bmk579

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Hi, I am new to this board, but first off I wanted to say how great it is that something like this message board exists!

I am a 3rd year medical student, and I really want to go into ophthalmology. I had decent grades and scored a 250+ on step 1, but I did not make junior AOA. I have a chance at senior AOA if I do well on my remaining clerkship rotations. I am currently working on a case report paper, but I do not have any ophtho lab research under my belt. I was considering delaying my last 3rd year rotation (psych) until 4th year to do an 8-week research project. However, I have run into a few dilemmas and I was wondering if I could ask for any input or advice:

1) By delaying my psych rotation until 4th year, I am not sure when exactly I would be able to take it. It would most likely be too late for the grade to be taken into account for AOA, it would cause me to miss out on an opportunity to possibly help out my chances (although of course it's not guaranteed I will get a good grade on psych).

2) Another possibility is just to take psych 3rd year, and try to do a research rotation early in my 4th year. However, it would be more difficult because there is a required thing I need to take for the first 4 weeks, and I would also like to try to do an away rotation or two. When would I need to do a research project in order for it to be helpful when I am applying?

So, I am not sure if I should just take psych this year because of AOA, which I am not positive will even pay off, or whether I should just push it off until next year and do research. Which is more important?
 

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Originally posted by bmk579

So, I am not sure if I should just take psych this year because of AOA, which I am not positive will even pay off, or whether I should just push it off until next year and do research. Which is more important?

Hi! Welcome to the forum! :D

With a USMLE score of 250+, AOA is less important. Although AOA is nice to have, there are plenty of us who are not AOA. Also, even if you took psych first, AOA is not a sure thing. I'd recommend that you do research and setup a schedule that consists of a couple of ophthalmology electives. I feel that the USMLE score and outstanding LORs carry much more weight than receiving the distinction of AOA.

Good luck!
 

greatdane

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Hey,

I am a 4th year, but not heading into optho...however two of my good friends just matched. They both got their 1st choice and neither were AOA..in fact neither had your Step I score...they were not shooting for wilms, but again, they got their first choice.

You may want to ask your academic office if putting of your psych rotation would affect your senior AOA qualification....but whether it does or not, take Andrew's statement to heart, "I feel that the USMLE score and outstanding LORs carry much more weight than receiving the distinction of AOA." ...after all, he is where you want to be!

I am doing EM which is relatively competitive and I was not AOA, but I had great extra-curics, good boards and great LORs and I interviewed everywhere I wanted...including the top programs. They all mentioned my LORs and extra-curics, but never was I asked "why are you not AOA" anyways...you sound like great candidate..Good luck
 
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bmk579

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Thanks for the welcome and great advice!
 

Goober

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Originally posted by greatdane
Hey,

They both got their 1st choice and neither were AOA..in fact neither had your Step I score...they were not shooting for wilms, but again, they got their first choice.


What's a Wilms? The ultimate ophtho hospital- a cross between Wilmer and Wills?;)
 

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Originally posted by bmk579
Hi, I am new to this board, but first off I wanted to say how great it is that something like this message board exists!

I am a 3rd year medical student, and I really want to go into ophthalmology. I had decent grades and scored a 250+ on step 1, but I did not make junior AOA. I have a chance at senior AOA if I do well on my remaining clerkship rotations. I am currently working on a case report paper, but I do not have any ophtho lab research under my belt. I was considering delaying my last 3rd year rotation (psych) until 4th year to do an 8-week research project. However, I have run into a few dilemmas and I was wondering if I could ask for any input or advice:

1) By delaying my psych rotation until 4th year, I am not sure when exactly I would be able to take it. It would most likely be too late for the grade to be taken into account for AOA, it would cause me to miss out on an opportunity to possibly help out my chances (although of course it's not guaranteed I will get a good grade on psych).

2) Another possibility is just to take psych 3rd year, and try to do a research rotation early in my 4th year. However, it would be more difficult because there is a required thing I need to take for the first 4 weeks, and I would also like to try to do an away rotation or two. When would I need to do a research project in order for it to be helpful when I am applying?

So, I am not sure if I should just take psych this year because of AOA, which I am not positive will even pay off, or whether I should just push it off until next year and do research. Which is more important?

How weird. I am in the exact same position. The only difference is the clerkship I'm deferring is ob/gyn. I decided to give up a better chance at AOA in order to do 6 more weeks of research earlier in the year.
 
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