The news that the USMLE changed the all-important Step 1 exam–which many residency programs have been using improperly to stratify applicants and which can affect one’s specialty choice–to pass/fail starting in 2022-ish caused quite a bit of shock and consternation last week. Sure, some celebrated the change as a victory, but there’s just one liiiiiittle problem: the more competitive residency programs feel they need some standardized measure to base their choices on.
Several listeners wrote in with questions on the change, and the underlying concerns those questions addressed was the uncertainty left in the wake of this change–to wit, “what am I to aim for if there is no three-digit score I can point to as a mark of excellence?” Though the powers-that-be are essentially responding, “we’re working on it, we’ll get back to you on that,” there are some possibilities to consider. And we shall, with the help of M4 Matt Wilson, MD/PhD students Aline Sandouk and Hannah Van Ert, and M1 Nathen Spitz.
Special thanks to listener Terrified Chihuahua and everyone who reached out with questions on this sudden shift in the medical education landscape!
What are your thoughts on how a pass/fail Step 1 score will change medical education and the residency application process? Did we miss anything? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, or email firstname.lastname@example.org!
Turkish listener Ali would like to come to the US for residency and to practice medicine someday, so he wrote to us to ask us what we knew about how that works. Co-host Nadia Wahba happened to visit Turkey a while back and blew our minds by letting us in on a little secret: that in the city she visited, there are public parks full of well-cared-for pets you can visit and play with.
Also, Dave subjects the gang–which also includes MD/PhD student Miranda Schene, M2 Jenna Mullins, and M3 Brendan George–to a game of Great Minds Think Alike: Med School Edition.
This week, we’re winging it on SCP–life was a bit more complicated for Dave than usual–but we have some great questions to address from some non-US listeners. Nice to have confirmation that we have more than a couple of those! Luke from Australia wants to come to America, either to study medicine or after his Australian medical education is complete. Which should he choose, and what will he think of our Australian accents after he listens? And Justin, listening in the Philippines, wants to know what story our co-hosts tell themselves when they think about why they’re studying medicine. Justin Hababag, Aditi Patel, and Kylie Miller are on hand to discuss.