UC Davis Health

Learn How We Helped Kyra Overcome Low USMLE Scores and Craft a Compelling ERAS Application

UC Davis Health
Kyra reached out to us before beginning the residency application process. Inspira Advantage was there for her from start to finish; read on to learn how we supported her!
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Applicant Persona







USMLE Step exams are challenging; both Step 1 and 2 take longer to complete than the MCAT. Standardized exams are even tougher for those with test anxiety — Kyra had maintained a stellar GPA but found the pressure to perform well on the USMLE Step 1 and 2 detrimental to her scores. 

Kyra took the USMLE Step 1 exam before its move to pass/fail and earned a lower score that she wasn’t happy with. Although she improved her performance in Step 2, she worried that her low score in Step 1 would limit her residency options.  

Your residency dreams don’t have to be dashed by lower USMLE scores; here’s how we helped Kyra match with one of her top programs!

How Did Inspira Advantage Help?

While the USMLE Step 1 exam is now pass/fail, many students worry about what a potential retake or low score from before the new score reporting system went into effect will mean for their ERAS applications. 

While performing well on standardized tests can boost profiles, we reassured Kyra that matching to a residency program was still within reach. Although USMLE exam scores are a selection factor, there are many components that influence who residency programs invite to interview and how they rank their choices. 

With her USMLE scores beyond her control, we helped Kyra direct the energy she’d expended worrying about her scores into creating a winning ERAS application. Using our proprietary persona assessment document, we learned that Kyra had participated in numerous research projects in med school, appearing five times in various publications. 

We also learned more about Kyra’s passion for community outreach: she had dedicated her summers to working as a phlebotomist and volunteering at a needle exchange site. These insights into her medical school experience helped us find a compelling application narrative focused on Kyra’s commitment to community service and bettering the lives of others through biomedical research.


Kyra was invited to interview with eight residency programs and matched with UC Davis Health!

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