Just wondering - do ppl apply to ophtho programs and their back up, say IM, at the same time? Do PDs have and idea, or even care, that an applicant applies to two separate residencies? What is the
general number of interviews that one can go on, before it starts to take its toll? Thanks
I went on 13 interviews, and that was too many for me. I think 10 is good, but it depends on how far they are spaced apart in time. Those long road trips where you knock out 3 or 4 save you money but wear you out.
I never had a PD ask me if I was applying for a back-up or anything, and I can't think of a way they could find out, even if they wanted to. If you wanted to apply to categorical IM as a backup, the IM would be through the regular match, as the ophtho match is early match...different applications, different interview trips (some overlap if you're good at scheduling them). You would know if you matched in ophtho before you would have to submit your rank list for IM programs or prelim programs.
I didn't have an actual "backup" residency plan, but if you do a prelim medicine year and didn't get into an ophtho program, you would always have the option to apply for advanced standing in an IM program somewhere vs. apply for optho again....so that can sort or work as a backup. If you don't get into ophtho this match, and still do an internship, realize that you wouldn't necessarily have to sit out a year if you got into an ophtho program the next match...some programs take PGY2's that year, so it just depends.
However, if you love ophtho, you should go all out for it, even if you have to reapply the next year as you're doing internship or research or something. You'll have a good idea based on the number of interviews you are offered how good of a chance you have at matching and whether it is prudent to apply for backups as well.