JJArms22

7+ Year Member
Aug 28, 2012
95
25
Status
Pre-Medical
To anyone reading, thanks for taking the time to do so. I'm a newly minted MS3 about to finish my first rotation next week. Lately I've been really interested in pursuing Ophthalmology but I'm also aware it's too early to be sure on anything. I shadowed a few last year and really liked what I saw. It honestly feels like a speciality that gives me a sense of excitement and actual passion. After reading Dr. Doan's post on why he chose ophthalmology, I felt like a lot of what I am looking for can be found in this specialty. I have yet to feel this way about other fields, but again ,I know it is early. I understand that getting into a program is very competitive, which is why I feel it's important for me to start doing everything I can now to give myself the best shot if it is indeed the speciality I do want to pursue. I'm honestly now sure if I even have a good chance based off of some of the posts on here about not matching with incredible applications. All I have under my belt is my step score (253) which I know doesn't mean much in terms of overall applicant strength. I've yet to do any research in medical school and I think that's probably my biggest weakness so far. My home institution does have a program, but I'm actually doing my third year in another city so my ability to build connections is pretty much shot unless email counts. Since I have no experience with research, I'm not even sure what would be considered a good amount or feasible for me to accomplish this year. I do have a really strong desire to pursue this, but I just want some honest advice as to whether or not I'd be wasting my time doing so. I probably won't have a big wig letter or be AOA, and there's nothing about me that stands out. Thanks for any advice you may have!
 

JMFF

2+ Year Member
Sep 19, 2014
12
0
Status
Medical Student
You need to get your head in the game if you want ophtho. Yes your step score is strong but that will not get you past the coordinators desk if you do not have some form of research and extracurricular involvement. Start volunteering for a local ophtho cause like friends for sight, write a case report, spend weekends on call with residents at home, shadow people in clinic, spend time in surgery, plan to do at least one away rotation.


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DrZeke

yzarc gniog ylwolS
10+ Year Member
Apr 25, 2005
2,659
566
Status
Resident [Any Field]
You need to get your head in the game if you want ophtho. Yes your step score is strong but that will not get you past the coordinators desk if you do not have some form of research and extracurricular involvement. Start volunteering for a local ophtho cause like friends for sight, write a case report, spend weekends on call with residents at home, shadow people in clinic, spend time in surgery, plan to do at least one away rotation.


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Sorry, but have to call this out... You will 100% get past a coordinators desk with a 253. Trust me. It's the low scores that often get overlooked because of cut offs.

However, it is important for you to get involved with your department. I can think of a few programs that send their 3rd years to other cities and their home Ophtho departments are decent. You are still a student at your home program. Contact the residency coordinator and ask how a student can get involved in research. If that is a dead end talk with different attendings who might be doing projects. Sometimes this is listed on the department website. Let the PD know you're thinking about Ophtho and ask how you can maintain contact with the department or get involved given that you are in another city.

Be assertive, but polite. You will never know or get what you want unless you reach out to people. A retrospective chart review (EHR) based or a case report sound great.




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OP
JJArms22

JJArms22

7+ Year Member
Aug 28, 2012
95
25
Status
Pre-Medical
Sorry, but have to call this out... You will 100% get past a coordinators desk with a 253. Trust me. It's the low scores that often get overlooked because of cut offs.

However, it is important for you to get involved with your department. I can think of a few programs that send their 3rd years to other cities and their home Ophtho departments are decent. You are still a student at your home program. Contact the residency coordinator and ask how a student can get involved in research. If that is a dead end talk with different attendings who might be doing projects. Sometimes this is listed on the department website. Let the PD know you're thinking about Ophtho and ask how you can maintain contact with the department or get involved given that you are in another city.

Be assertive, but polite. You will never know or get what you want unless you reach out to people. A retrospective chart review (EHR) based or a case report sound great.




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Thanks for the advice! My school was really pushing students to leave for rotations but I really regret going now. Anyways, besides starting some research and getting to know the department, is there anything else besides grades that you'd recommend I do now?