10+ Year Member
May 15, 2008
Sorry to do this, but I'd appreciate the input...

Step 1: 228
Surgery: High pass
Medicine: Pass
Publications: One first-author paper (chart review) and one case report (both ophtho)
Top 10 med school
Ophtho LORs: Two from big names I did research with
Non-Ophtho LOR: Don't really have a good one from medicine or surgery. Have a solid FP LOR or a big name medicine research LOR.

What are my chances at a research-based program? A community-based program? # of programs to apply to?

I'd especially appreciate advice on the non-ophtho LOR.



10+ Year Member
Apr 20, 2006
Attending Physician
My 2 cents. Your step 1 is average for ophtho, which is good. The first author paper is really good and if the 2 LOR's from those "big names" are excellent then that will really help. IF you are shooting for a big research school I think you best bet is somewhere those 2 are known. As far as the non-ophtho letter, my opinion is it doesn't matter at all. I don't know if not having a clinical ophtho letter will hurt you though. You have an excellent chance at a lot of programs, my advice apply widely, to schools on every tier. Write down every school you would be willing to go to and want to go to and then talk to your PD to narrow them down


10+ Year Member
Aug 13, 2007
Post Doc
It looks like you've obviously put effort into trying to go into ophtho with your research. Don't let fear of failure discourage you from trying to go into the field. It is wise to be realistic and to be prepared - so you might want to also consider applying to another specialty as a back-up just in case. I think in a competitive field such as this one, it is difficult even for a competitive applicant to asses where he stacks up against other applicants.

That being said, I would agree with everything MR1 has said, and I think you definitely have a good shot at matching into a good program.

Good luck!


10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 8, 2008
Resident [Any Field]
Don't let fear of failure discourage you from trying to go into the field.
Ojos gave the best advice. Just to add my $.2- I know someone with the same Step 1 score, same or lower clerkship scores and no 1st author publications. (something was submitted though) They did well on Step 2 though - that might be something to consider. Also did not come from a top 10 school. Ultimately, they matched VERY well. With those LORs and research, you look to be in good shape. Best of luck!