KBerg21

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I'm thinking of 40-45 - mostly urban or Northeast.
 

lilybriscoe

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Hi guys!
I applied to around 50 schools last year. I got 21 invites and went on 16 interviews (gosh, that was a lot), matched at my first choice. I don't regret applying to any of the schools, because I just didn't know very much about the schools when I applied (I learned more as time went on). Also, I matched at a program (Oklahoma) that I might not have applied to if I hadn't applied to this many. What helped me narrow it down this far (50) was talking to ophthalmologists at my school and getting their opinions on programs. But even with this help, no one really knows exactly how competitive they will be since a lot of it depends on your letters of recommendation. So apply to some reaches, some back-ups and then other places you'd like to live or programs you've heard good things about. I'm sure you'll be safe with less than 50 (just don't apply to all the NYC programs like I did... unless you are dying to live there).
And be prepared to be asked at MULTIPLE interviews how many programs you applied to (this seemed to be the hot new question last year) and WHY you like that particular program. So, I would recommend against applying to ALL of the programs because of this and because it's really expensive. Plus, you should take some time to learn something about each of the programs now to save yourself time later when you are hopping from interview to interview.

Good luck to everyone. I thought interviews were fun, though stressful at the beginning. I also learned a lot about ophtho on the interview trail. Enjoy! PM me with questions.

Lily
 

babyblue_39

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I know someone who came close - applied to a little over 80 from the standpoint that he'd rather spend the money and match than risk not matching (in truth, he didn't need it... but we're all excused for paranoia regarding matching). This cost him about $2000 just in application fees.

Re: programs in less than desirable locations, I would recommend applying to and going to all interviews at highly regarded programs just to check them out. There is a reason why they're highly regarded and its worth checking out whether its a "fit".
 

intoxicatedtiger

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My application was complete with 79 programs. Instead of choosing for reasons to apply to a program, I tried to find reasons why I would not apply to a program. Here's my "statistical" reasoning: Say you apply to 40 programs. It costs you $1000. Say that if you don't match, you lose 1 year of your life and $100,000 (just to make it easy) in potential income. OK. So to justify spending an extra $1000 and applying to 80 programs instead, you only need an extra $1000/$100000 chance or an additional 1% advantage in matching to make it profitable. But in essence, by applying to 40 additional programs, you're doubling your chances of matching, assuming programs average each other out in caliber. I think it's worth it. You cannot get lost in the details of what ultimately is change when it's your future at stake.

Especially, if you have a deficiency in a crucial area in your application, now is not the time to pick and choose.
 

diopter

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I concur with my intoxicated colleague... but felt I should add that this must be an OBJECTIVELY perceived deficiency... At a time when everyone's stressing out about decisions, it's important to find faculty at your school involved in the resident selection process and ask them for their honest objective opinion, rather than relying only on your own anxiety-distorted perceptions. I was told by my chair and another attending who screened applications that if programs read my application or interviewed me... they'd drool... but they'd be surprised if I got more than a handful of interviews due to the Step 1 score screen. I applied to 95, got 23 interviews, went to 13 (8 kickass ones).
 

4424

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intoxicatedtiger said:
My application was complete with 79 programs. Instead of choosing for reasons to apply to a program, I tried to find reasons why I would not apply to a program. Here's my "statistical" reasoning: Say you apply to 40 programs. It costs you $1000. Say that if you don't match, you lose 1 year of your life and $100,000 (just to make it easy) in potential income. OK. So to justify spending an extra $1000 and applying to 80 programs instead, you only need an extra $1000/$100000 chance or an additional 1% advantage in matching to make it profitable. But in essence, by applying to 40 additional programs, you're doubling your chances of matching, assuming programs average each other out in caliber. I think it's worth it. You cannot get lost in the details of what ultimately is change when it's your future at stake.

Especially, if you have a deficiency in a crucial area in your application, now is not the time to pick and choose.
were u ever asked by programs how many you applied to and if so, why?
 

xaelia

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diopter said:
I applied to 95....
Oi. Well, thanks to paranoid and caffeine, I've got 31 on my list now:
UCD, UCLA, USC, UCI, UCSD, CPMC, UCSF, Stanford, Colorado, UF, Bascom, Emory, UIC, Wilmer, MEEI, UMich, WashU, UNC, Duke, Ohio St., OHSU, Scheie, Wills, Iowa, Vanderbilt, Storm, UVA, UWash, Weil, NYU, NYEE.

Now I'm just waiting for the "Why aren't you applying to X? They're great!" (e.g., Baylor, Mayo, Wisco) to keep the list growing....
 

diopter

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Inducing paranoia was not my intent. Only if you are told by admissions committee members of your home school that you're prolly only gonna get 3-4 interviews, should you stack the numbers on your side as I did. No regrets tho... another MD-PhD I knew with similar numbers applied to 29 progs and got 3 interviews (but still matched wonderfully!).

For most, it's important to recognize that there is safety not necessarily in absolute number of progs applied to, but rather in the range of program competitiveness contained in your list (aka applying "broadly")... Applying to 2 extra "safety" programs (less competitive programs in your geographic home region at which you would definitely "fit" and/or would def. know/respect your recommenders) provides much more security than applying to 20 extra top-tiered schools.

And... never feel awkward about asking your school's prog. director/residency selection committee members for their opinions.. cuz.. well.. they're gonna see your application in a month or two anyways, right? Also, look at the wonderfully amassed stats accumulated here at the forum (in the FAQ), and look at the credentials of others similar to yours, and see how they fared in terms of interviews/matching.

