Aug 16, 2017
7
3
Status
Medical Student
Sorry in advance if there is already a thread for this.

I would like to hear some thoughts about my chances for a successful match this upcoming cycle. I just submitted my application to SF match and was feeling decent about it but then I had a conversation with a mentor that was sobering. Now I'm not so sure how to feel going into this. Hopefully someone can provide insights as to where I stand.

Not AOA, Class quartile: 2nd
Step 1: 237, Step 2: 248
Med School: Top 50
Research: 1st author on 2 clinical papers, 2nd author on a 3rd clinical paper, co-author on a basic science paper. All related to ophthalmology. Additionally 1st author on two case reports currently in review and 1st author on a case report pending submission. Presented non-published basic science research at a regional conference.
Letters: 3 ophthalmology letters (spent time with all writers in clinic/OR and worked on at least one paper with each one)
Programs applied to: 102

Please let me know if there's any other information I should include that you think would be relevant in assessing my chances. Not sure how much weight extracurriculars carry but I think I had a good balance between community service, school involvement with tutoring/teaching and participation in ophthalmology conferences/activities. My mentor felt that while there is nothing glaringly wrong with my application, I should still be reserved in my expectations for matching somewhere.
 

Ilovewater

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With the combination of your research, Step scores, and how broadly you applied, I think you'll get at least enough interview invites to match. Also, were all 3 of your letters ophtho letters? No non-ophtho letter at all?
 
OP
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Aug 16, 2017
7
3
Status
Medical Student
Thanks for your response - all 3 letters were from ophthalmologists at a well known eye institute. My advisor felt that if I can get three letters from ophthalmology, I should.
 

DrZeke

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Do you genuinely believe you need to be worried?

Guaranteed nobody is safe and sometimes the match is just weird and there isn't always a good reason but there isn't anything about your application that is remotely below average. Maybe your second quartile grades? But nobody even pays attention to grades because they vary so widely. Either you have red flags on grades or you're top top/AOA.

I just think that many of these posts have little to do about your chances and more about wanting reassurance for a situation and you cannot control when for the past 3-4 years you felt you had some control based on a systematic approach. So, with that I'll say what I say to all applicants. You did your best, it is what it is, now play your cards and wait. You can ask everyone you know but nobody has a crystal ball and patience is a virtue. I too am going through the application process for fellowship and hate the wait and associated vulnerability. Medicine is strange compared to other fields where a grown person with life commitments and maybe even a family has to go through a "match" and not a typically job interview situation.

It's stressful. But, If you are as intelligent and hard working on paper as you sound, then you know your chances are high with that many programs and your numbers. Hopefully, you feel reassured.

Good luck


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 
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OP
N
Aug 16, 2017
7
3
Status
Medical Student


Do you genuinely believe you need to be worried?

Guaranteed nobody is safe and sometimes the match is just weird and there isn't always a good reason but there isn't anything about your application that is remotely below average. Maybe your second quartile grades? But nobody even pays attention to grades because they vary so widely. Either you have red flags on grades or you're top top/AOA.

I just think that many of these posts have little to do about your chances and more about wanting reassurance for a situation and you cannot control when for the past 3-4 years you felt you had some control based on a systematic approach. So, with that I'll say what I say to all applicants. You did your best, it is what it is, now play your cards and wait. You can ask everyone you know but nobody has a crystal ball and patience is a virtue. I too am going through the application process for fellowship and hate the wait and associated vulnerability. Medicine is strange compared to other fields where a grown person with life commitments and maybe even a family has to go through a "match" and not a typically job interview situation.

It's stressful. But, If you are as intelligent and hard working on paper as you sound, then you know your chances are high with that many programs and your numbers. Hopefully, you feel reassured.

Good luck


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
Thanks for your response, I was really feeling okay about everything until that conversation I had with my mentor rattled me a little bit. I think you're right, I just needed some reassurance. We're certainly not fans of the unpredictable in medicine.
 

sgtoox

5+ Year Member
Mar 4, 2013
4
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Can you post an update when you find out number of interviews you get, and again if you match?

I am a new M3 with similar stats:
Step 1: 236,
3 first author papers in clinical research, 3 first author case reports, and 4 co-author papers all in ophtho, and got to present a published poster I made at a world glaucoma conference in Helsinki, and co-author on a poster being presented at this year's AAO meeting in New Orleans.
I took a year off after M2 to do ophtho research and clinical rounding in Japan for the whole year, and have a good letter from that uni (a good uni there).
I am not AOA,
I'm at an average state MD school
And I honestly have average grades so far (only 3 months into M3)

I was planning on applying everywhere, but ophtho is just ridiculously competitive; I am still writing manuscripts and working on projects with the optho profs in Japan via email and getting a few more things underway, and I am meeting my own school's ophtho advisor next month etc.

But as you can see, I am borderline at best. So if you updated this thread with your results in terms of number of interviews and if you matched that would be huge for me, and several others I am sure.
 
OP
N
Aug 16, 2017
7
3
Status
Medical Student
Can you post an update when you find out number of interviews you get, and again if you match?

