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step 3 scores and surgical retina fellowships

eyescreamcake

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Apr 20, 2011
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    I'm really interested in doing a surgical retina fellowship . Step 1 mattered to land an ophtho spot, but do step 2 and 3 scores matter when trying to match into an surgical retina fellowship, especially the high-tier ones? No one's really been able to give me an answer:rolleyes: but if anyone has any insight into this that would be geat:)

    Thanks!
     

    Visionary

    Medical Retinologist
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    1. Attending Physician
      I'm really interested in doing a surgical retina fellowship . Step 1 mattered to land an ophtho spot, but do step 2 and 3 scores matter when trying to match into an surgical retina fellowship, especially the high-tier ones? No one's really been able to give me an answer:rolleyes: but if anyone has any insight into this that would be geat:)

      Thanks!

      Not nearly as important as connections (e.g., LOR, phone calls, reputation of residency program).
       

      200UL

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        Step 3 scores are arguably the least important thing listed on the application.

        I think I've said this before, I don't care if you have had the highest step 2 or step 3 score ever recorder, it will mean nothing if the LOR reads something like this: "he/she is an average resident and a below average surgeon." "He/she was fine, but often argued with the patients."

        Fellowship directors are looking for fellows who will make their life easier. You want your fellowship application to illustrate to the program that you have something to offer the program (programs invest a lot in trainees - you want to show you can give back). Step 3 means little in this process.
         
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        MedEye

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          I recently matched into a surgical retina fellowship program. My step 3 is 78. At one of the programs, an interviewer asked me why my step 3 is not as good as 1 & 2; I simply said "because I did not study for it", and "some people get astronomical scores but that does not always mean they're as good clinically". He agreed.
           

          4ophtho

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            I recently matched into a surgical retina fellowship program. My step 3 is 78. At one of the programs, an interviewer asked me why my step 3 is not as good as 1 & 2; I simply said "because I did not study for it", and "some people get astronomical scores but that does not always mean they're as good clinically". He agreed.

            On the same token, if he truly didn't care then the interviewer wouldn't have asked in the first place. That said, I would imagine the relevance is minimal at that point as previously mentioned.
             

            monkey7247

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            1. Fellow [Any Field]
              I'm really interested in doing a surgical retina fellowship . Step 1 mattered to land an ophtho spot, but do step 2 and 3 scores matter when trying to match into an surgical retina fellowship, especially the high-tier ones? No one's really been able to give me an answer:rolleyes: but if anyone has any insight into this that would be geat:)

              Thanks!


              I think you would absolutely have to bomb step 3 for it to even be looked at. Doing amazing matters little.
               

              200UL

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                True - you never know.

                But the bottom line is that connections matter most when it comes to any fellowship in ophthalmology. The community for each fellowship is "small." Where you train, your LOR comments and authors, what you accomplished in residency, and phone calls trump all else.
                 

                abu barney

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                  Connections are everything in subspecialty training. Most applicants will already have a loaded CV. Fellowship directors want reassurances from people whose opinion they trust. A phone call from an attending connected to a program (past graduate, personal connection, etc) trumps 10 publications, >260 USMLEs, and 99% OKAP scores. The real key is to get a connected attending to strongly go to bat for you. Obviously if you're a dud, it's hard to get people to enthusiastically vouch for you. On the flip side, even if you are a strong resident, not all attendings are willing to go out on a limb to try to place you. There are some programs where pedigree goes a long way as well. Scores, publications I think are lower down on the list.
                   
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