7+ Year Member
- Apr 13, 2012
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- Attending Physician
Does anyone know anything about any AOA Optho programs? I know there are a few but don't have much info on them
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Go to opportunities.osteopathic.org and search for ophthalmology residencies. No allopathic programs are dually accredited ACGME/AOA. I think there are about 13 programs in DO ophtho, each program usually takes only 1 resident per year, a couple programs take 2, and I think there might be one program that takes 3. I had been planning to apply DO ophtho, but can't now for medical reasons, so I've talked to a few DO ophtho residents who say networking (going to meetings, getting to know the program director) is the best way to make yourself known if ophtho is really what you want. Having good grades and doing well on the COMLEX are important, but a program has to know and like you to accept you. I know someone who had a way-less-than-stellar COMLEX score and was the 1 resident who was chosen at a program. You need to rotate at as many programs as possible to get your face out, and also have skills/knowledge of/show interest in the field. Also, I've heard of programs asking you to spell ophthalmology on an interview, so don't forget about the first 'h'. As for the quality of programs, a DO program director once told me "the best ophtho residency is the one that accepts you".
All that being said, getting into an MD ophtho residency is theoretically possible but incredibly rare. If you check the ophthalmology section on here you'll see info about the people who matched MD programs, maybe 1-5 residents per year match. In this case, it seems like you need to be practically #1 in your class, kill the USMLE, know someone, do research, etc. etc. etc.....
Also, if you really do want to do ophtho, there is basically no use whatsoever for OMM in ophtho practice. (I mean, maybe cranial... or cervical stuff, but even the DO ophtho office I've been to doesn't have tables for OMM). If your goal is an MD residency, I'd apply to an allopathic schools. If you still for some reason really want to learn OMM that you'd rarely if ever use in practice, go to a DO school- but you'll need to be a superstar to get into an allopathic program.
Good luck Ophthalmology is a really interesting field, I was a tech in an ophtho office during most of undergrad and as repetitive as it is, I really enjoyed it. If my health didn't prevent my from applying, my plan would have been to only take the COMLEX and rotate at as many programs as possible (which would involve using vacation time for rotations), and also apply at programs in another field as backup since there are so few ophtho spots.