ziffy 850

Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 18, 2003
130
0
Visit site
Status
well....it's been a while since I posted, but I'd like your opinion. i've had a HORRIBLE TIME academically. I'm doing a little better now, but still don't think I'm ready for STEP 1. I'm planning to take this year to do research, repeat pharm and hopefully move on to STEP 1 and third year in 2005. That having been said, will my frustration and failures in my first two years strongly effect my matching, or as long as I do OK on boards and third year, will I be OK??? I still want medicine and do well in the clinical stuff.
 

pxz

Justice
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2003
193
0
Visit site
Status
Why are you so afraid of Step 1? 91% of US students pass the first time. As long as you have passed all the courses (even barely) in your medical school and spend four weeks studying for it, there is no reason you should worry.

However, it might be different if you are aiming for 99%/240+.
 

ziffy 850

Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 18, 2003
130
0
Visit site
Status
Thanx for your encouragement, but I definitely f...d this year up. I was having so much trouble, especially in pharm, that I dropped it. The only way I would've passed it would be to put in sooo much time that I would've failed all my other stuff which I was also struggling in. I could remediate it and then take the boards, but feel this might be a better way. I can learn pharm better, revisit other classes which I barely passed and hopefully have a better third year, instead of the constant "catch up" and "band-aid" approach I've had this whole year. BUT.....what do you think this will look like when I go to apply for a residency???
 
About the Ads

Kalel

Membership Revoked
Removed
15+ Year Member
Feb 1, 2004
792
3
Metropolis
Visit site
Status
A lot of students struggle during their first two years. I wouldn't worry too much about it; it'll be commented on in your dean's letter with 1-2 lines, but the vast majority of your dean's letter will be your clinical evaluations. Doing research is a good idea, and doing well on step I helps prove that you overcame your difficulties and now have a solid grasp of the the subjects. It'll be an issue with some specialties and some programs that have many more qualified applicants then spots, but as a US student, you will still be able to match somewhere in most specialties. You can actually still match pretty competetively if the rest of your clinical grades and step I score is strong. I couldn't really tell by your original post if you are interested in internal medicine, but internal medicine is currently somewhat of a buyer's market as a whole. Of course the top IM programs are very competetive, but there are a lot of strong academic/university programs that have trouble filling every year simply because there are so many spots and so few US applicants.
 

ziffy 850

Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 18, 2003
130
0
Visit site
Status
thanx for your encouragement. I just hope I don't end up like "Northern Exposure" for 3-5 years, but, as you say, as long as I do OK on the boards and OK third year, I'll be optimistic.
 
Apr 6, 2004
42
10
47
Cincinnati, OH
Status
Attending Physician
Ziffy - ditto to what KalEl said. The numbers serve as the initial screen to get an interview at places. Aim for 50% percentile - that will open up enough doors for you (especially in Internal Medicine). Pharm is modestly represented on Step I (much more pathophysiology) so you can do well with a disciplined, thorough approach to review.

For what it's worth, I struggled mightily during my pre-clinical years and even had to repeat a class. However, I found my calling during my third year rotations, got my act together, and ended up matching in general surgery in Chicago! So have hope - your fate is not sealed at all!
 

babinski bob

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
May 23, 2003
177
3
Visit site
Status
Don't sweat it. You'll do fine when you retake it. The best advice I can give is to make some pharm charts, and review them every day/other day. AFter you've thoroughly gone through your chart once or twice, you'll be able to fly through them. Just keep reviewing till you're sick of hte material and you'll feel like you can doit in your sleep. Pharm is hard because you can't really figure out what the drugs do or interactions they have simply based on the name. You can definetely do it.
 
B

Blade28

pxz said:
However, it might be different if you are aiming for 99%/240+.
Er...think a score of 240 corresponds to a 2-digit score of 97. :)

I agree, though, if you do solidly on Step 1 and during your third-year rotations, you should be fine. Grades in the first two years aren't as important.
 

Dr. Dix

Junior Member
5+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 14, 2004
14
0
Status
Like chirurgeon, I too suffered greatly during my pre-clinical years - had to repeat a course my first year. I actually took a semester off to do research, then repeated that course. Although it was tough psychologically to do so, I think in hindsight, it was the right thing to do. Part of my problem was that I was too social and was way too involved in activities/gossip/etc. in my original class. By getting a fresh start, I could pick and choose my study partners, and stick with my real friends. I passed second year about the middle of the class, did OK on Step 1 (nothing spectacular - 198) aced 3rd yr (mostly high pass and honors), passed step 2 (202), and matched at the #1 ranked (US News and World Reports - take it with a grain of salt) program in my field. I'm now practicing and no one has ever asked me about my performance during medical school.

Granted, if you are thinking Derm, Opthal, Ortho, Plastics, or some other really competitive field, your first year grades will count. BUT - you still have your boards, LORs, research, personal statement, and networking skills to strengthen your application. I for one worked harder because of my first year. AND no one would have guessed during my 3rd year that I had any difficulty at all. SO - don't obsess. The worst thing to do is to get caught up in your pride and care too much about what other people think or do.

Really, just improve the things you can improve. It'll make you a better physician and a person.

let me get off my soap box now... :laugh:
 

ziffy 850

Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 18, 2003
130
0
Visit site
Status
I really appreciate all the advice. As med students, we've all been pretty successful in our past academics or we probably wouldn't be here. That's what makes struggling with this stuff so much harder. I've always done well, gone to top notch schools, etc, but, somehow, I never learned how to study the volumes of information we now need to know. I guess it just takes me longer, but it is truly nice to know that my fate has not yet been predestined.
 
B

Blade28

ziffy 850 said:
As med students, we've all been pretty successful in our past academics or we probably wouldn't be here. That's what makes struggling with this stuff so much harder.
Very true. Everyone in med school is used to succeeding, seeing results after putting in the hours studying, etc. But then you come to realize just how much you're expected to learn in the first two years, and it's just crazy! The ol' (and oft-quoted) analogy of med school being like trying to drink water from a fire hydrant is SO true. :thumbup:
 

megsMS

Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 30, 2004
110
0
Visit site
Status
Is it still possible to match in something like Optho or Derm if your first year grades aren't the best (ex. around 3.0)? Or is it a totally hopeless case?
 

exmike

NOR * CAL
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
May 19, 2003
4,206
11
42
Bay Area
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
megsMS said:
Is it still possible to match in something like Optho or Derm if your first year grades aren't the best (ex. around 3.0)? Or is it a totally hopeless case?

Try this question in the ophtho forum.
 

anamarylee

A la grande le puse Cuca
15+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2002
169
0
40
Treasure Coast, FL
anamarylee.livejournal.com
Status
Attending Physician
I'm in a similar boat to yours, Ziffy. A former chancelor, dean of medicine, department head doctor in my school advised me that as long as I show improvement after this current setback I should be OK. Eventhough at times it feels like it, we are not the first (nor will be the last) people to go through this. In the end our patients won't care that we failed a course or had to repeat a class. All they care about is what kind of doctor you are and how you treat them. This experience WILL make us better physicians. What doesn't kill you can only make you stronger.
 

BartSimpson

New Member
10+ Year Member
Apr 30, 2004
2
0
Status
my best advice for your pharm woes, get the LIPPINCOTT PHARM CARDS , go through and highlight the side effects and mechanism of actions. study the diagrams. this is just wrote memory dude, pound them out until you have it. you should pass just fine, i scored 240+ on step 1 , and this was my only studying for pharm. good luck.
 
About the Ads