xnfs93hy

10+ Year Member
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Jun 24, 2008
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and you are..in medical school, what major tests do you have to take? What I mean by that is, what is Step I? are there any other "steps?" I know these may sound like stupid questions and are not relevant for me because I'm not even apply to college until next year but I'm just curious.

Also, if someone wants to get into a very competitive specialty like Derm or something (maybe not Derm because that is probably the most competitive specialty right now, but you get my point haha), what should this student be doing in medical school to give them the best possible chance of getting matched into that specialty?
 

Crazyday

Junior in HS
10+ Year Member
Oct 12, 2008
552
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Step 1 is the most difficult one. There is a Step 2 and Step 3, and there are also exams for each of your rotations in 3rd and 4th year.

Research is a big plus, especially publications. Honoring most of your rotations 3rd + 4th year is probably the biggest. Do well in all of your courses (top of your class is nice but probably not necessary), don't fail. Get a high score on the step 1 (around 235+ to be competitive for derms).

But really, stop worrying about what you MIGHT be doing 6 years down the road. You're already questioning if you want to go to med school and you haven't even finished high school. The questions that you're asking might not even be relevant by the time you're in medical school, if you ever get to medical school.

Focus on getting straight A's in all of your courses (especially the science ones you seem to be having trouble with), get a high ACT/SAT, then relax some. Medical school is irrelevant to you right now.
 

GZA

Marcel who?
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Apr 25, 2007
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Crazyday, a junior in HS? Impressive. Nice post.
 
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Terpskins99

Fear... The Stig
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Mar 8, 2005
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Step 1 is the most difficult one. There is a Step 2 and Step 3, and there are also exams for each of your rotations in 3rd and 4th year.

Research is a big plus, especially publications. Honoring most of your rotations 3rd + 4th year is probably the biggest. Do well in all of your courses (top of your class is nice but probably not necessary), don't fail. Get a high score on the step 1 (around 235+ to be competitive for derms).
You're in high school? Haha, nicely done. Anyhow, just a little more clarification...

Step 1 is the most important exam, not necessarily the most difficult. It tests you on material covering your first two years of medical school (the "basic sciences"). In 2007, the average Step 1 score of those matching into dermatology was 238. Realistically, you'd want at least a 240 to be "competitive" for most spots. It doesn't sound like much of a difference, but it does help. The reputation of your medical school can influence this somewhat.

Your class rank after your first two years of medical school is more important than your performance overall during 3rd and 4th year (during clerkship years, your performance in internal medicine and general surgery are the most important). Obviously, you'd want to do well during any dermatology rotations. Recommendation letters are helpful if the letter writer is known by the residency program director.

Research (by way of publications/conference presentations) is definitely a plus.
 

xnfs93hy

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 24, 2008
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I doubt that I'd be able to get a high class rank, everything else seems doable. Then again, if I am able to pull everything else off, my class rank should be pretty high anyway.

One quick question though.

Is there an unofficial list of competitiveness among all the specialties. What I mean by that is is there a list of all the specialties with the first one being the most hard to match into?

1.Derm, NS, Ortho-like this?
2.....
3....

or

1.Derm
2.NS
3.Ortho
4....
5....
6....


Specialties rank of competitiveness are in no particular order...
 

Crazyday

Junior in HS
10+ Year Member
Oct 12, 2008
552
1
Status
Pre-Medical
I doubt that I'd be able to get a high class rank, everything else seems doable. Then again, if I am able to pull everything else off, my class rank should be pretty high anyway.

One quick question though.

Is there an unofficial list of competitiveness among all the specialties. What I mean by that is is there a list of all the specialties with the first one being the most hard to match into?

1.Derm, NS, Ortho-like this?
2.....
3....

or

1.Derm
2.NS
3.Ortho
4....
5....
6....


Specialties rank of competitiveness are in no particular order...
You don't know if you're even getting into medical school, let alone whether or not you can get a high class rank. If you try, you can. If you say you can't and settle for less than your best, then no, you can't. This applies to high school, college, and just about everything in life. Don't accept mediocrity from yourself; always aim for better.

Yes, there pretty much is an unofficial list of competitiveness in terms of USMLE scores, which is probably one of the biggest factors of whether you match into a particular specialty or not.
 

RySerr21

i aint kinda hot Im sauna
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Dec 22, 2007
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I doubt that I'd be able to get a high class rank, everything else seems doable. Then again, if I am able to pull everything else off, my class rank should be pretty high anyway.

One quick question though.

Is there an unofficial list of competitiveness among all the specialties. What I mean by that is is there a list of all the specialties with the first one being the most hard to match into?

1.Derm, NS, Ortho-like this?
2.....
3....

or

1.Derm
2.NS
3.Ortho
4....
5....
6....


Specialties rank of competitiveness are in no particular order...
they aren't going to be ranked like that. You can just look at things like the average STEP 1 scores for each specialty. The higher the score, the more competitive the applicants are that are applying. You can also look at how many spots are available and how many people are applying. Another thing you can look at is how many of the spots are filled...if you are looking at a specialty that only fills half of its avialble spots, its not going to be among the most competitive. You can look at a specialty such as orthopedics which will fill upwards of 90% of its available spots and then internal medicine which will only fill like 50-60% or something like that (those numbers aren't exact). All of this information is available at www.nrmp.org. You can browse around there and look at all the data and tables and stuf. Here are a few other links available on that website.
http://www.nrmp.org/data/index.html
http://www.nrmp.org/data/chartingoutcomes2007.pdf
 
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