot more positions available). Thanks

                              I'm a general surgery senior resident at a California program.

                              As mentioned above, you have some red flags on your application. Your step 1 is horrible, but your step 2 shows that you can do well when you apply yourself. If you explain that you had health conditions that led to this, it would defnitely help. The bad step 1 score can be explained and even excused in light of your excellent step 2 score. A bigger issue is what happened on your surgery rotation? One oral examination should not affect your grade so much. What does your dean's letter say for your surgery rotation? That's probably the first thing I would look at and ask you if I was reviewing your application.

                              The biggest thing that stands out me is that you're applying for IM as a backup. Why would you do that? IM couldn't be more different from surgery, and any real surgeon would rather put a fork in his own eye than sit through medicine rounds. Also how are you going to interview for both surgery and IM? That to me says you're not very committed to surgery, you just think it's a nice idea. Your backup plan should be to apply to preliminary surgery programs, bust your ass, and find a catergorical spot. If you work hard, you can probably find a catergorical spot somewhere.

                              If you were truly committed to surgery, you'd apply to over 50 programs in less desirable locations. You can give NY/Cali a shot, but I would put those lower on my priority list. It's possible to match, but you better have some killer letters of rec, be able to explain your low grade in your surgical clerkship, and pray to God no one finds out you're applying to IM.
                               
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                              SouthernSurgeon

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                                I can see that you are a first year DO med student from your previous posts. It's hard to imagine you'd know what the F you are talking about.

                                :corny:

                                In case it wasn't clear...I'm a 5th year resident at a very competitive general surgery program. Despite my confusing handle.

                                But anyways...You've gotten good information- even if much of it has come from non-surgeons. You can choose to accept it or not.

                                Several posters with a lot of experience in this area (myself included) have tried to give you a realistic picture and some advice. Even if it's not the prettiest picture. Your response has been to come out guns blazing and get offended. What exactly did you want to get out of this thread?

                                Your backup plan should be to apply to preliminary surgery programs, bust your ass, and find a catergorical spot. If you work hard, you can probably find a catergorical spot somewhere.

                                Yes that would be another good option. If the OP can demonstrate that they are good clinically and get a good score on the ABSITE (which would dispel some of the fears programs might have about OP's ability to handle their boards), that might lead into a solid categorical slot.

                                I ask again...what were the grades and feedback from these two away rotations?
                                 
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                                DarknightX

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                                  [QUOTE="Can I at least HOPE to end up somewhere in CA or NY (two states with most GS programs)? I'd like to think so.
                                  [/QUOTE]

                                  As a prelim, maybe.

                                  As a categorical? Very, very unlikely.
                                   
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                                  PL198

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                                    What do you guys think about people that don't match first try, I was talking to a friend about this. Aren't they looked down upon compared to fresh grads in the next cycle?

                                    OP you have to realize that you've made a lot of mistakes and you just need to solidify your future by getting a job... You should find the absolute worst GS programs in the country and apply there for sure, just to be safe.
                                     
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                                    Chewme85

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                                      :corny:

                                      In case it wasn't clear...I'm a 5th year resident at a very competitive general surgery program. Despite my confusing handle.

                                      But anyways...You've gotten good information- even if much of it has come from non-surgeons. You can choose to accept it or not.

                                      Several posters with a lot of experience in this area (myself included) have tried to give you a realistic picture and some advice. Even if it's not the prettiest picture. Your response has been to come out guns blazing and get offended. What exactly did you want to get out of this thread?



                                      Yes that would be another good option. If the OP can demonstrate that they are good clinically and get a good score on the ABSITE (which would dispel some of the fears programs might have about OP's ability to handle their boards), that might lead into a solid categorical slot.

                                      I ask again...what were the grades and feedback from these two away rotations?

