MDapp06

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Hi All,

I am a 3rd year medical student, and I will be applying to Dermatology residency positions. I am scheduling my 4th year electives (my Sub-I in IM is already scheduled for October), and I would like your advice on when to take Step 2 CK and CS. My Step 1 score is not competitive (between 205-210), so it is important that I have enough time to study for Step 2 CK and CS in order to do very well on the exams. My current plan is to take time from 11/22/2010 - 12/30/2010 to study for and take both exams. However the USMLE website indicates that it takes 3-4 weeks for CK results and CS results will be available anytime between 2/3/2011 - 2/23/2011. The reason I want to block off 11/22/2010 - 12/30/2010 to study for and take both exams is because I have a required rotation from 7/5/2010 - 8/13/2010, then I will do a Derm elective in September, my Sub-I in October, and another Derm elective in November.

If I take Step 2 in December/2010, will it be too late for Dermatology programs to consider my score (assuming Step 2 CK results are available by the end of January)? Any advice on arranging my schedule and when to take Step 2 would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

mdapp06
 
Mar 21, 2010
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That is way too late :(. I am sorry to have to say that.

You will need to have your step 2 score by Nov. 1st at the LATEST. No one is going to look at your application that late. Usually applications are looked at when the Dean's Letter comes out - NOv. 1st. A few places look at your application before that date.

Have you considered taking a year off and doing a little research, and it will help you with step 2 timing. If you apply like this you may be forced to take a year off anyways, since there is a real possibility you may not match.

Good luck
 
Mar 20, 2010
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You do not want to take step 2 in December. By this time, interviews have already begun and by the time they get your results in february, interviews will more or less be over. If you want your step 2 score considered, I would take the exam after your required rotation in august.
 

MDapp06

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Thank you for the responses - I appreciate the honest feedback. I have a few additional questions:

1. Would scheduling my Sub-I later in the year, such as January/February/March of 2011 be helpful in terms of freeing up October for me to take Step 2? Or is it important to take my Sub-I in October (as currently scheduled) so that I can provide a grade to residency programs during interviews?

2. I am trying to get access to the AMA Graduate Medical Education Directory (Green Book), but my school has only 1 copy that is from 2004. Aside from purchasing it from the AMA website, does anyone know how I can look at the Dermatology residency programs in the book? Is there a .pdf version available? If not, does anyone know how I can get a list of all the Dermatology residency programs in the US?

3. I am going to schedule an away Derm elective - do you have any advice on programs I should apply to? Should I apply to a program at an institution where I have already done research because they will be familiar with my work? Or should I apply to a program where I have a better chance at matching?

I have some Derm research experience (1 publication), and I am currently organizing another research project. I am also applying for a research elective though my school's Dermatology department (the research elective would be during my 4th year).

Thank you for all of your advice - I greatly appreciate it!

mdapp06
 

MrKite

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1. It's not a big deal to postpone the sub-I until the spring of your fourth year provided you aren't trying to get a letter of recommendation out of it, which isn't going to be the case if you're already taking it in October. The additional advantage of doing a sub-I in the spring is that it will be fresher when you actually start intern year. The disadvantage, of course, is that it might cut into fourth year senioritis R-n-R time...

2. Try going to FREIDA to look at derm residency programs. They don't really give you a nice, easy list to print off, but you can search for programs by state to get an idea of where and how many programs there are.

3. For away rotations, I would recommend rotating at a place where you would potentially like to train (because of location, faculty interests, etc.). Just keep in mind that though many programs grant visiting students interviews, not all of them do, so it won't be a given that you'll have an interview just because you rotated there.

Hope that helps a bit...
 

asmallchild

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I would take Step 2 CS as early as possible. Assuming you take even a week to prepare, you really should not fail it.

Step 2 CK is up to you. I did quite well on Step 1 and decided to postpone Step 2 CK until late December. I ended up doing a tad better on Step 2 CK and it came just in time for my final interview.

I also used my Step 2 score (and a couple of added publications during that time period) to sort of reestablish contact with some of the programs I had interviewed at and particularly liked.
 

tennisballs

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I agree with MrEd. Study hard for Step 2 CK, no matter what anyone says about it being easy.

Get feedback from attendings about doing a research year.