vtrain

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Is it too late to schedule two ophtho electives back-to-back in September and then one in October?

I'm a little confused as to the deadline - I'm assuming it varies by program, but what date should I aim to have everything in by?
 

GuP

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Sept and Oct are ok if you have your LORs in already. Otherwise, getting them during one of these will significantly delay your application. Well as far as evrything in by - most progs have their own deadline but CAS apps usually start going out by first week of Sept. If you want to be in batch 1, aim to have everything in by mid-august. Otherwise, I guess you can send in your app as late as you want or until the program's indvidual dealine.
 

Jokestr

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I partially agree with GuP, but I would say that October is too late to be doing a full away rotation. The first two weeks of October may be ok, but some programs actually start interviewing the last week of October. You don't want to miss a chance at an interview or two, and if it is an away rotation that you are interested in, it may not look good to skip out here and there for an interview somewhere else.
 
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vtrain

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Thanks for the advice. Will programs offer interviews without LORs (assuming everything else is in)?

Also, is it better to do an elective at place tough to match at like a Bascom or Wills and get a great LOR or do one at a less prestigious program, compromise a bit on the LOR, but boost your chances of getting a residency spot there?
 

GuP

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Jokestr is right on also - you may jeopardize your time to shine on a rotation if it conflicts with an interview. CAS won't forward your app until it is complete with the three LORs (i think this is true - someone confirm). It is not absolute that you need an ophtho letter but it is the consensus that having at least one is the norm. As far as elective places - It's a choice more so than advice. You can potentially go to Bascom and piss people off or you can go to Podunk and shine like a all-star. Ideally, it looks better to have LORs from big names and most big names (not all) work at big places. About residency securing - some places look favorably on rotators, while to others it really doesn't matter that you were there. The best way to find out about this is to ask previous rotators if they got interviews.
 

vtrain

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Can you add items to your file after everything is submitted? E.G. Step 2 score, more letters of rec. I can probably get 3 reference letters in but I cant do my ophtho electives until sept/october so I wont be able to get my letters till after then.
 

Jokestr

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Who says you can't get ophtho letters before you do the rotation? Try doing some research/or just spending time with one of the faculty ophtho's at your school starting now until July/August and then you will be able to ask them for a letter of rec. I had a similar situation, and only had one ophtho letter, and I still matched. But, you will definitely want the ophtho letter earlier rather than later. I know it is tough to spend "extra" time with the ophtho people during 3rd year medicine/surgery/other rotations, but usually there is something they can find for you to do on your own schedule. Good luck
 

vtrain

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Joekstr & GuP - thanks again for the all the great advice.

Does anyone know if an IMG needs Step IICK for the SFMatch? Can we still get interviews without this score like US grads? Any idea, roughly, what Step 1 score for IMGs is considered competitive?
 

GuP

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I believe that having Step II for an IMG is critical. Otherwise, the PD may think you might end up failing. Scores like US grads - I doubt it...I think you have to have a little something that sets u apart i.e. research, an inside connexion at a place, excellent LORs, 99s on 1 and 2. Face it, if I was a PD and you came from place xyz and there was a fella from the states and you guys had the same exact application - who would you pick? Competitive scores - I don't think there is a number but anything around 230 +/- 2 is average score and the higher you go from there, the better you look. If you are an FMG, you definitely need to show that extra dedication to ophtho.
 
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