ophthalmology advice

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by dp3, May 21, 2001.

  1. dp3

    dp3 New Member

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    I am a 3rd year medical student and will be applying to Opthalmology residencies this fall. I know it is extremely competitive to get into residencies. Does anyone have any advice on what I can do to make my application stronger? I have done well, but I am not AOA, which I know many schools look at. I just started doing research.

    I would love to hear from those of you who have matched in Ophthalmology and what your experiences were. Also, do any of you have any insight as to which schools have cut-off points where they won't even consider you if you aren't AOA with high board scores (I have already ruled out the obvious top programs)? The schools I have called all "say" they don't have cut-offs, but I know that is hardly ever the case.
     
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  3. EyeMD

    EyeMD New Member

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    First of all, good choice in eye surgery. It appears to me that ophthalmologists are among the most professionally satisfied physicians.

    If I were you, I'd apply to around 40 schools. You don't have to be AOA(it does help), but you have to be strong across all dimensions, including grades in medicine and surgery clerkships, board scores, and research experience. The top twenty programs have a reputation of being AOA- exclusive, so you might want to keep this in mind.

    Ophthalmology is early match and goes through SFMatch, which can be registered for in the next month or two, so get going.

    Good Luck
     
  4. dp3

    dp3 New Member

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    Thanks, I really appreciate your input. Do you know where to find a list of the top 20 schools? Also, do you have any idea of the range of board scores that applicants have (particularly those who get interviews).

    I have gotten the impression from a couple of schools that I have called that they are really more interested in how you will get along with others and what kind of doctor you will be over whether your scores are really high. One admissions counselor I talked to said that obviously high scores of an applicant don't always mean it's a quality doctor, so they really look more heavily at evaluations, letters of recommend, clerkship grades, etc. She said research would really be a bonus too. I realize that is probably rare. What is your take on that?
     
  5. lilycat

    Moderator Emeritus

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    EyeMD -- you mentioned that the Top 20 schools are all pretty much AOA exclusive for ophto. -- however, what if your school doesn't have AOA, or even class rank (and H,P,F grading)? I'm just a soon-to-be lowly MS1, and not sure what I want to do, but the situation described is the way my med school operates, and I was wondering how that might be handled when it comes time to apply for residency.
     
  6. EyeMD

    EyeMD New Member

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    First of all, I should clarify something. It does not seem to effect applicants from schools that don't have AOA chapters. Residency programs are aware of this and don't hold this against an applicant. There are MANY excellent medical schools that don't have AOA. However, if your school does have a chapter, the top twenty ophtho programs are very interested in your AOA status.

    Considering that you have some research(even if not published), sound performance in surgery and medicine rotations(remember, ophtho is a surgical subspecialty) and a good personality, I think the following will serve as a general rule for matching.

    >250--stud, if desired, good chance of top 20 match, unless there exist personality issues...

    240-250--excellent, but many applicants fall in this range, if you have something else spectacular, good chance of top twenty match. However, pretty much a guaranteed match to middle tier

    230-240--very solid applicant, you should do fine, maybe not top 20

    220-230--starting to need other things i.e. publications, AOA, very high overall clerkship grades, etc. to feel "comfortable"

    210-220--definitely need some other aspect of your application that is spectacular, but DO NOT be discouraged from applying with this USMLE

    <210--good luck, statistically difficult to match in this range, but DO NOT be discouraged from applying if you love ophthalmology

    I wish you the best of luck, I matched in January and have never been as excited about anything as I am about my future in ophthalmology...

    AF
     
  7. EyeMD

    EyeMD New Member

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  8. mkwhitley

    mkwhitley Member

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    lilycat,
    Are you coming to Yale next year? I ask because of the no class rank thing. If so, shoot me an email.
    M. Whitley (soon to be a still-lowly MSII)
     
  9. dp3

    dp3 New Member

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    Thanks for all your input, EyeMD. I am wondering if you or anyone else out there can tell me about programs that you have interviewed at, or had friends interview at. I am trying to find out some inside information about programs to narrow my selection down. How did you decide which programs to apply to? Did you call, email, etc? You can send me a private email. I would really appreciate any advice. Thanks!!
    -dp3
     
  10. bk

    bk New Member

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    Hey everybody

    Good discussion so far! Does anyone know anything about Ophtho programs in the mid atlantic area, particularly NYC. Other than the obvious ones like Wills and NYEE, i haven't been able to find out anything. Any info would be appreciated!
     
  11. lilycat

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    EyeMD, thanks so much for posting the link to those rankings -- very helpful.

    MWhitley -- nope, UCSD (although a very good friend of mine from HS will be starting Yale in the fall).
     

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