Advice for IMG ophthalmology aspirants

thewildleo

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    Hi :) I am a newbie on the forum. I'm a final yr med student from India. Very keen on ophthalmology. From what i've read on the forum it seems to be quite ungettable for IMG's .
    Just wanted to ask you guys if could give a few suggestions , for an IMG how to improve one's chances of getting matched besides the board scores.
    Do electives help ? What about LOR's from US faculty members ? How important are they. Where does research fit in ? and Publications?
    Does it make sense to come to the states and spend a year doing research n trying to get something published before participating in the match ?

    Thanks:horns:
     

    Andrew_Doan

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    1. Attending Physician
      Originally posted by thewildleo

      Do electives help ? What about LOR's from US faculty members ? How important are they. Where does research fit in ? and Publications?
      Does it make sense to come to the states and spend a year doing research n trying to get something published before participating in the match ?

      Welcome to the forum! :)

      Yes, it will help doing rotations at several programs; however, some schools do not allow students from non-LCME accredited programs (http://www.lcme.org/) to rotate through, e.g. Iowa. You'll have to check with each program you're interested in visiting.

      Things that will give you an advantage:

      1) Outstanding LOR from US faculty. This is a must.

      2) Scoring 250+ on the USMLE.

      3) Experience with ophthalmology here in the US, i.e. clinical rotations in the US.

      4) Research may help a little, but most IMGs applying are doing research.

      Things that will work against your application:

      1) Prior training as an ophthalmologist in your home country.

      2) No real ties here in the US.
       

      thewildleo

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        Originally posted by Andrew_Doan
        Welcome to the forum! :)

        Things that will give you an advantage:

        1) Outstanding LOR from US faculty. This is a must.

        2) Scoring 250+ on the USMLE.

        3) Experience with ophthalmology here in the US, i.e. clinical rotations in the US.

        4) Research may help a little, but most IMGs applying are doing research.

        Thanks ! .

        I guess the only way to get LOR's from US faculty is through electives .
        Does a student exchange program ( organised through ifmsa.org) at Wills ( Jefferson Medical College ) qualify as an elective ?
         
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        1. Attending Physician
          Originally posted by Andrew_Doan
          Things that will work against your application:

          1) Prior training as an ophthalmologist in your home country.

          2) No real ties here in the US.

          Just out of curiousity, why would prior training as an ophthalmologist be a negative factor? Intuitively I would have thought that would make an applicant more desirable, although I have no real experience in dealing w/ admission boards. I can see why no real ties here would be a negative factor though.
           

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          1. Attending Physician
            Originally posted by Sledge2005
            Just out of curiousity, why would prior training as an ophthalmologist be a negative factor? Intuitively I would have thought that would make an applicant more desirable, although I have no real experience in dealing w/ admission boards. I can see why no real ties here would be a negative factor though.

            I'm assuming because they like to build you from the ground up.
             

            thewildleo

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              Could also be the fact that by then you are considered an old graduate.
              I read that 32 IMG's matched last year. Many of them must have had postgraduate training in their country though.
               

              Andrew_Doan

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              1. Attending Physician
                Originally posted by thewildleo
                does any one have the statistics of img's in the match. How many apply for the 32 that are selected.
                are non optho publications of any help ?

                35 IMGs matched this year. This represents 31% of the IMGs who applied (~115 applicants).
                 

                thewildleo

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                  I'll be going for my first elective in ophthalmology next month to Cleveland.
                  Any advice as to what preparation needs to be done.
                  This would be my first exposure to the health care system in states.
                  What level of knowledge/clinical acumen is expected from a 4th yr Med Student ?
                   

                  Koji Kabuto

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                    thewildleo said:
                    I'll be going for my first elective in ophthalmology next month to Cleveland.
                    Any advice as to what preparation needs to be done.
                    This would be my first exposure to the health care system in states.
                    What level of knowledge/clinical acumen is expected from a 4th yr Med Student ?

                    Out of curiousity, did you do this elective? Which program did you go to and how did it go? Did you make a good impression? I hope you did. I know it is a tough road to try to match in ophthalmology as a FMG and I wish you luck in your endeavors. Please keep us posted.
                     

                    Andrew_Doan

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                    1. Attending Physician
                      thewildleo said:
                      I'll be going for my first elective in ophthalmology next month to Cleveland.
                      Any advice as to what preparation needs to be done.
                      This would be my first exposure to the health care system in states.
                      What level of knowledge/clinical acumen is expected from a 4th yr Med Student ?

                      Look in the thread about book recommendations. I think you should read: Practical Ophthalmology (AAO) and be familiar with the basic diagnoses listed in the Wills Manual. I wish you luck! ;)
                       
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