The Mrs. The Mommy. The M.D.: Taking the First Step...No Really.
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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Taking the First Step...No Really.

So last week I paid for the prep course for my USMLE Step 1 exam...eeek!

We have been told many times already this year that Step 1 will be the most important test we take in our whole life. This is probably true because Step 1 tests us over everything we learned during the first two years of medical school, and is how residencies decide who is eligible for interviews and spots...eeek!

From the USMLE website:
"Step 1 assesses whether you understand and can apply important concepts of the sciences basic to the practice of medicine, with special emphasis on principles and mechanisms underlying health, disease, and modes of therapy. Step 1 ensures mastery of not only the sciences that provide a foundation for the safe and competent practice of medicine in the present, but also the scientific principles required for maintenance of competence through lifelong learning. Step 1 is constructed according to an integrated content outline that organizes basic science material along two dimensions: system and process."
I definitely need the structure of a prep course and signing up made me kind of excited for this next step! Excited for an EIGHT HOUR exam?! I know, but this is what medical school has done to me...

Here is an idea of what Step 1 scores mean for competitiveness within specialties that someone posted on Student Doctor Net:

First Score: SPECIALTY Programs generally do not grant interviews below these scores.
Second Score: Programs almost always grant interviews above these scores.
Anesthesiology 208 228 
Dermatology 221 247  
Diagnostic Radiology 218 237  
Emergency Medicine 203 227  
Family Medicine 194 214  
General Surgery 208 223  
Internal Medicine 207 228  
Internal Medicine/Pediatrics 203 218  
Neurology 202 222  
OB/GYN 199 216  
Orthopedic Surgery 217 236  
Otolaryngology 224 244  
Pathology 204 226  
Pediatrics 200 218  
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) 198 209  
Plastic Surgery 221 244  
Psychiatry 197 211  
Radiation Oncology 213 244  
Transitional Year 212 239 

Reference: National Resident Matching Program, Data Release and Research Committee: Results of the 2010 NRMP Program Director Survey. National Resident Matching Program, Washington, DC. 2010.

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