golfman

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Seems one of the big themes I've seen on here is the importance of big wig letters of rec. I don't, and probably won't, have a big wig letter of rec. Just two solid LOR from academic Ophthalmologists (not well-known by any means), 254 on Step 1, honored most of my MS1 and MS2 classes, good evals in MS3, and lots of involvement in Ophthalmology related activities since being an undergraduate. Is not having a big-wig letter going to really hurt me? I'm going to try my best to get into a situation to get one, but time is running out.

Has anybody else out there had decent stats, minus the big-wig letter, and done fine in the match?
 

JMK2005

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Seems one of the big themes I've seen on here is the importance of big wig letters of rec. I don't, and probably won't, have a big wig letter of rec. Just two solid LOR from academic Ophthalmologists (not well-known by any means), 254 on Step 1, honored most of my MS1 and MS2 classes, good evals in MS3, and lots of involvement in Ophthalmology related activities since being an undergraduate. Is not having a big-wig letter going to really hurt me? I'm going to try my best to get into a situation to get one, but time is running out.

Has anybody else out there had decent stats, minus the big-wig letter, and done fine in the match?
Sounds like you should match well with those stats despite no big wig letter.
 

EyeGuy15

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Yeah you are most definitely in good shape for the match. I would still go after a "Big-Wig" letter if possible and it does not delay you submitting your app. It could add a few more interviews for you off the bat and a lot of times during the actual interviews, faculty who are familiar with the writer will want to talk about your experiences with the "Big-Wig" etc. This can make your conversation more memorable when it involves a mutual friend/colleague of the interviewer and improve your chances at matching at that specific program. At a a few of my interviews some of the interviewers would ask "tell me how was working with Dr. ______, I actually trained under him for residency/fellowship" etc.
 
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golfman

golfman

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Thanks for responses. I'm usually not a worrier, but for some reason I'm all freaked out about not matching into Ophthalmology, which is what I desperately want to do. Thanks for the words of advice/reassurance. I appreciate the insight as well, those are good points you bring up.
 

cme2c

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I could give a rat's *** about big wig letters when I review an applicant file. Rarely do the big wigs actually spend enough time to actually get to know students. Most of the time they rewrite the CV. I wouldn't lose an ounce of sleep about this.
 

EyeGuy15

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Relax cme2c. But yes, golfman, just make sure you spend enough time with the "big-wig" and get a vibe if he/she will write you a glowing letter and knows what people look for in them. Def helps.
 
Nov 20, 2010
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I could give a rat's *** about big wig letters when I review an applicant file. Rarely do the big wigs actually spend enough time to actually get to know students. Most of the time they rewrite the CV. I wouldn't lose an ounce of sleep about this.
Big wigs are mostly a-holes anyway. Why waste your time? When they're not busy pushing their kids or cousins into programs, they blow wind at major meetings.

Hey eye4eye, :thumbdown: you, a-hole!
 

eye4eye

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Big wigs are mostly a-holes anyway. Why waste your time? When they're not busy pushing their kids or cousins into programs, they blow wind at major meetings.

Hey eye4eye, :thumbdown: you, a-hole!
If you have no interviews by now, chances are pretty slim that you'll get one this year or the next year or the year after or after....may be not even in afterlife! Just think about all the money you spent on steps and applying to programs, all simply wasted! And you can not do anything about it!! Really sad! And if you have any loan on the top of that, it only makes things worse!!Number of interviews or the chance of matching doesn't depend on your number of IDs!! That's where you went wrong! Look, I'm trying to help you! Still there is one thing you can do! Start getting new IDs for next year from now! Don't put it off until Nov next year!! People will be talking, you know? No hard feelings then, ABU TEEZ, PERVIAZ AHMED, EYEGUY.....Never mind! I'll keep it sweet and simple 'Buckle extrusion'! Good luck with your application for the next century!!
 

Hook17

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Seems one of the big themes I've seen on here is the importance of big wig letters of rec. I don't, and probably won't, have a big wig letter of rec. Just two solid LOR from academic Ophthalmologists (not well-known by any means), 254 on Step 1, honored most of my MS1 and MS2 classes, good evals in MS3, and lots of involvement in Ophthalmology related activities since being an undergraduate. Is not having a big-wig letter going to really hurt me? I'm going to try my best to get into a situation to get one, but time is running out.

Has anybody else out there had decent stats, minus the big-wig letter, and done fine in the match?

From my experience with this current match cycle, big wig letters are most definitely important if you're shooting for the top academic centers.
 

DrOptimist

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would an associate professor at a top 15 institution with 4-5 publications per year be considered a big-wig? Publications are in well known journals but not necessarily the blue journal.
 

reflex

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would an associate professor at a top 15 institution with 4-5 publications per year be considered a big-wig? Publications are in well known journals but not necessarily the blue journal.
What's the blue journal?
 

MR1

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It is the AAO's publication, just called "ophthalmology". The cover is always blue.
 
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I had high quality letters but really obscure people in ophthalmology. I had a great general surgery big wig letter but my ophthalmology people were really obscure because I didn't know any big wigs. I did ok in the application process. On a scale of 1-100 (100 being the best program and 1 being the lowest), my residency program is probably 65 overall, with my opinion of the cataract experience being 75 and glaucoma being 35 with other fields in between. I was interviewed at only 1 of the top 10 programs, applied to about 5 of them.