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I am an IMG trying to get into an ophthalmology residency. Does anyone know if doing neurology and then a neuro ophthalmology fellowship will increase my chances ?
 

orbitsurgMD

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I am an IMG trying to get into an ophthalmology residency. Does anyone know if doing neurology and then a neuro ophthalmology fellowship will increase my chances ?
That is a path to neuro-ophthalmology, but not typically to general ophthalmology.

Neurology-trained neuro-ophthalmologists do not train in surgical ophthalmology.

If anything, you would make yourself somewhat less competitive, at least in the States, since you would have already expended four years of CMS-funded residency, and any ophthalmology residency program would be penalized financially by reduction of its Medicare funding to the residency program if they accepted you. The only dodge I could see working is if you struck a deal to bill for work you did as an attending neurologist for your department, assuming you were licensed and board certified, while getting training credit as an ophthalmology resident at the same time. I don't know anyone who has done this as a resident, and you would have to do this off the residency support books as concerned Medicare to avoid a fraud issue. It would seem a lot of trouble for a program director to do something like that, but if they needed a neuroophthalmologist badly enough, well, you never know. But it would be a stretch. I wouldn't recommend it as a strategy. It would seem a pathway rarely taken by an exceptional neurology and neuro-ophthalmology graduate whose evolving interest would require becoming double-boarded.
 
Mar 18, 2010
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Thank you for replying orbitsurgMD
I am currently doing an internal medicine residency (PGY 2). I applied to Ophthalmology on 2 prior occasions without success. Once before starting this program and again last year. I am now trying to decide what my next strategy should be. Do you know of anyone who has gone from an IM residency into ophthalmology ? What was their approach ?
 

orbitsurgMD

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Thank you for replying orbitsurgMD
I am currently doing an internal medicine residency (PGY 2). I applied to Ophthalmology on 2 prior occasions without success. Once before starting this program and again last year. I am now trying to decide what my next strategy should be. Do you know of anyone who has gone from an IM residency into ophthalmology ? What was their approach ?
Yes. Three, in fact. All applied for ophthalmology and matched. All had strong credentials, one from a prominent university in his home country in the Middle East who then did IM at a top U.S. center in the midwest, another who graduated from UCLA med school, and a third from Harvard Medical School. The applications competition was stiff then.

One option is to do a pre-residency fellowship at an academic ophthalmology research center. Moonlight for money if you need to. Reapply with a strong letter of recommendation and some publications. Good luck.
 

umsami

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Guy in my program did something similar. Finished his IM residency... licensed.. boards... then did a one year pre-residency fellowship at the local VA (which the ophth residents rotated through.) The next year, he matched in ophthalmology. Good thing is he could moonlight due to being licensed/board certified. Bad thing is he was sort of worn out at the end... didn't want to even try for a fellowship.

Honestly, I think doing two years IM... then neurology... then neuro-ophthalmology fellowship makes you look like you have no idea what you really want to do. I'd complete IM....and then decide where to go.