You can be cautious without being paranoid :rolleyes:
 

gdmpppp

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i just had my ophthalmology and really liked it. i haven't done any research in that field or any other field. my step 1 score is 235. i got a B in my surgery and psychiatry rotation. i have an A in the rest of them. I was wondering if someone could give me an idea of how competitive i am and that if there is something i need to do to improve my chances of being accepted.
also i was wondering how i can find out which ophthalmology school are good and which are hard to get into

thank you very much
 

dpat81

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i am looking to apply to optho residencies in california only...which i think there is like 14 residency programs...if my step 1 is a 244 and i have good grades and everything...do you think that is enough programs to apply to?? i think its kinda low, but is there a decent shot of matching??
 

4424

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dpat81 said:
i am looking to apply to optho residencies in california only...which i think there is like 14 residency programs...if my step 1 is a 244 and i have good grades and everything...do you think that is enough programs to apply to?? i think its kinda low, but is there a decent shot of matching??
i would think u would have a good shot at matching...but i would still apply to more just to be safe, but that's just me. esp since cali is competitive..
 

johnstoner

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dpat81 said:
i am looking to apply to optho residencies in california only...which i think there is like 14 residency programs...if my step 1 is a 244 and i have good grades and everything...do you think that is enough programs to apply to?? i think its kinda low, but is there a decent shot of matching??

are you applying to radiology or ophthalmology? b/c it seems you put the same post in radiology
 

ophth_not_opth

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xaelia said:
Oi. Well, thanks to paranoid and caffeine, I've got 31 on my list now:
UCD, UCLA, USC, UCI, UCSD, CPMC, UCSF, Stanford, Colorado, UF, Bascom, Emory, UIC, Wilmer, MEEI, UMich, WashU, UNC, Duke, Ohio St., OHSU, Scheie, Wills, Iowa, Vanderbilt, Storm, UVA, UWash, Weil, NYU, NYEE.

Now I'm just waiting for the "Why aren't you applying to X? They're great!" (e.g., Baylor, Mayo, Wisco) to keep the list growing....

You need to add Baylor to your list. You seem like a coastal kind of person, but all that aside, if you're considering living in TN or MI, then you might as well consider Texas. Having interviewed at all of the 'big' programs, I would say that Baylor is on a par with them and much better than some of the others on your list. Otherwise, I would consider your list fairly complete(I'd actually kick a couple of programs off, but that's just my opinion).
 

KCS doc

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On advice from one of the residents I worked with I scheduled an appointment with the PD to review my personal statement, list of schools, and overall application. She was helpful in removing and adding a few programs and made a few changes to my statement. It also made for a more comfortable interview day. I totally recommend using your PD and showing interest in your home program!

Apply broadly with a few safety programs. It is worth the $$ to get a better nights sleep and have less stress over the next 6 months.
 

exmike

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xaelia said:
I've added a few more programs, but I'm definitely still going to be far below the average number of applications. There are a lot of programs on my list that I'd be very happy with, so hopefully I'll get lucky....
hey good luck. I feel like my academic career is paralleling yours (#922 on mdapps), from grades, to med school, to mcat and board scores, and now career interest. If you match well, it'll boost my confidence!
 

DiveMD

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Can somebody correlate USMLE scores with the amount of applications? :confused: Thanks.
 

babyblue_39

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DiveMD said:
Can somebody correlate USMLE scores with the amount of applications? :confused: Thanks.
No, because USMLE score is just a TINY part of what is considered in giving out interviews. Also, because the average number of applications people send out each year has been going up, I think most people end up applying to far more than they need to. Another factor is how competitive are the programs you are applying to - applying to 30 programs that are all top tier may result with a lower interview yield than applying to 15 that are not as competitive.
 

demspawn

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last year: 82 programs
8 interivews. (5 in top 10 programs)
Did not match

This year: 73 programs. Wide spectrum except NY state.

PS: FMG...

D
 

diopter

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DiveMD said:
Can somebody correlate USMLE scores with the amount of applications? :confused: Thanks.
There are many factors, and a lot of randomness involved in the process, but this does NOT mean it's completely unpredictable. The best advice anyone can give you, is to set up a short meeting with the program director (or current/past resident selection committee members) at your home school, lay everything out on the table (ie. your CAS app, or less concisely your scores, names of your LOR writers and CV) and ask for their objective opinion on how many/where to apply. They should have A LOT of experience evaluating applications (including yours in a few weeks, so you might as well get their thoughts now, right?)
 

Josh37

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What do you think 'screening scores' for step 1 are?
 

DiveMD

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Josh37 said:
What do you think 'screening scores' for step 1 are?
I've heard that most programs screen applicants using 3 parameters: 1) USMLE scores, 2) Personal Statement and Class Ranking. I guess if you have a stellar Step 1 you are good to go. If your Step one is somewhere between the high 220's to low 230’s, both the Personal Statement (first and last paragraphs) and Class Ranking will play a key role. :confused:

At least they where doing something like that at MGH Radiology Program per a friend of mine who is a current resident.
 

azzarah

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I'm applying to 25-30 programs. I'll go to as many interviews as I can afford....
 

DiveMD

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I finally applied to 60 programs. :eek: I know is a little too much, but better broke than sorry.

DIVEMD