Why does every school seem to do sooo well on the boards?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Scooby Doo, Feb 28, 2002.

  1. Scooby Doo

    Scooby Doo IEatShavedPussyCats

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    Ok,

    So one of the most common questions is, "How does your school do on the boards?"

    Right?
    So I keep getting that every school scores above the national average and every school is great and blah blah blah. How can I believe all that?

    Someone just posted in Allo that UC Irvine had roughly one third of the class scoring in the 99th percentile. This sounds ridiculous to me and doubt that is true. How can every damn school score above the mean on the boards? My friend goes to finch and he says that they score really well on the boards. Same with people at NYMC.

    If everyone is above the average, then who the hell is below the average???
     
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  3. shimmer118

    shimmer118 Senior Member

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    Scooby, that's an excellent question. I've often wondered about that myself! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Eek!]" src="eek.gif" /> Ya think there's some *slight* exaggeration of the numbers there? :rolleyes:
     
  4. Papa Smurf

    Papa Smurf Thug 4 Life

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    Well there's lies, damn lies, and then there's USMLE statistics! Don't buy the hype! You can twist almost any statistic to make it look favorable! Like "80% of our matriculants who had a GPA greater than 3.9 and a MCAT of greater than 35 scored 2 standard deviations above the mean on the USMLE." :rolleyes: Wow, I would've never seen that one coming. Don't pick a school simply based on their board scores. In the end, it's up to you to learn the material. And you can do that pretty much anywhere.
     
  5. saffron

    saffron Senior Member

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    yeah thats a good question about usmle scores...im not sure about that, but i had the same problem with "99% of our students get into their top 3 choices of residency"...i was like, i know not everyone is getting mass gen, mayo, etc...

    but it's b/c most people only apply to residencies where they have a good shot...so like people from a state school in tx. (barring southwestern and baylor) usually apply to in-state residencies, and usually get them...that's why even schools like san antonio can say "our students get their top residency picks"...i guess it depended on what that student ranks as 'top' :D

    sorry i still cant explain the usmle scores...it seems like it would be harder to manipulate since its a freakin concrete number :rolleyes:
     
  6. jargon124

    jargon124 Senior Member

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    Scooby - you're right, and there's no way in hell that's true about UC-Irvine. Whoever told you that is either lying or misimformed. Now, I wouldn't be surprised if that sort of thing was true at, say Penn.

    Bottom line: if you do well on standardized tests, provided you study hard, you will probably continue that trend with USMLE. Which school you go to doesn't matter much.
     
  7. glacierdropsy

    glacierdropsy Member

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    I was wondering the same thing, Scooby.
     
  8. Scooby Doo

    Scooby Doo IEatShavedPussyCats

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    <a href="http://www.studentdoctor.net/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=2;t=002087" target="_blank">UCI kicks ass</a>

    Here's one thread mentioned :)
     
  9. megkudos

    megkudos Senior Member

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    Hmmm...i I guess if you are just using "pass" rates, then most students overall at all schools "pass". That's probably where that stat comes from. As far as doing "better than the average" I don't know, it is kinda weird. You don't know if they are talking that "More students than average pass" or "Students get better than average scores."

    I can say that NYMC has had 100% pass rate. But that doesn't mean the students' scores on average are higher...

    Wow I think I'm confusing myself :)
    They should just have one site that posts all the info on every school.
     
  10. kafka79

    kafka79 Member

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    Yeah, three of the schools I interviewed with claimed to have THE BEST board scores. Hmm, Did they tie? Unlikely.
     
  11. vyc

    vyc Senior Member

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    i heard MCP Hahnemann's passing rate was low... like 75% or something?
     
  12. The Fly

    The Fly Senior Member

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    Scoob-

    This is my understanding:

    Excellent schools, like Harvard, Columbia, Penn, Hopkins, WashU, UCSF, etc. graduate students who have significant advantages in the match just because they've graduated from an excellent medical school.

