nolagas

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Does a 225 step 1 and a high pass in all 3rd year clerkships put me in the running at top programs or is second tier more likely to work out? I'm trying to plan an elective and I'm not sure how high to shoot.

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powermd

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nolagas said:
Does a 225 step 1 and a high pass in all 3rd year clerkships put me in the running at top programs or is second tier more likely to work out? I'm trying to plan an elective and I'm not sure how high to shoot.

Helpful answers, sarcastic answers, and flaming all welcome.
Why do you ask?
Will you choose not to apply to the top tier programs if we tell you you don't have a shot? Questions like this get asked all the time by seemingly nervous med students who don't appear to have thought this through. First, relax- this is anesthesia, not derm. Second- apply anywhere you are personally interested in going. Third- YES, based on the limited information you supplied, nothing you said would limit your interview/match options. The best programs like to see step 1 scores in the 220-240 range, beyond that, just put together the best application you can. You know what makes a good application, we don't need to tell you. They're the same things that make any application look good. Do the best you can, and good things will happen. The only thing I might add that you may not have thought was important, is obtaining a LOR from someone well-known in the field, either at your home program, or at an away elective.
 

impetigo

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I also don't understand the point of this question.
 

candycane

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:idea: you should definately not try to reach for the top...... minimal effort should become your motto from here on out.

But then again,.... that is just my opinion
 

doc05

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impetigo said:
I also don't understand the point of this question.
the point of the question is pretty obvious. the OP doesn't know how competitive he is for matching into anesthesia.

In certain specialties, for example, you won't get an automatic interview, even if you've done a visiting elective, if you don't "make the cut" academically. In such a case, the visiting elective won't be helpful.

Sounds like the OP wants to make the most of his visiting elective, and wants to know what "tier" he's academically qualified for, to make the most of a month-long elective.

Next time try thinking, and don't automatically criticize a poster.
 

powermd

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doc05 said:
the point of the question is pretty obvious. the OP doesn't know how competitive he is for matching into anesthesia.

In certain specialties, for example, you won't get an automatic interview, even if you've done a visiting elective, if you don't "make the cut" academically. In such a case, the visiting elective won't be helpful.

Sounds like the OP wants to make the most of his visiting elective, and wants to know what "tier" he's academically qualified for, to make the most of a month-long elective.

Next time try thinking, and don't automatically criticize a poster.
I think this person was making a joke which the OP kinda asked for. I don't really understand the point of his question either. What is he going to do? Stop trying his best if we say he's not competitive for the top programs? Not apply to top programs just because of what he read in an online forum?

One other thing- this issue is WELL ADDRESSED in the FAQ (not to mention a zillion other threads), which it seems he didn't bother to read, clearly leaving him wide open to ridicule.
 

erasmus31

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When he says he is not sure how high to shoot, I don't think he means that he will not try his hardest, he simply wants to choose his visiting elective wisely. If I had a Step 1 of 180, I wold wate my time by doing an elective at UCSF because no matter how well I performed, I most likely would still not be competitive. So if I (wisely) decide not to do an elective there, does that mean I am not trying my best? You should do a visiting somewhere that you are atleast relatively competitive and at the same time, a place you are considering matching at. He doesn't know where he stands and would like advice so he can make a good decision n where to do an audition rotation.
 

powermd

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erasmus31 said:
When he says he is not sure how high to shoot, I don't think he means that he will not try his hardest, he simply wants to choose his visiting elective wisely. If I had a Step 1 of 180, I wold wate my time by doing an elective at UCSF because no matter how well I performed, I most likely would still not be competitive. So if I (wisely) decide not to do an elective there, does that mean I am not trying my best? You should do a visiting somewhere that you are atleast relatively competitive and at the same time, a place you are considering matching at. He doesn't know where he stands and would like advice so he can make a good decision n where to do an audition rotation.
I disagree. It is reasonable to do an elective at a more prestigious program than you hope to actually match if your goal is to obtain a letter from a well-known faculty member that will help you match programs more suited to your credentials. Electives aren't just for auditions; they're for letters, and getting to know a particular geographic location you might be considering for residency.