I am a new M3 with similar stats:
Step 1: 236,
3 first author papers in clinical research, 3 first author case reports, and 4 co-author papers all in ophtho, and got to present a published poster I made at a world glaucoma conference in Helsinki, and co-author on a poster being presented at this year's AAO meeting in New Orleans.
I took a year off after M2 to do ophtho research and clinical rounding in Japan for the whole year, and have a good letter from that uni (a good uni there).
I am not AOA,
I'm at an average state MD school
And I honestly have average grades so far (only 3 months into M3)

I was planning on applying everywhere, but ophtho is just ridiculously competitive; I am still writing manuscripts and working on projects with the optho profs in Japan via email and getting a few more things underway, and I am meeting my own school's ophtho advisor next month etc.

But as you can see, I am borderline at best. So if you updated this thread with your results in terms of number of interviews and if you matched that would be huge for me, and several others I am sure.
Yea no problem, I'll update as I go.
 

MCAT or bust

7+ Year Member
Dec 21, 2011
129
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Do you genuinely believe you need to be worried?

Guaranteed nobody is safe and sometimes the match is just weird and there isn't always a good reason but there isn't anything about your application that is remotely below average. Maybe your second quartile grades? But nobody even pays attention to grades because they vary so widely. Either you have red flags on grades or you're top top/AOA.

I just think that many of these posts have little to do about your chances and more about wanting reassurance for a situation and you cannot control when for the past 3-4 years you felt you had some control based on a systematic approach. So, with that I'll say what I say to all applicants. You did your best, it is what it is, now play your cards and wait. You can ask everyone you know but nobody has a crystal ball and patience is a virtue. I too am going through the application process for fellowship and hate the wait and associated vulnerability. Medicine is strange compared to other fields where a grown person with life commitments and maybe even a family has to go through a "match" and not a typically job interview situation.

It's stressful. But, If you are as intelligent and hard working on paper as you sound, then you know your chances are high with that many programs and your numbers. Hopefully, you feel reassured.

Good luck


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
Agreed. OP has solid stats/credentials and has applied to much more than the avg # of programs applied for by the avg applicant (70). Will likely get 15-20 interviews at least haha.

I have:
step 1: 229
step 2: 238 (yikes haha)
not AOA
1 research project, 1 first author on case report, two chairman letters, and I'm applying to 90 programs to be realistic

I echo your reassurance to OP. All you have to do is be the same person that the committee thinks you are from your app, and you should be fine!
 

MCAT or bust

7+ Year Member
Dec 21, 2011
129
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How much emphasis do you all think is placed on LORs for ophthalmology? Was always curious.
 
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OP
N
Aug 16, 2017
7
3
Status
Medical Student
Any Updates on results? # of interviews etc?
Feeling pretty good right now, got 10 interview invites and going on 9 of them as of now. definitely will do a big post after match next month
 

sgtoox

5+ Year Member
Mar 4, 2013
4
4
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Medical Student
Feeling pretty good right now, got 10 interview invites and going on 9 of them as of now. definitely will do a big post after match next month
Wow that's fantastic, congratulations. That's immensely encouraging to hear.
 
OP
N
Aug 16, 2017
7
3
Status
Medical Student
I matched! For the sake of maintaining anonymity I'll refrain from sharing where exactly I matched but just to give you guys somewhat of an idea of how I did I'll give the following breakdown:
I applied from the southeast
I received 10 interview invites: 6 were in the south, 1 was in the midwest, and 3 were in the northeast (I was unable to attend one of the interviews in the northeast due to overlap with another program's interview day)
2 programs were top 10
I ranked 9 programs and matched at my 6th choice, a northeast program. I basically ranked my top 2 choices based on reputation over fit, and then the remainder by best fit. Luckily I essentially liked all of the places I interviewed at except for my 9th ranked program so I'm very happy to have matched where I did.
Combining the positions available at each program I interviewed at yields 34 total positions I interviewed for.
Combining the positions of programs that were above my 6th choice yields 22 positions.
Going into the days before the match I was very nervous about getting a spot, and looking at the breakdown I would say there was some validity to my anxiety. I slipped pretty far down my rank list and there were only roughly 8 positions remaining after my 6th choice. I would say this has little to do with interview performance as I know from multiple sources that I interview very well. Furthermore, I received a lot of positive feedback from multiple programs above my 6th choice in the form of email replies to my thank you emails. The programs are going to take the higher Step 1 scores first, it's as simple as that. Of course once you're comparing a bunch of applicants with high Step 1 scores only then do I think the other stuff like interview performance makes a difference. Regarding letter writers, I'm sure having a big name letter writer helps but I will say that two of my letter writers reached out to multiple programs on my behalf and unfortunately none of those connections translated into additional interviews or where I ultimately matched. There's no doubt that it's very competitive to match into ophthalmology but at least I can now attest to the fact that scoring below a 240 does not prevent you from becoming an ophthalmologist! Good luck to any future applicants out there and if you have any questions I didn't address just message me!