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In case you don't match/ year off?

Discussion in 'Ophthalmology: Eye Physicians & Surgeons' started by LeLu, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. LeLu

    LeLu Cookie Monster
    2+ Year Member

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    What plans did you have/do you have if you don't match into ophtho? How do you find out about research years/ pre-residency fellowships? Are there paid ones? What can you do to become more competitive next year?
     
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  3. ArtfulDodger

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    You may want to do a little research on your own before posting a question that, if properly and fully answered, would amount to having someone lay out an entire match failure contingency plan for you (not to be rude, I mean that in the nicest way possible). After doing some research, you could then ask more specific questions and likely get more helpful feedback.

    But, digression aside, here is an attempt at an answer:

    One way of finding out about research years is to email the chair and program director (or perhaps another faculty person that you felt you had a good connection with during interviews) at the top 3 programs on your rank list (assuming you are still interested in those programs after failing to match) and offering yourself as an unpaid research volunteer. You would be surprised at how many people will take you up on that offer. The ability to do this is, of course, highly dependent on your financial situation.

    For paid, pre-residency fellowships, there are at least 2 that I know of (and probably a few that I don't), which are the Bascom Palmer and Utah ophthalmic pathology fellowships. Keep in mind that there are a decent number of very well qualified applicants that, for strange reasons, fail to match each year, and that many of them will then apply for these fellowships, along with a large number of lesser qualified applicants, making these positions, to my mind, almost as competitive as matching into the lower tier of ophthalmology programs (some may disagree with this statement, but the bottom line is that landing a paid pre-residency position is by no means a foregone conclusion should you fail to match).

    To become more competitive for next year, of course everyone who fails to match does so for some reason (whether fair or not), so it would behoove one to focus on his or her most glaring weakness. Discovering what this is requires both self-reflection and some persistence, as you need honest feedback from faculty with whom you interviewed. For some the weak point will be interview skills. For others, very important items to try and solidify for next year would be a stellar and very personal letter of recommendation from the biggest name possible, and more research.

    I think this is a decent start at answering your questions. Others will have better details.
     
    #2 ArtfulDodger, Aug 8, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2011

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