    So...when somebody is competing for that same derm residency as a Harvard grad and they graduated from Mediocre-U School of Medicine (no need to name names!), then they must kick some serious butt on their boards to even come close to trying to land competitive residencies.

    Therefore, there is actually less incentive among top schools to do outstanding on their boards. This is not to say that they're not doing well, because they are--but this seems to be more a function of their innate intelligence and less about devoting three months for studying for step 1.

    Bottom Line: If you graduate from a middle tier school and want to compete for top residencies, you have to do better on your boards than a graduate from a top-15 school because they have a significant advantage just having graduated from said school.

    I didn't make this up--I was told this by someone on the admissions committee at a top-5 school, who obviously has no reason to try to make 'excuses' for this students/school.
     
  13. Papa Smurf

    Papa Smurf Thug 4 Life

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by vyc:
    <strong>i heard MCP Hahnemann's passing rate was low... like 75% or something?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">That's gotta be a top 3 match rate percentage or something. Way too low to be Step I USMLE pass rate. Double check that statistic.
     
  14. pre-hawkdoc

    pre-hawkdoc Senior Member

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    I heard a *rumor* that about 1/3 of SLU's class failed step 1 last year. My friend was interviewing there and one of the applicants brought it up to an admissions officer, who didn't deny it, so I'm inclined to believe it, but ya never know.
     
  15. Jim Picotte

    Jim Picotte Senior Member

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    I don't know where this information is coming from either. I know when I took Step I in June of 2000, our class had an average score of 209 and the national average is usually around 215 (it changes every year and this is usually the mean of Step I). I have no idea what our Step II average is.

    If you look at the most competitive residencies from which stats are available, ENT had an average Step I score of accepted applicants in the low 230's which is about 1 SD above the mean so 15 percentile. Ophthalmology had an average around 225. I've heard that in order to be competitive for derm you need to be in the 240's and even a 240 is around the 5-7 percentile.

    In order to be in the 99 percentile those students would all have to be at 260 or above which makes me think that 1/3 of the class being this high is sorta crazy. Out of 15000 MD students every year, you're only going to have 150 students that will get in the top 1% every year.
     
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  17. katiep

    katiep Senior Member

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    Question to Jim, or anyone else: How do you deterimine what the average scores are for a particular residency? In particular, do you know where neurology and neurosurgery are? What about radiology?
     
  18. Jim Picotte

    Jim Picotte Senior Member

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    The San Francisco match usually posts all their statistics although I was on that site a couple weeks ago and couldn't find them. I saw all the statistics for this year's match a couple weeks ago through a person who participated in the San Fran Match. That's why is said, "I heard that Derm needs to be in 240's" Not sure about Urology, but they may post their average statistics as well. I've never seen the averages of programs going through ERAS broken down into average USMLE Step I score though which is too bad as a lot of people would find this information to be useful. So I don't know what the average is for Radiology. This year however, in order to get interviews from what are considered the "best" programs scores in 240's and above seemed to be needed. I didn't make the cut for some places (called an asked why I didn't get an interview) and I have a Step I of 230.
     
  19. Papa Smurf

    Papa Smurf Thug 4 Life

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by pre-hawkdoc:
    <strong>I heard a *rumor* that about 1/3 of SLU's class failed step 1 last year. My friend was interviewing there and one of the applicants brought it up to an admissions officer, who didn't deny it, so I'm inclined to believe it, but ya never know.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Somebody please confirm or deny this. I can't believe that any US med school that's accredited by the LCME would have 1/3 of its class fail step 1. That's insane! I still can't believe it. Anyone else who interviewed at SLU know more about this?
     
  20. med student

    med student Senior Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Somebody please confirm or deny this. I can't believe that any US med school that's accredited by the LCME would have 1/3 of its class fail step 1. That's insane! I still can't believe it </font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I don't know about LCME but when I was interviewing at Meharry the school told me they had a pass rate or around 75% on the step 1.
     

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