Ask Me Anything Highlights

Here are some highlights from my recent Ask Me Anything Post on the Reddit Pre-Med Community.

You can read the full thread Here
Q: What was the single piece of information you wish you'd known most heading into medical school?

Your first two years don't matter. All you have to do is learn enough to do fantastic on step 1. The "pre-clinical" information you learn, with a few exceptions, is almost completely useless as a practicing physician. Don't stress, and get pulled into all the drama of other pre-clinical students. Have fun, learn as much as you can, and get ready to focus during 3rd and 4th year when it really counts. Also take a badass vacation before med school because getting the time off to travel is going to be tough for the next like... 7 years.

Q: Why did you choose emergency?

EM is a very broad specialty which appeals to me. Specialty selection is a very personal choice. Also I hate being on call. I absolutely despise it. When I'm off, I can do WHATEVER I want with no fear of getting pulled back into the hospital. Also in terms of dollars per hour its fantastic.

Q: What are the dollars per hour like?

For a new grad you can expect 130-230/hr depending on the part of the country you are practicing, and how your reimbursement is structured.

Q: Is this hourly rate after malpractice? Can you generally pick up as many hours as you want? What's the average number of hours per week?

Malpractice is typically paid for by the contract management group. This is pretty standard for EM. In my current situation I could take as many hours as I wanted and people [...]

By |March 22nd, 2015|Medical School, Pre-Med|0 Comments

Why Med School Average USMLE Scores Are Meaningless

With the number of med students increasing faster than the number of residency positions, students are becoming more and more concerned about their USMLE Step scores to increase their odds of getting into a comparative specialty or residency program. I quite frequently hear requests from pre-med students asking about the average USMLE scores at different universities, with the idea that this can be used to compare the quality of each schools pre-clinical education. I have always cautioned against using this metric, and now I finally have at least some proof.

Study investigators from McMaster university (Yes, its a Canadian study) decided to see if their interview process was able to select students who could score higher on their board exams the MCCQE (which is similar to our USMLE step 1). From their group of 1071 students they were able to identify students that passed their Multiple-Mini-Interview system. They then followed these students and tracked their board scores at different universities. Overall they found that people who passed the MMI interview did statistically significantly better than students that didn't. They also found that it didn't matter what school these higher achieving students went to.

Although this was not the direct outcome of the study it does offer some evidence that points towards what I always thought. Competitive high achieving students are going to score highly no matter where they go, and less competitive students will probably do worse, no matter what great school they go too.

Keep this in mind next time someone tries to argue that one school is "better" than another because their average step scores are higher. Your ability to score highly on step 1 is much more dependent on your own study habits, work ethic [...]

By |March 9th, 2015|Pre-Med|0 Comments