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#18655 - 10/06/05 07:50 PM Please Help! Low USMLE scores and interviews!
plumpchkn Offline
Member

Registered: 10/04/05
Posts: 178
Hi Ladies,

I really need some advice since I'm panicking and almost making myself sick over this. I didn't do well on either of my USMLE tests - 183 and 182 to be exact. There is no excuse, I just happen to be a terrible test taker with multiple choice, always have, always will. tired

My heart is broken. Can someone give me some advice? My story is a lot more in depth then what I put here, but right now I'm jsut super concerned about these scores. :weeping:

Any advice would be great. thanks!

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#18656 - 10/06/05 08:28 PM Re: Please Help! Low USMLE scores and interviews!
efex101 Offline
Super Elite Member

Registered: 06/09/02
Posts: 2284
Loc: MN
As long as you passed there should be no issues. I am confused a little, you already have interviews right? so have they not seen your scores yet? I thought that residency directors will usually not extend interviews until they have seen your scores? and if this is so then if you passed and you have been invited what is the problem? just wondering.

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#18657 - 10/06/05 09:16 PM Re: Please Help! Low USMLE scores and interviews!
plumpchkn Offline
Member

Registered: 10/04/05
Posts: 178
Hi Efex,

I did pass, I'm like on THE line for passing. My two digit scores would be 75 each I guess.

I was under the assumption they wouldn't invite me for an interview if they didn't like my scores as well. But I've been reading interview sites and it seems that you can be ranked last or not at all with low scores. They do have my scores already - and they did extend the interview knowing my scores.

Perhaps one of my biggest worries is that ever since medical school my self esteem academically has gone to hell and I don't feel like I'm a worth a damn. Mind you, I graduated from an Ivy League undergrad with honors in biochem (I even had a minor!)- but after the grades I got in med school I just feel like a failure. No matter what I do - I get the big P, even in clinical where I'd do so well and then that damn test would pull me down to a pass over and over.

I was reading a review for residency interviews and thats where it said a question to ask programs is "do you rank applicants with low scores at all?" which to me implies that some programs don't.

Anyway, thanks for the encouragement, hopefully a program will see my potential beyond the grades.

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#18658 - 10/06/05 09:31 PM Re: Please Help! Low USMLE scores and interviews!
efex101 Offline
Super Elite Member

Registered: 06/09/02
Posts: 2284
Loc: MN
You have accomplished a LOT! please do not thing that getting a P is NOT a huge accomplishment in itself. Not all medical students will honor/high pass so do not be so hard on yourself. I know that this process is very humbling believe me, but I still think that no matter what, you will still graduate with an M.D. and nobody can take that away from you. From all the medical school classes in the nation when all medical students do the match not ALL have stellar grades/board scores/etc..yet they still match so keep your chin up girl. I think that if you have so many interviews that you will match somewhere. Did you apply to high/middle/low of the row programs? a good spattering? good luck! and keep us posted.

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#18659 - 10/06/05 09:37 PM Re: Please Help! Low USMLE scores and interviews!
plumpchkn Offline
Member

Registered: 10/04/05
Posts: 178
I love this forum... where has it been my whole med school life?

Thank you SO much for your words of encouragement. I applied to umm.. all of them pretty much, top, middle and low (at least I think, I can't find the ranking for psych programs)

I have some specific ones in mind that I really want and they invited me for interview so now I guess I should just put my best foot forward and pray smile

I will definitely keep you posted and thanks again Efex smile :grouphug:

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#18660 - 10/06/05 10:15 PM Re: Please Help! Low USMLE scores and interviews!
TBird Offline
Member

Registered: 07/20/05
Posts: 39
Hey, I just wanted to chime in with some words of encouragement!

Interviewing and making a rank list is an extremely time consuming process for a residency program. They wouldn't have invited you for an interview if there wasn't something about you and your application that interested them.

You should be prepared to talk about your test scores during the interview, but I know that when my FP program interviewed for the next intern class, we were more interested in what kind of partner the applicant might make. Were they the kind of person you'd want to be admitting a difficult patient with at 2am? Test scores ARE important, but we tended to place more weight on their grades from clinical rotations and letters of recommendation from their attendings, rather than their ability to sit and fill in scantron sheets for hours.

So, go to your interviews with confidence and try to focus on your strengths. Good luck, and let us know how things go! :crossfingers:

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#18661 - 10/07/05 02:08 AM Re: Please Help! Low USMLE scores and interviews!
sahmd Offline
Super Elite Member

Registered: 06/15/05
Posts: 1628
I agree with the other posters: don't worry, just focus on the positive during your interviews. My reasons:

- If any specialty should be more interested in the interview than the scores, it would be psych!

- Everybody in my med school class -- top, middle, and bottom rank -- matched except for one, a guy with some serious mental health issues. (And even he was informed about it 2 days before the results were released, so that he could scramble and find a program that had an opening and could take him.) I think the match is a good system.

Congratulations on being invited to interview at the programs you are interested in! Good luck!

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#18662 - 10/07/05 07:01 AM Re: Please Help! Low USMLE scores and interviews!
rydys Offline
Super Elite Member

Registered: 07/08/02
Posts: 561
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
I also had very low scores on my USMLE. on step 3, I actually scored the lowest number needed to pass! My grades from med school were all just passing, but my evaluations were great.

I applied to 18 programs and got interviews at 11. In addition to regular applications, I was a "special case" bec. I'm an orthodox Jew and did not want to work on the sabbath and holidays, so I was looking for a program to accomodate me. 10/11 of those programs were willing to accomodate my special needs and gave me interviews even with my low board scores.

I was asked about the board scores at most of the interviews. I basically told them that since I got to med school I had done poorly on all the MC tests, but that orally my professors felt that I knew the material. That seemed to satisfy them, especially since I had great evals and a good dean's letter.

I matched at what was considered the "lowest" ranked program on my list (which was actually my 3rd choice). It ended up being a great program which I highly recommend to anyone interested in Peds. It is a great training program run by some fantastic people, but it doesn't have a "famous name".

I dated a guy in college who was brilliant. He double majored in biology and chemistry (not just biochem) at an ivy league U in 3 years and graduated top of his class from med school. He was so sure of himself he only ranked 3 high ranking programs and ended up having to scramble for a different specialty spot in the middle of nowhere.

I also had a friend who had great grades and scores but her eval's were not so good. She matched at her 21st ranked program, her last choice, and was miserable.

So basically, don't worry about your scores, explain what happened, and realize that everyone ends up somewhere and you'll probably be fine even if it's not your first choice. Also, be open minded about "lower ranked" schools as they can be very good programs as well.

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#18663 - 10/07/05 09:34 AM Re: Please Help! Low USMLE scores and interviews!
plumpchkn Offline
Member

Registered: 10/04/05
Posts: 178
Hi Ladies!

Thanks so much for all your support. I will take all of your advice, put it in my pocket and keep it on each interview day! I'll be chanting "I can do this, :yes: I can do this"

To Rydys, thanks for your story it was really encouraging. I do have some interviews at some lower rated programs but I told my dean that one of those I may actually want to go to because of what the program appears to be like (good compensation, excellent life style, child care, call from home, etc etc) He said that would be fine too!

I start interviewing in Nov. so I will let everyone know what happens smile

Thanks so much ladies you gals are the best! :grouphug:

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#18664 - 10/07/05 03:56 PM Re: Please Help! Low USMLE scores and interviews!
Popcorn Offline
Super Elite Member

Registered: 04/27/04
Posts: 671
Loc: Florida
I agree with the other posters - once you've got your foot in the door with an interview, the scores don't really matter, and you're on relatively level footing. Just wow them with your personality, and make sure you remember that you're interviewing them as much as vice versa!

Good luck, and have faith. The match is scary, but does work,
Danielle

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