Should i give up based on step 1

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4 years 5 months ago #35567 by drdoogman
Current MS3, scored a 222 and feel like maybe that's it for me. I go to a top 5 medical school and have 2 papers published in ortho (one first author big paper and another first author case report) but is my score a death sentence? Should I start looking for other specialties. I've always wanted to do Ortho but should i go after GS at this point? Really feeling super depressed and down about this.

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4 years 5 months ago #35570 by bladerunner101
That is quite low for ortho. You should choose your aways VERY carefully and make sure you apply to a backup specialty like GS or something less competitive.

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4 years 5 months ago #35571 by drdoogman
Would doing a research year before 4th year be beneficial for LOR/Papers? What other backups do people apply to? I really don't love GS.

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4 years 5 months ago #35573 by Wild20
Research years can be very beneficial if you are able to publish a bunch of stuff and get good LOR out of it. Additionally if you mesh well with the program that you do research at, they may be willing to overlook your scores. Also, I would look at rotating at community programs and use your away rotations to convince them that you work hard enough to overlook low scores. Then rock out step 2.

I just graduated residency with a guy that had lower step 1 score than you and know many others that have match with scores in 220's. It's not easy and it is super stressful but if ortho is what you really want to do, you can probably find a way in. If you don't get in, Cincinnati and May both have research years that are very productive and I think most of the people that do them get in afterwards. Good luck.

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4 years 5 months ago #35575 by drdoogman

Wild20 wrote: Research years can be very beneficial if you are able to publish a bunch of stuff and get good LOR out of it. Additionally if you mesh well with the program that you do research at, they may be willing to overlook your scores. Also, I would look at rotating at community programs and use your away rotations to convince them that you work hard enough to overlook low scores. Then rock out step 2.

I just graduated residency with a guy that had lower step 1 score than you and know many others that have match with scores in 220's. It's not easy and it is super stressful but if ortho is what you really want to do, you can probably find a way in. If you don't get in, Cincinnati and May both have research years that are very productive and I think most of the people that do them get in afterwards. Good luck.


Thank you for your reply. Do you have advice on how many Away rotations would be ideal? and if I should do them all at community programs? I tried to make a list of schools that won't screen me out but not all schools list that information.

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4 years 5 months ago #35576 by Wild20
I would do as many as your program allowed. Most seem to let their students do 2-3 but have know some people that have done more. Most programs will probably not advertise their cutoffs. My advice would be to stick to the community programs as they may not be as quick to dismiss an applicant due to score alone. However, if you know someone at a program or really want to be at a specific program you should probably consider rotating there. Also I'd take step 2 early and (like I said before) rock it. If you score much better on step 2 and can put it on your applications, it could really help.

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