How to get residency despite low step 2 score


“matriculated from Ross University this year and have taken Step 1 and scored in the 88/212 but I did not score well on Step 2 76/186.  So as of right now I am primarily studying for Step 3 to try and rectify the situation and possibly take it at the end of this year.  Besides from that what else can I do to increase my chances of acquiring a residency spot in Internal Medicine this upcoming application period?  How can I convey to the residency programs that I will be a good fit for them?”


You are correct to try to use step 3 to correct the impression of you. This is Very,very,very difficult since you need to get an interview in order to show yourself.and it is very hard to get an interview if you have not gotten the right grade.

The other thing is to spend time at a place that is possible for you to get into for a residency. Are there any places that really liked you when you rotated there?

Just remember, there is no point in spending time at a place that will NEVER accept you!


2 Responses to “How to get residency despite low step 2 score”

  1. Cordoba Says:

    Hi Dr Conrad,

    I have been damned with 2 failures in step-1 and 3 failures in step-2ck and one failure in the CS . Graduated in 2003 from international medical school in the Mediterranean region. I’m a dual citizen ” Including US citizenship ” .

    All this have fried my soul and bruised my ego. I feel lost . I think that i’m very smart person but didn’t get enough luck to get into the system that allows me to express my creativity and intellectual potential. I feel like i’m enslaved by USMLE. Can’t move forward, and became in a stagnant phase of attempting to overcome the usmle since 2005.

    I just passed the CS on the second attempt few months ago. and now preparing to take the 4th step2ck attempt.

    I need to ask you a question Dr conrad. Do i need to keep trying, is there anyway to get residency if i pass ? Or just call it off, and waste around 12 years chasing the dream since my first day in the med school ?


  2. bhatti03 Says:

    Hi Dr. Conrad,

    Great lecture on the Routine Miracles!

    I’m an IMG from Pakistan with more or less the same situation as above. I have a 76/188 on step 1 on the third attempt and 90/216 on step 2 and CS pass both on the first attempts. I graduated in 2004, with 1 year of housejob training and 2 years of practice in Pakistan.

    I’m now in the process of applying for residency for 2010 and have applied to every possible program I can, it seems that most of the programs ask for US clinical experience which is hard to get. I mean it’s hard getting into an observership let alone hands-on experience. And now I’m thinking that I should have some kind of a game plan for the future if I do not get any interview calls.

    Can you please give me some guideline/advice as to what my options are and what can I do if I do not make it for yr 2010? My father’s advice is to do an MPH and pursue my career from there. Some friends talked about postdoctoral fellowship which I have no idea of. Do you think this will help me get residency in the future?


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