Coming from Chicago and wanting to match in NYC I needed to establish some wannabe-New Yorker street cred. I think doing two electives in NYC, and obtaining a letter from a prominent NYC anesthesiologist was critical in getting local interviews.
 

erasmus31

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powermd said:
I disagree. It is reasonable to do an elective at a more prestigious program than you hope to actually match if your goal is to obtain a letter from a well-known faculty member that will help you match programs more suited to your credentials. Electives aren't just for auditions; they're for letters, and getting to know a particular geographic location you might be considering for residency.

Coming from Chicago and wanting to match in NYC I needed to establish some wannabe-New Yorker street cred. I think doing two electives in NYC, and obtaining a letter from a prominent NYC anesthesiologist was critical in getting local interviews.
That is certainly a good point and I'm glad it was mentioned, but if you read the OP (the one no one seems to understand), I think he is looking for a good elective that fits his level of competitivness more so as an audition than for a Letter of Rec. I was trying to make it clear of what he was looking for. He was getting a lot of criticism for not trying his best, and I think he was misunderstood. I wish I could answer him myself, but I simply don't know, seeing that I'm an MSIII and looking for similar answers.
 

powermd

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erasmus31 said:
That is certainly a good point and I'm glad it was mentioned, but if you read the OP (the one no one seems to understand), I think he is looking for a good elective that fits his level of competitivness more so as an audition than for a Letter of Rec. I was trying to make it clear of what he was looking for. He was getting a lot of criticism for not trying his best, and I think he was misunderstood. I wish I could answer him myself, but I simply don't know, seeing that I'm an MSIII and looking for similar answers.
Auditions can be a great risk, and are of uncertain benefit. Basically every day you show up you are interviewing for a slot. If you do something stupid, show up late a few times in a way that's noticed, or just rub people the wrong way you can ruin your chances. That is why I advocate using outside electives for letters, and then using those letters to get a slot at a less competitive program. Kind of like "dating down", so to speak. In my case it worked out the other way around, I ended up matching better than I expected when planning my electives (I didn't do an audition rotation where I matched).
 
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nolagas

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erasmus31 said:
That is certainly a good point and I'm glad it was mentioned, but if you read the OP (the one no one seems to understand), I think he is looking for a good elective that fits his level of competitivness more so as an audition than for a Letter of Rec. I was trying to make it clear of what he was looking for. He was getting a lot of criticism for not trying his best, and I think he was misunderstood. I wish I could answer him myself, but I simply don't know, seeing that I'm an MSIII and looking for similar answers.
Well that's exactly right. To use NY examples, I just thought that if I'm a major long shot at someplace like Columbia or Cornell, I might be better off doing an audition elective at NYU or something. (I'm sure NYU is awesome and competitive and everything. I'm just trying to make up an example.) Being a long shot wouldn't necessarily prevent me from applying everywhere I'd dream of going, but it seems wiser to do an elective at a place where my application wouldn't be immediately dismissed. I'd certainly not put forward minimal effort, but wasting lots of money on applications to out of reach places would be a mistake. I mean, a few long shot applications is probably worth a try but not too many. I guess I just don't know what would be out of reach for me and what would be a better bet.

Getting letters of rec is different and not what my question was about though your point about prestigious letters is well taken.
 

gasgodess

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nolagas said:
Well that's exactly right. To use NY examples, I just thought that if I'm a major long shot at someplace like Columbia or Cornell, I might be better off doing an audition elective at NYU or something. (I'm sure NYU is awesome and competitive and everything. I'm just trying to make up an example.) Being a long shot wouldn't necessarily prevent me from applying everywhere I'd dream of going, but it seems wiser to do an elective at a place where my application wouldn't be immediately dismissed. I'd certainly not put forward minimal effort, but wasting lots of money on applications to out of reach places would be a mistake. I mean, a few long shot applications is probably worth a try but not too many. I guess I just don't know what would be out of reach for me and what would be a better bet.

Getting letters of rec is different and not what my question was about though your point about prestigious letters is well taken.
Please discount the importance of LORs. They really can make/break you even in the face of low/high scores. BTW your scores are fine, stop worrying and focus on getting good letters.