Hi There, long story short: SO is in LA and I am on east coast. I am a new third year on second rotation. step=254. None/minimal research in med school that hasn't been published. One abstract not ophtho related. I met with him and asked if maybe I did a research year would it help match out there. His opinion is that step score is not high enough + all ophtho programs out on west coast are very academic and I would need a strong track record of research in medical school to demonstrate interest in academic interests , which I do not have. Seemed to think that there weren't even any small programs out there I could match in. However, he did think that if I got involved in research this year, got good grades, ophtho is very doable on east coast from definitely a low tier program to maybe a very good one, depending on third year grades. Just wanted to confirm this and see if I should give up all hope of matching west coast?