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Apply DR as backup to ophtho?

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noobertuber

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Current M4, just applied ophtho. Low-tier MD without home ophtho program, ~260 Step1, 8 publications (6 ophtho; 3 in progress). Based on these stats, I estimate around an ~80% match chance for ophtho.

Wondering if I should dual-apply DR. I like DR, but have done nothing in it besides shadow just before medical school. I have no research in DR, no letters of rec, and no away rotations. Specifically:
1. Is it viable to apply DR?
2. And would dual-applying hurt my ophtho chances?
 
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redsox93

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It would appear obvious that you’re backup applying if you don’t even have a DR rotation or LOR by the time apps are due so I would try to at least get one rotation before then if possible. I don’t see how it could hurt your ophtho chances though. Someone on the rads discord last year dual applied ophtho/DR
 
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collegestud2013

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You definitely need at least 1 DR rotation and 1 DR LOR to show some interest. It's mostly a formality as most DR programs know that Radiology rotations in med school are basically all shadowing and med students don't get much involved (and will often focus more on LORs like from IM or Surgery to gauge performance). Fortunately ophtho and DR use separate application systems so it's easier to tailor your applications individually so it's harder for programs to find out you're dual applying unless they do some deep digging. For example, you may want to omit your ophtho research in ERAS (which will be used to apply for Radiology and prelims) to not hurt your DR chances. What programs hate the most is if they can tell someone is applying to them as a backup specialty and that alone shows lack of interest and will often cause them to be ranked much lower or not at all. Then you would need to interview for ophtho, radiology, and prelim programs in one cycle. This would have been tough in the past (especially if the 2 specialties interview at around the same time) but may be doable this year if programs continue to limit to virtual interviews and DR and ophtho interviews occur at mostly different times of the application cycle. If you can't get a DR LOR may be try applying for either IM or Surgery as backup if you want to apply to a backup this year (ie whatever specialty you're planning on doing your prelim year in).
 
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AzBasRad

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    You need atleast 1 DR rotation and 1 DR LoR to not raise suspecion.
     
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    NotAProgDirector

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    Ask yourself this question:

    If you were not to match into Ophthal and instead match into DR would you be excited to start a DR residency, or would be you be wondering whether you should apply to Ophthal again the next year? If you wouldn't be ready to let go of the ophthal dream after one match cycle, apply only to ophthal this year. If you don't match, Plan B would be either a research year and then dual apply next year, or a prelim year and dual apply (you could then apply for both R and C positions in the match in DR)
     
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    Dave1980

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    Current M4, just applied ophtho. Low-tier MD without home ophtho program, ~260 Step1, 8 publications (6 ophtho; 3 in progress). Based on these stats, I estimate around an ~80% match chance for ophtho.

    Wondering if I should dual-apply DR. I like DR, but have done nothing in it besides shadow just before medical school. I have no research in DR, no letters of rec, and no away rotations. Specifically:
    1. Is it viable to apply DR?
    2. And would dual-applying hurt my ophtho chances?
    not viable without rads letters, rads rotations, or demonstrated interest in rads
     
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    mddr1

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    Current M4, just applied ophtho. Low-tier MD without home ophtho program, ~260 Step1, 8 publications (6 ophtho; 3 in progress). Based on these stats, I estimate around an ~80% match chance for ophtho.

    Wondering if I should dual-apply DR. I like DR, but have done nothing in it besides shadow just before medical school. I have no research in DR, no letters of rec, and no away rotations. Specifically:
    1. Is it viable to apply DR?
    2. And would dual-applying hurt my ophtho chances?
    I’d say you’re a strong candidate for DR. I was in the same boat as you. Did everything for Optho, had publications and presented at ARVO and last minute decided to apply dually to DR and OPTHO. All my LoR’s were really strong but like yours they were all Optho, never did a rotation in DR, I did however have a really strong personal statement for DR, AOA, and honored Med school. The problem with dually applying to these two programs though is that the two match 2 months apart so you wouldn’t be able to rank them together so DR works out well as backup. Your options are either to rank for Optho and see if you get in and keep DR as backup or make the decision to do DR and drop Optho. I got a lot of great interviews for both so if you’re really interested, apply for both and see what interviews you get, learn a little more about each program and make a pros and cons list and see where that takes you. I ended up deciding to opt out of the Optho match (tho Optho still has a special place in my heart) and I matched into DR. It’s definitely not impossible, Good luck!
     

    cal75

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    I’d say you’re a strong candidate for DR. I was in the same boat as you. Did everything for Optho, had publications and presented at ARVO and last minute decided to apply dually to DR and OPTHO. All my LoR’s were really strong but like yours they were all Optho, never did a rotation in DR, I did however have a really strong personal statement for DR, AOA, and honored Med school. The problem with dually applying to these two programs though is that the two match 2 months apart so you wouldn’t be able to rank them together so DR works out well as backup. Your options are either to rank for Optho and see if you get in and keep DR as backup or make the decision to do DR and drop Optho. I got a lot of great interviews for both so if you’re really interested, apply for both and see what interviews you get, learn a little more about each program and make a pros and cons list and see where that takes you. I ended up deciding to opt out of the Optho match (tho Optho still has a special place in my heart) and I matched into DR. It’s definitely not impossible, Good luck!
    I've mostly been interested in ophtho and DR, what made you swing towards DR?
     
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    Hzreio

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    260 step1 and 6 ophtho pubs is still only 80% chance of matching?
     
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    noobertuber

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    260 step1 and 6 ophtho pubs is still only 80% chance of matching?
    Very much an estimate. Sources suggest an 80% chance for MD candidates. Low tier school, good scores, and decent research leads me to assume my chances are pretty similar.
     

    mddr1

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    I've mostly been interested in ophtho and DR, what made you swing towards DR?
    I really only wanted to reassure you that you have a great shot at DR (for back up purposes) but if I can be honest with you, I highly recommend staying in Optho especially if you’re good at it which it seems you are. Rads is nice, don’t get me wrong, but Optho is another world. Stick with Optho. Good luck!
     

    odyssey2

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    I really only wanted to reassure you that you have a great shot at DR (for back up purposes) but if I can be honest with you, I highly recommend staying in Optho especially if you’re good at it which it seems you are. Rads is nice, don’t get me wrong, but Optho is another world. Stick with Optho. Good luck!
    Why is ophtho better than rads?
     

    idkididk

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    I had worse step1 and way less research than you (although I did have a home program) and managed to get 12 interviews, I think you'll be fine. How many are you at now?
     
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    7331poas

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    people are way overestimating rads in this thread. You can get community interviews with wayyy less demonstrated commitment.
     
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    futureEyeDoc_south

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    For those that have done this, what did you tell the people who wrote your letters for DR if you ended up matching ophtho? Did you tell them upfront that you were dual applying?
     
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