immunology89

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Do most programs offer their matched applicants a spot in an affiliated TY/prelim year if the applicant desires or should I apply to TY/prelim years in multiple cities?
 

DrZeke

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Do most programs offer their matched applicants a spot in an affiliated TY/prelim year if the applicant desires or should I apply to TY/prelim years in multiple cities?
Some programs offer scenario #1 or can help with #1. However they are not usually cush and often not TY. Rather, prelim med or surg. I was offered a prelim at my program and turned it down because there was another one I preferred for personal and professional reasons.

I would do scenario #2.
 
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Some programs also have a built in combined prelim year which can be a huge advantage. Iowa for example has a guaranteed prelim year that offers five months of ophthalmology and only four months on the gen med wards. No ICU no heme/onc. Utah has a similar program with four months of ophthalmology.
 

DoctorJedi

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There's a mix, and a lot of programs will offer you something as an internship that you may or may not be interested in, but a lot won't. I'd say apply to a number on your own wherever you like (because you never know what kind of program you'll match until January) but also when you get an ophtho interview take advantage of the opportunity to interview with their prelim program if possible while you're already in the city. Some even offer those interviews explicitly. You may decide afterwards to rank a possibly easier/more convenient/closer to home TY, but you can make that decision later. And while the year a lot of the time might be harder than a TY you could get elsewhere, there are advantages to consider about doing your prelim at the same program as your advanced- learn the area, learn the hospital/EMR, don't have to move, meet people outside your program, etc.
 
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Finally, no more "training"
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A few programs offer a combined intern year with residency, and may integrate actual ophthalmology rotations that are useful. If you can find such a residency, consider yourself very lucky, because once you start as an official ophthalmology resident, you'll be ahead of the curve. My program had a combined internship/residency track where we had 4 months of neuro-ophth/general, one month as a virtually functional first year ophthalmologist, and a ocular pathology month. It definitely paid dividends when I started as an official ophthalmology resident.

Many programs, however, don't have such a deal and you're often on your own finding an internship/TY year. This has been discussed nearly ad nauseam on this forum, but for the most part, it's not necessary to find an internship that is clinically strong but brutal on your lifestyle. There are advantages of doing an intern/TY year at the program where you'll be at for residency that makes the transition easier, but everyone has their own unique insight into it.