                                      Thank you very much for your feedbacks. I wasn't being unreceptive to criticism or harsh remarks. I just got upset at pre-clinical med students who ridicule someone's serious concerns on a habitual basis without having gone through the same process or personal experiences. And I believe Dermviser and Mad Jack did that.
                                      Anyways, I only finished one away and honored it. I also finished our school's senior surgery clerkship and honored it. I just started the second and will see how it goes.
                                      I did not mean any disrespect to IM. I am only considering that route, because two friends of mine who matched last year suggested it to me. And I guess it's not a good idea.
                                      For prelim, I will definitely apply to loads of prelims. I am hoping I wouldn't have to do prelims, because I've seen what it's like to match into a categorical position as a prelim.
                                      I ****ed up real bad, and I am very much aware of it. I am just hoping that my step 2 score, LORs and research can help me just enough to land a categorical position SOMEWHERE. And as stated above, no one has gone unmatched with a 260 on step2 since 2011. But then again, I bet none of them had a 188 and CP on their records.
                                      I am just trying to assess my chance of getting interviews past the initial screening and my chance of matching into a categorical position at a low tier univ. program.
                                      It was a mistake on my part to even mention CA or NY since everyone seems to think it's impossible. I only mentioned it because the PD at the CA community program where I did an away made it sound like it's not impossible. But maybe he was just trying to be nice.

                                      ** I did MPH, because a chief resident at my program suggested it. He wanted me to portray myself as a research expert with a former degree and many publications. He said it could be appealing to some PDs who are really into research. And more so because I needed to do EVERYTHING I could to boost my chance... And Yale, where I did my undergrad, had a fellowship that would pay much of my MPH tuition via the Yale alumni association. So I guess my attitude at the time was "why not?"
                                       
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                                      Chewme85

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                                        What do you guys think about people that don't match first try, I was talking to a friend about this. Aren't they looked down upon compared to fresh grads in the next cycle?

                                        OP you have to realize that you've made a lot of mistakes and you just need to solidify your future by getting a job... You should find the absolute worst GS programs in the country and apply there for sure, just to be safe.
                                        Yeah... I asked the same to the prelims at my program. They all said it's EXTREMELY hard to match into a categorical position subsequently with more and more US seniors graduating. Out of 12 prelims (past three yrs), our program only took two of them (both of them were from top 10 med schools). Most of them regretted their initial decisions to be persistent on GS, and told me to avoid prelim at all cost.
                                         

                                        PL198

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                                          Thank you very much for your feedbacks. I wasn't being unreceptive to criticism or harsh remarks. I just got upset at pre-clinical med students who ridicule someone's serious concerns on a habitual basis without having gone through the same process or personal experiences. And I believe Dermviser and Mad Jack did that.
                                          Anyways, I only finished one away and honored it. I also finished our school's senior surgery clerkship and honored it. I just started the second and will see how it goes.
                                          I did not mean any disrespect to IM. I am only considering that route, because two friends of mine who matched last year suggested it to me. And I guess it's not a good idea.
                                          For prelim, I will definitely apply to loads of prelims. I am hoping I wouldn't have to do prelims, because I've seen what it's like to match into a categorical position as a prelim.
                                          I ****** up real bad, and I am very much aware of it. I am just hoping that my step 2 score, LORs and research can help me just enough to land a categorical position SOMEWHERE. And as stated above, no one has gone unmatched with a 260 on step2 since 2011. But then again, I bet none of them had a 188 and CP on their records.
                                          I am just trying to assess my chance of getting interviews past the initial screening and my chance of matching into a categorical position at a low tier univ. program.
                                          It was a mistake on my part to even mention CA or NY since everyone seems to think it's impossible. I only mentioned it because the PD at the CA community program where I did an away made it sound like it's not impossible. But maybe he was just trying to be nice.

                                          ** I did MPH, because a chief resident at my program suggested it. He wanted me to portray myself as a research expert with a former degree and many publications. He said it could be appealing to some PDs who are really into research. And more so because I need to do EVERYTHING I can to boost my chance... And Yale, where I did my undergrad, had a fellowship that would pay much of my MPH tuition via the Yale alumni association. So I guess my attitude at the time was "why not?"

                                          Yeah but the only thing that kinda sucks about that is the research positions are going to be the more competitive ones, so the benefit you get from the MPH is kinda moot in terms of the programs you're viable for probably won't care too much..

                                          Can someone explain conditional pass? Like what is the condition? Is it like remediation of a rotation?
                                           

                                          Chewme85

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                                            Yeah but the only thing that kinda sucks about that is the research positions are going to be the more competitive ones, so the benefit you get from the MPH is kinda moot in terms of the programs you're viable for probably won't care too much..

