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Hi guys,

I am a first-year medical student and have developed a blooming interest in ophthalmology. I will be applying for summer research opportunities relevant to the field. Given how competitive the field is and the sheer number of gunners it tends to attract, I was wondering if it was too late to try to gain competitiveness to match into the field. If not, what would you recommend I do to become competitive for ophtho specifically, would really appreciate the perspectives of those in the field especially.

 

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Definitely not. Do observerships with staff to make sure you like it and can let you start practicing on/getting familiar with the slit lamp. Get in touch with residents or research focused staff at your local program and ask them to hook you up with projects, sometimes it can take a while to publish so starting early is ideal. Ask upper years in your school that are applying to or already matched to ophtho for tips and to scout out which staff are important to get to know. Be likeable and keen, but don't overdo it. Beyond that there's not much more to do at your stage.

Also not a bad thought to explore other things you like in case you want to back up, a lot of ophtho applicants do back up.

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  • 9 months later...
1 hour ago, dooogs said:

@rice late to the post but.... what are some popular ophto backups? It seems like ophto would be the give it all kinda deal. Im having a hard time seeing what could be a backup with something similar to ophto. Im going to guess maybe ENT but that's also very competitive......

Ophtho is one of the rare specialties who are forgiving to unmatched med students who do an enrichment year and are extremely productive in research after going unmatched. FM and IM (the least and second least competitive but common specialties) are also popular. 

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If not willing to go unmatched, most ophtho applicants back up with neurology. If wanting to stay within the surgical realm, ENT is possible but I also hear general surgery just because it has more spots. As stated above, can do FM and IM but some of my colleagues who matched to these were profoundly unhappy (others came to terms with it and made it work well for themselves)

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On 12/30/2020 at 11:09 AM, dooogs said:

@rice late to the post but.... what are some popular ophto backups? It seems like ophto would be the give it all kinda deal. Im having a hard time seeing what could be a backup with something similar to ophto. Im going to guess maybe ENT but that's also very competitive......

Most that I know applied to family medicine as a back-up

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