Home > USMLE Scores > Even excellent scores are no guarantee

Even excellent scores are no guarantee

August 2, 2011

I previously looked at low USMLE scores and the likelihood of matching.

Lets look at the opposite.  What are the chances of getting a residency in IM with terrific scores?

Again lets look at the NRMP data from 2009.

In general, scores over 230 are considered very good.  Scores over 240 are terrific.

For Step 1, for the 1054 IMGs with scores above 230 who interviewed, only 61.7% matched to internal medicine.  For the 459 IMGs with scores above 240 who interviewed, only 70.6% matched to internal medicine.

For Step 2, for the 1252 IMGs with scores above 230 who interviewed, only 63.3% matched to internal medicine.  For the 650 IMGs with scores above 240 who interviewed, only 71.5% matched to internal medicine.

So, even if your scores are great there is only a moderately strong chance that you will get a residency in internal medicine.  Even with terrific scores you need to have the other parts of the application including clinical experience in the US with US letters.  The most important issue is not expecting to land a residency in a university program.  If you lower your expectations (even if you have terrific scores) and alter your application strategy accordingly, you may be happier in the end.

The views expressed in this post are those of Kenneth Christopher, MD and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dr. Christopher’s employer Partners HealthCare.

%d bloggers like this: