ZR1

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Well, basically, i thought about ophthalmology since i entered medical school but was never 100% sure. Our ophtho is a very clinical based program with not much research going on. Basically all i did to look into my interest was rotate with a doc or two for a few weeks during my second year (OR/clinic). I really ejoyed the time i spent with them. Then boards came around and 3rd year started so i havent been able to do much else. My step 1 board scores were only 228/92 (not as high as i wanted). My grades are not stellar, started off well by honoring physiology/biochem but then personal problems kept me in a slump for two years which was most unfortunate...anyhow, out of the slump now, back to my happy self, however im afraid i might have ruined my chances at ophtho. Basically publications wise, all i have done is help author/edit a book coming out through blackwells publishing called "board busters for step 2" - i edited the surgery section and authored part of it (although i am unfortunately only going to be labeled an author) -- will this help at all or no?
And what can i do now, to strenghthen my application? Our school also likes to put ppl on probation for smaller things, so unfortunately that is something ive had to deal with as well? Basically, str8 up, how much trouble am I in as far as getting an optho spot, and again, what can i do to help my chances? All i know is theo nly field id be truly happy in is ophtho because of how much i want to do it.
THANKS
PS: CONGRATS to all of u who matched this year, u are my role models :)
(sorry for making this so long)
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LASIKguy

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My 2 cents:

1. Ace ur 3rd year rotations.
2. Do an away at a big name school and get a big-wig letter.
3. Work on a case report or some research - ophtho pref.
4. Do away rotation at a low tier program and impress them.
5. Apply broadly and go to every interview. Apply to mostly middle tier and all bottom tier programs. Go to 15+ interviews.
6. with a 228, you will match if you are smart in your ranking and interviewing since that was the avg USMLE this year.
7. Show interest at ur school's ophtho program, since thats ur best shot.

Goodluck.
 

ZR1

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hey thanks man, yeah im working on the away rotations...i just dont know hwo to get the away rotation spots in those big named schools.
any idea if it requires anything special?
 
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Primate

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First up - welcome (I know Dr. Doan will give a formal welcome to the forum).

As for getting rotations, I know here at Penn (Scheie) all that is required is that there be a spot and that you handle the paperwork well (the spaces can't already be filled with Penn students, who, we're told, have priority). As Penn starts clinics midway through MS-II, it's sometimes easier to rotate here since many people have gone through the elective 6 months prior to the largest demand at other institutions.

I can't speak to your chances, as I'm a year out from applying myself and am trying to separate hystrionics/hype from legit. concern (and having trouble doing so ;) ). Is a 228 the AVERAGE for last year's boards? Sounds high. Also, could a 228 correspond to a 92 and be the average, or was that a year prior to what LASIKguy referenced as "last year?" As the season of application approacheth, I'm also curious about this one. Could go to the USMLE website, but what fun would that be - I'd have no excuse to keep checking SDN!

P
 

ZR1

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Hi Primate, thanks for the info...on the UPENN application for away rotations it mentions sending a CV is optional. Is this beneficial if all that matters is that there is an open spot? The reason I ask is because I really have not put together a CV yet (which yeah i need to be doing soon too).
Oh, and one more thing, does anyone know anything about NYUs ophtho program?

Z
 

ZR1

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I also still havent quite figured out what that second number on the USMLE score means. THE 92 of the 228/92, is that even looked at?

ZR
 

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Originally posted by ZR1
I also still havent quite figured out what that second number on the USMLE score means. THE 92 of the 228/92, is that even looked at?

ZR

the 92 means the same thing as the 228, they're just different scoring scales. It's not a percenatage.
 

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ZR1,

First, all you do to get away rotations is --- contact the program and apply for them. The larger programs with bigger names will have more slots for visiting students than the smaller programs.

Second, you can get info for some away rotations on their websites. If you can't find exactly what you need to apply, then contact the program directly (usually the secretary who handles the fourth-year elective rotations). The ones I talked to were both friendly and helpful.

