A Common Radiology Applicant USMLE Step I Misconception
Good evening. My name is Susana, a 3rd year medical student, very interested in your radiology residency program. I would like to know, if possible, what is the average step 1 score of your PGY1, in order to know if mine qualifies for your program? Thank you
Thanks for the great question! It’s a common misconception about how step I board scores are used in order to rank applicants in the match. The board scores are generally not about the average score, but rather the minimum cutoff score. The point of using the board scores in order to help with the match ranking process is to make sure that the candidate has the ability to pass the written core exam taken at the end of the third year. And, that is really the only role of the board scores. Most programs such as ours take into much stronger consideration the Dean’s Letter, interviews, and extracurriculars once the applicant has met that certain cutoff.
At our institution we use a cutoff of 220 for the USMLE Part I. However, we have made multiple exceptions over time. First of all, if you perform poorly on the Step I Boards but do well on the Step II Boards, we will often times ignore the Step I board scores or average out the two boards scores. Again, the point of the boards for us is the correlation with passing the core examination. A good step II score proves you have the ability to pass the boards. Also, if there are exceptional candidates that have other special activities, have had extenuating circumstances for not doing well on the boards, or have proven themselves already by completing a rotation with us, we will on occasion forgo using the cutoff. As an answer to your specific question, if I was to take the average boards score over the past few years, it would probably be somewhere in the 230-240 range. But, again I think the average number is irrelevant.
Hope that answer helps!!! Again, thanks for the great question!