isnt a key question in this exactly what % (if any set %) earn a high pass? if it is, say 10% or less, then i think absy's pt about it being specifically important for top clerkships and professorships
That would also depend on whether or not they curve right
So there is a lot of pressure when you have 13 possible grades, one of which forces you to re-take the course (although in many PhD programs, for example, you can't get less than a B or so twice a year or you'll be kicked out, and you have you keep above a very high average or you're kicked out)
But when you just have 3 possible grades, like high pass/pass/fail, you can relax a lot more, does that make sense?
Of course it's better to have all High Passes, but it's a lot easier to score a High Pass than it is an A+, and a "pass" or even a "low pass" looks better than a D or a D-
Most med schools are on pass/fail or high pass/pass/low pass/fail
And if you fail you can take the class again in the summer
You just memorize some biochem, memorize the different parts of the body, do some rotations in the hospital.. not bad for a guaranteed 100k+ a year for the rest of your life, more than double that in some specialties