Third, apply for away rotations at about 4 or 5 places. What Primate said about the spots filling up with students from the home institution is true. So, you need to apply to 4 or 5 because a couple of them are bound to be full. It doesn't hurt to contact the programs and send in the application early if they will let you (some programs won't).

Finally - If you are interested in seeing whether you really like ophtho or not, I recommend the elective at Bascom Palmer - it is a great intro to ophtho. Also, if you do an away elective at a program because you really want to go there, ask the residents who is on the interview committee and spend a lot of time with those faculty members. Who does and does not get interviews is as much about who you know at the program as what you know!

Best of luck,

Stark

ps - check out the other discussions on away rotations and electives on this forum. This topic has been discussed several times.
 

LASIKguy

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Zr1:

If I were you I would try to do an away early in the year pref. July at Bascom/Wilmer/Iowa and other big programs. I also agree with Stark's comment.

The second score on USMLE is just the adjusted score for your test, it is not a percentile, and most peole go by your three digit score, so don't worry.


Primate:

AVG USMLE STEP 1 for Jan 2004 match: 228
AVG USMLE STEP 1 for Jan 2003 match: 227
 

Primate

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:wow: DANG!! Those are high averages. Woe to those of us who took the bloody test so many years ago. Oh well. :)

A number of people I know (program directors in different disciplines and some assorted other faculty) claim to go more by the two digit number. They acknowledge that it's not a percentage, but also say that they treat it more or less as such. Just what I've heard, not necessarily what I'm advocating, of course.

P
 

eyeCU

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Originally posted by LASIKguy
Zr1:

If I were you I would try to do an away early in the year pref. July at Bascom/Wilmer/Iowa and other big programs. I also agree with Stark's comment.

The second score on USMLE is just the adjusted score for your test, it is not a percentile, and most peole go by your three digit score, so don't worry.


Primate:

AVG USMLE STEP 1 for Jan 2004 match: 228
AVG USMLE STEP 1 for Jan 2003 match: 227

ZR1 -

I actually WOULDN'T recommend doing an away rotation at a world renowned institution. while your experience there will undoubtedly be great, you are not by any means guaranteed an interview there. For example, I did an away rotation at BPEI, did research with a pretty big guy there, and i received an awesome letter of recommendation from him - i was still not offered an interview. What i suggest is to try for an away elective at a modest place where you believe you have a chance. that increases your chances greatly of getting an interview, and possibly matching there.
 

ZR1

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Thanks all of you for your replies, each one helps me. And thanks Andrew_Doan for the welcome. I have one more question. My school also has decided to limit us to only 2 rotations in the same specialty. Meaning if i do a clinical ophtho here for a month, I can only do one more clinical ophtho somewhere else. The catch is that peds ophtho, neuroophtho, ocular path, research, etc... things that arent labeled as general optho elective do not count towards the 2 limit. I was wondering if big name docs work in ocular path fields or are these big name docs mainly in the clinical ophtho field. Any suggestions on how to work with this????...
Also, i saw the poll above this thread as to who matched and who didnt...And it was quite scary because it seemed that the only ppl matching had 234 and above and several publications and all honors and this and that. Do residencies look at how schools do honors, because here they only give it to like the top 8-10 ppl regardless of how good everyone else does.
Also i have another question (sorry to bombard)....would NYU be considered an average program or good program, and what about Univ. of Chicago Pritzker's program? Thanks for all the help! I really appreciate it.
U ALL ROCK! :)
 

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Originally posted by ZR1
I have one more question. My school also has decided to limit us to only 2 rotations in the same specialty.

My school also only gives credit for two electives in the same specialty. However, most schools give their students around 3 free months during fourth year. So, you can easily just do an additional ophtho rotation and not get credit for it, which is what I'll be doing with my only month of free time left (doh!).
 

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Did an extra month of ophtho and didn't get credit for it. It's worth it in the long run.

ps. - its funny that you can take extra classes and not have to pay extra tuition for it. Med school is a bargain!

Stark
 
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