As a medical student, I remember really stressing over every detail of my rotation evaluations and the exact composition of my dean's letter. In medicine, we tend to be perfectionists so this is only natural. You only have one application to look at - yours. Getting to review them from the other side, however, you realize that this is overly neurotic. Most readers only have time to skim them briefly. Most of the attention is usually focused on a few biographic details that make you a interesting person and then the summative paragraph that puts you in context and compares you to your fellow medical students and applicants. Nobody sitting down to interview you has any idea what line 3 of your ob/gyn evaluation said.
It also takes too much time to figure out exactly what grades mean in the context of a poorly-xeroxed and confusing sheet that gives the distributions for your specific school(s). The things that will put this in context are nuggets that can easily be grasped - e.g. junior AOA, USMLE scores, academic honors, etc. These things are easier to compare across institutions.
I think what honestly make an application stand out (beyond evidence of commitment to ophthalmology and good academic standing) are a compelling narrative and interesting life accomplishments. When crafting your application, I'd suggest you look it over and try to figure out what the top 5 things that a potential interviewer will glean from it will be. Be sure that you come across as an interesting person and not just a compilation of statistics.
Fair enough. Guess each applicant should assess how their schools do that sort of thing and plan accordingly. Our school had 5 junior AOA's a little over halfway through M3, and another 10 were given senior AOA in October, with all of third year accounted for. I think at our school, for the purposes of AOA and Class rank, M3 grades were approx double the value of M1/M2.Actually at some schools they grant junior AOA without taking into account clerkship grades. EAch school has their own criteria for AOA...