From DJ to MD: One STEP to Rule them All


Confession: I have been waiting to say “one STEP to rule them all” for the longest time XD And I feel so clever saying it XD XD

The time has finally come! Have to take this big ‘ol STEP exam, which means I will have to “step” (da dum tss!) away from blogging for it bit! (But just until October!)

◊  ◊  ◊

What is the STEP?:

Think of it as the SAT for medical students. This exam doesn’t 100% dictate what type of doctor I will be, but it does have the potential to severely inhibit (or greatly increase the difficulty) medical student’s chances of getting certain specialties. 

The highest possible score is a 300. Which, as far as I know, no has even gotten. I know of one person who scored a 297, but then outside of the side of that, I personally know of two people who received a 272 and a 266, which placed them in the 100th and 99th percentile respectively – and those are the highest. 

To be “competitive” for residency interview they recommend a 230 score – which would only be in the 48th percentile. 

If you are looking to do something such as pediatric or internal medicine, you can get away with scoring a 210-220, 17th-30th percentile. But if you want to do any type of surgery or specialty, you are looking at needing at least a 240 (67th percentile) or 250 (84th percentile).

For example. The average score for a matched dermatology residency in 2019 was 251 (over the 84th percentile), and average score for a unmatched dermatology residency was still a 243… meaning medical student who scored in nearly the 76th percentile didn’t match… YEAH. Meanwhile, the average for a matched family medicine was a 219 (under the 30th percentile). 

This isn’t to say that if you want to do psychiatry you can slack off just shoot for a passing score. The better the score, the better chance you have of getting in better residency program. Different specialties nearly have a higher level of entry.

Personally, I don’t care what type of medicine you are trying to practice. Everyone should be trying to get that perfect 300 and scoring as high they possibly can. 

There are still many many many other factors that play into getting an interview for residency and then getting the residency, but the number one factor? The STEP 1 score. (And if you are interested in all the factors and more data about medical students’ residency numbers (where I get that chart from pictured above) here is the pdf: that I got from The National Resident Matching Program’s website.)

As I stated to start things off, the STEP doesn’t 100% percent dictate the rest of a medical student’s life, but it is 100% the most impactful exam they will ever take in their life. And it’s not the hardest, but it is generally considered one of the hardest exams in the world.

So yeah, this is why I will be temporarily putting the blog on hold until after the I take the STEP.

◊  ◊  ◊

The Study Plan:

Wonder what a study schedule looks like for the STEP 1 exam? I’m not going into detial about which sources I will be using and how I will actually be studying (this is a book blog, after all), but below is a general outline…

And because this is the question people always ask: outside of Sundays, which will be about 9 hours of studying, my average day’s goal will be just under 12 hours of studying. 

◊  ◊  ◊

Here is how “Phase 1” will go:

And then here is how “Phase 2” will go:

◊  ◊  ◊

When Will I Return?:

I am looking to take my STEP the first week of Week September… which means I should be able to get interviews back up and running again come somewhere in October! 

◊  ◊  ◊

The Future:

  1. Changing the Name of the blog

As I mentioned in my previous post, I was going to be re-naming the blog. I have had one idea in mind, and I’ve been testing it out on friends and everyone seems to like it! 

Still not going to say what it is but it’s basically official name change will happen at the start of 2020.

2. A Podcast

Still leaning hard to do this, and my goal it to launch this at the same time I re-launch the blog with a new name at the start of 2020!

◊  ◊  ◊


Just finished my second year of medical school. Going to spend a couple months studying for the STEP 1 exam. Blog activity will be silent during that time period. Content will return in October. 

◊  ◊  ◊

Before I go, I sincerely want to thank all of you so very much for staying with my blog… Despite how little time I have to interact with everyone, you all are still liking and sharing and even commenting from time to time (even though I don’t have to time do the same for yours)  🙂

◊  ◊  ◊




5 thoughts on “From DJ to MD: One STEP to Rule them All

  1. WWMB says:

    I wish you lots of quality study time and luck with the exam! Will miss your posts, but look forward to your return.


  2. Tammy says:

    Wow DJ, this is pretty cool. My fingers are crossed for your STEP exam, good luck!


  3. Dougie says:

    I love you

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Zezee says:

    Wow! Your schedule is intense. All the best with your exam!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: