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eyestar

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hi!
I am one of the unfortunate MSIV who did not match for ophtho this year, even though I had 7 interviews. I knew that I didn't have honors and my board score was average, but my interviews in all the places went really well. So when I didn't match, I called the programs individually and asked what I should do in reapp.

To my surprise, the unanimous answer I got from all the programs was that my dean's letter was the only detrimental factor in my app. In fact, one program told me that they had ranked me first after the interview but when finalizing the rank list my dean's letter had arrived and I went really really low on the list.
But what can I do? I had read my dean's letter (I didn't really see anything bad, except that my dean had mentioned that this student had little problem in the beginning of the med school career, but pulled it through(i had a conditional in histology).
I am still interested in optho, I am starting my transitional year, but it seems like my chances for ophtho are gone forever!!!

Any advice /suggestion anybody????
 

Andrew_Doan

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First, welcome to the ophthalmology forum. I'm sorry to hear that you didn't match.

I have a question for you.

Who wrote your LORs and are they strong?
 

Yogi Bear

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this is very unfortunate! one question though....how did u get to read the dean's report? aren't they, like the LOR, confidential?

secondly, i have a sense that you're feeling some resentment that your dean might have done something screwy w/ her comments. i think it's important to determine if the problem lies in 1) lack of praise or active criticism w/ one of ur strengths/shortcomings 2) misunderstanding the applicant. I think you should address your concerns w/ your dean and go over possible steps you could take next year to improve your chances.
 
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Kalel

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Originally posted by Yogi Bear
this is very unfortunate! one question though....how did u get to read the dean's report? aren't they, like the LOR, confidential?

secondly, i have a sense that you're feeling some resentment that your dean might have done something screwy w/ her comments. i think it's important to determine if the problem lies in 1) lack of praise or active criticism w/ one of ur strengths/shortcomings 2) misunderstanding the applicant. I think you should address your concerns w/ your dean and go over possible steps you could take next year to improve your chances.
most, if not all schools, allow you to review your dean's letter and make any corrections. Dean's letters are typically cut and paste from your clinical evaluations with a few generic, standardized quotes commenting on your preclinical years and where you were ranked; they are mostly written by your student affair's secretary, so it's important to look it over and correct any mistakes. Most my classmates noted a few mistakes in their dean's letter. I do agree with meeting with your dean and discussing what can be re-worded in your dean's letter to help your chances of getting into optho though. Sometimes, the letters are amendable if you have a nice enough dean. I wouldn't call the comment about histology a "negative" comment, it's actually what's typically written when students have difficulty with one of their preclinical classes. Trying to do optho rotations during your TY year at programs that may be willing to consider you may be useful as well. Good luck!
 

eyestar

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thanks guys for the replies! Andrew, I did have three LORs, one from my ophtho chairman, another from ophtho attending (well known) and third from internal medicine attending. As for as I know, the comments at my interviews were I had excellent LORs.
My dean however had written a long long comment after the clinical evaluations which are usually verbatim from transcript. I just hope he would be nice enough to change his comments, but I don't know.
 

SDN-helper

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Hi,
I'm also an average student that only gets passes and high passes.

So what else did you do to get these interviews? Did you have many research publications? Joined an ophthal club? Which school do you attend?

I want to know, because I see myself as an 'average' student in the future too... and if my chances are slim, I may want to consider something else. Thanks!
 

GeddyLee

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hmmm...I was fairly certain no one read my dean's letter. I guess it's a covert kind of operation. I think the Dean's letter is fairly worthless though. But I also think subjective evaluations are no fair means of comparing applicants.
 
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