                                            Can someone explain conditional pass? Like what is the condition? Is it like remediation of a rotation?
                                            Very true... but I mean seriously... Did I even have a choice? It's better than nothing, right? We wouldn't even be having this thread if I had no research and no MPH, but only a low step 1 with a CP on surgery. Again, it wasn't that costly. So, it seemed like a logical decision at the time. I thought that a high step 2 score and loads of publications would help me out a lot. That just isn't the case in reality.
                                            Conditional pass = failed one component of a clerkship (evals, write-ups, oral, shelf, and presentation), but subsequently passed on a second try.
                                            vs.
                                            Fail = failed to remediate whatever you failed initially
                                             
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                                            DermViser

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                                              Yeah... I asked the same to the prelims at my program. They all said it's EXTREMELY hard to match into a categorical position subsequently with more and more US seniors graduating. Out of 12 prelims (past three yrs), our program only took two of them (both of them were from top 10 med schools). Most of them regretted their initial decisions to be persistent on GS, and told me to avoid prelim at all cost.
                                              Of course, they did. They effectively reached a dead end all bc they were too stubborn. This is why the NRMP and AAMC are publishing Outcomes of the Match - bc medical students as a whole are not listening and taking to advice from their Dean of Student Affairs, their mentors in their specialties (many of whom aren't straightforward to begin with due to fear of backlash from the student), etc. so that students can now see hard data on the match.

                                              A new Charting Outcomes for 2014 is coming on September 16th.
                                               
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                                                1. Yes. I am aware that research does not make up for everything. Would I have done better at school without all the research projects? Maybe or maybe not. I am hoping it's better than nothing.
                                                4. Thank you for pointing out that I am not even an average candidate.
                                                5. No our school only has Pass/CP/Fail for pre-clinical years. And my 3 failed exams in the 2nd year did not literally result in Fs on my transcript, but with CP as they were remediated with subsequent exams. Not that they are any better.
                                                6. My home program is actually one of the more competitive GS programs to get into. Our school policy guarantees an interview to all the applicants from our school. So, I know I'd get an interview at least. Beyond that, most likely not (225 step 1 min. is more for when they rank I believe).

                                                lol guaranteeing an interview doesn't mean anything for your matching chances. it's merely a courtesy
                                                 
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                                                DarknightX

                                                Full Member
                                                10+ Year Member
                                                May 18, 2007
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                                                1. Attending Physician
                                                  Thank you very much for your feedbacks. I wasn't being unreceptive to criticism or harsh remarks. I just got upset at pre-clinical med students who ridicule someone's serious concerns on a habitual basis without having gone through the same process or personal experiences. And I believe Dermviser and Mad Jack did that.
                                                  Anyways, I only finished one away and honored it. I also finished our school's senior surgery clerkship and honored it. I just started the second and will see how it goes.
                                                  I did not mean any disrespect to IM. I am only considering that route, because two friends of mine who matched last year suggested it to me. And I guess it's not a good idea.
                                                  For prelim, I will definitely apply to loads of prelims. I am hoping I wouldn't have to do prelims, because I've seen what it's like to match into a categorical position as a prelim.
                                                  I ****** up real bad, and I am very much aware of it. I am just hoping that my step 2 score, LORs and research can help me just enough to land a categorical position SOMEWHERE.
                                                  I am just trying to assess my chance of getting interviews past the initial screening and my chance of matching into a categorical position at a low tier univ. program.
                                                  It was a mistake on my part to even mention CA or NY since everyone seems to think it's impossible. I only mentioned it because the PD at the CA community program where I did an away made it sound like it's not impossible. But maybe he was just trying to be nice.

                                                  If you did an away, you should absolutely apply to that program and hope for your best.

                                                  OP, if I was in your situation, I'd do as many away rotations as I could, and bust my ass. I would take as much call as humanly possible, and not take any days off.

                                                  Show them that you'd be the hardest working med student that they've ever seen, and that you'd be an even harder working resident. When I work with sub-I's, I don't give a crap what their step scores are. I want to make sure that they're going to be hard working residents, that I can trust them, and that they're fun to be around (no pretentious douchebags). I don't know about other programs, but the senior residents at my program do have a say and attend rank meetings.

                                                  I think it's possible for you to match, you just have to apply very, very broadly and be realistic about where you apply.
                                                   
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