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.
In his former life, co-host Mark Moubarek was a children’s entertainer. So in a stroke of genius, Dave decides to have him make balloon animals for Aline Sandouk, Marc Toral, and Rob Humble. On an audio podcast. But it’s okay because it’s summer! Or, read another way, Dave had nothing prepared for the show, and so we’re free styling. Not a plan in the world. We talk about eating bugs, the television programs we were allowed to watch as children, Dave’s impending trip to the Podcast Movement conference, and how he’d love to some day do a presentation on what podcasting can do for medicine. Also, Aline’s had a physical transformation after she took Step 1, and we observe the phenomenon of scientists with out of control eyebrows.
The opinions expressed in this feed and podcast are not those of the University of Iowa or the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine; nor do they reflect the views of anyone other than the people who expressed them. If you have feedback on anything you hear on the show, positive or not, let us know.