Med Student Law of Averages

Our OB/GYN shelf scores came back!  I saw my raw score and felt surprisingly relieved.  … But then I translated it into a percentile.

All I can say is “I did better than the national and local average?  I’M A CHAMPION.” feels a hell of a lot better than “... wait, but… gah.  How is that still “55th percentile.”?*

And sure, I get that 55th percentile is completely different from 55% – and I truly am happy with my score – but either way, I think it’s funny that I’m still falling victim to a personal Lake Woebegone effect.  It just won’t die.  There’ll this shockingly irrational part of me that can’t seem to reconcile “trying my absolute hardest” with “less than 90th percentile”.

You’d think my carefully curated collection of perfectly average M1 test scores would have knocked all of the 90th-percentile-ambition out of me by now, but no.  False.  

Welcome to med school: where superiority complexes go to die.

… and are then summarily resurrected after every test, living forever as intense zombified versions of their former selves.


4 thoughts on “Med Student Law of Averages

  1. Wait till you get your Peds shelf percentile. >< Raw score right around where most of my other shelves were but abysmal percentile!

  2. Wow, we do the American shelf exams for each of our core clerkships and they don’t tell us percentiles or anything… Just our percentage and whether or not we passed (which varies from year-to-year based on class averages).
    Medicine does have a way of crushing your 90th percentile hope, and yet you just keep going for it… My class has a motto: P=MD. And yet we are all mostly still fixated on getting high scores and crushed when it doesn’t really matter.

  3. Ahaha I completely understand this feeling! In second year at the moment (Aussie undergraduate system, so things are a little different down under..) but I have to say, the ol’ superiority complex is certainly surprisingly resilient in the face of adversity…

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