With STEP 1 going P/F, is it better to go to a school with rankings in the pre-clinical years?

Apr 5, 2020
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Since STEP 1 is going P/F, I'm assuming this means the other aspects of my application will be weighted much more when it comes to residency applications. Given this, would it be better to go to a med school which does P/F for the first two years (assuming no internal ranking) or one that ranks the first two years (given that you finish in the top percentile of the class)? On the one hand, P/F pre-clinical years means less stress and less cutthroat competition. However, would my application appear less desirable to PD's compared to a student at a ranked pre-clinical med school who finished in the top of his/her class in the pre-clinical years?
 
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gonnif

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I would go to a school that
1) first accepts you
2) has a reasonable financial package
3) fits any location, situation needs
4) has a curriculum style you may suit you better

probably another 1/2 dozen items I am missing before I would consider OPs hypothetical
 
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Rachapkis

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Step 1 going to P/F does not change the equation that much. Residency programs will replace Step 1 with another metric (e.g., Step 2) when evaluating candidates. In any event, I am not sure that attending a P/F school will affect your chances materially given that residency programs have so many metrics other than preclinical grades on which to evaluate you. Personally, I would prefer to remove the stress of grades during the preclinical years, and focus on finding your medical calling and becoming a good doctor.
 
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drducky.

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I would choose a p/f school. The extra boost from class rank won't be worth the grind compared since Step 2 will just be used in place of Step 1.
 
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TheDataKing

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E5F97678-23D4-4E1D-BA15-B2A8EB461CA5.png As of today they are planning on going pass fail in January 2022. I’d go to the higher ranked school that does not have preclinical grades. You don’t need that extra stressor.
 
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Med Ed

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Since STEP 1 is going P/F, I'm assuming this means the other aspects of my application will be weighted much more when it comes to residency applications. Given this, would it be better to go to a med school which does P/F for the first two years (assuming no internal ranking) or one that ranks the first two years (given that you finish in the top percentile of the class)? On the one hand, P/F pre-clinical years means less stress and less cutthroat competition. However, would my application appear less desirable to PD's compared to a student at a ranked pre-clinical med school who finished in the top of his/her class in the pre-clinical years?

One of the drivers behind so many school shifting to P/F preclinical years was that preclinical grades/ranking never mattered that much to PDs... except for the minority of students who do poorly in preclinical. The quantitative screening tool for programs will shift from Step 1 to Step 2 CK, that much is already clear. As for the rest of the application to residency, instead of contemplating school choice based on an archaic ranking system, medical students who want to be competitive should do the following:

1. Learn the basic medical sciences
2. Develop solid clinical reasoning skills
3. Work hard and play nice during the clinical years
4. Do research if it's an unwritten requirement for your specialty of choice
 
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