Saturday, July 21, 2007

How to convert your USMLEWORLD score to the USMLE Step 1 score

I have found this formula when was browsing the net.

(UW avg. x 2.4) + 84 = three digit score

It might be too simple fo real conversion - but at least it gives some degree of precision.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Kaplan USMLE Step 1 Video - 2007 edition

So, new edition of Kaplan USMLE Step 1 Videos is available.
To avoid confusion, I am going to explain the difference between 70-disk and 25-disk versions.
70 disk version of Kaplan 2007 Step 1 Videos is a raw DVD version - the same as the normal movies on the DVD.

25 disk version of Kaplan 2007 Step 1 Videos is a DIVX compressed. The quality of compressed videos depends on the resolution and the bitrate. The resolution of this set is 640x480 pixels. This is the same as a quality of the TV picture. The bitrate is 1 mbit/s - which is very good quality.

This means that you get the same quality as original DVD but with less disks.

And some feedback from the lucky one who obtained this videos and is watching them at his convenience at home:

Thursday, July 19, 2007

What is a good USMLE score

A good score is one that is (a) passing and (b) passing, a fact that
the USMLE apparently realized because rumor has it they are going to
make the exams pass/fail in the near future. For now, keep in mind
that the national average (which has been rising, probably through
artificial means) has been around 215 in 1997-98. The cut-off for a
"good" score once was 200 (when 200 was set as the statistical mean,
or 50th percentile score). Now, though, "good" scores start around
215 and go up from there. And yes, it is sad but true that some
residency programs use USMLE Step I scores as a preliminary cut-off
point for sending out secondary applications and/or interview
requests. Generally the programs that do this tend to be the more
competitive ones - surgery, orthopedics, ENT, neurosurgery, etc.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

USMLE/COMLEX Scores--What is considered good

It instead of citing specific scores, it's better to think in terms of "passing", "getting the mean", "beating the mean" "top third", and "acing."

Most AOA or ACGME-approved programs for family medicine would be happy with "passing." Most of the more selective ones probably only take students who at least "get the mean."

I think for internal medicine, "getting the mean" is pretty much required, but there are probably lots of program who take students who just "pass." More of the selective IM programs will want students in the "top third."

Surgery, at least "top third."

Neurosurg, at least "top third" and probably "acing." Ditto for ortho.

Peds, probably "getting the mean" or "
beating the mean."

OB/GYN, at least "top third."

Psych/Neuro, just "passing" is fine with the exception of some very top programs who probably only take students who "beat the mean."

PM&R, "passing", more selective programs at least "beating the mean" and probably "top third."

Please note that the USMLE no longer gives out percentiles. There were some rumors that the USMLE would eventually become just pass/fail. For now, however, passing is getting approximately 180 and higher. Getting the mean is about 215. Beating the mean is getting over 220. Getting in the top third would probably be over 230. Top ten percent is around 240 and higher.