Ophthalmology Residency: Conclusion and Frequently Asked Questions

In summary, ophthalmology is a challenging, exciting, and rewarding field of medicine.  Residency application is competitive and early preparation with focus on USMLE score and letters of recommendation will give you the best chance to succeed.  Choose your residency program carefully because you will acquire the knowledge and skill you need to become a competent ophthalmologist from the institution of your choosing.  Finally, remember to enjoy yourself after the match.  You deserve it after all the hard work you have put in to make it happen!

Frequently Asked Questions

I come from a school with a well known ophthalmology program.  Do I need to do an away rotation?

No, the letters from your home institution will carry you for your application.  You may choose to do an away rotation in your top choice residency program.  However, it is a double edged sword- depending on if you are well liked or disliked, it can increase or decrease your chance of acceptance tremendously.

Since ophthalmology is very competitive, should I apply to a back-up residency program?

It is too much work and I do not recommend it.  You will likely match into an internship and you can then request to stay in the same program to complete your training or apply for ophthalmology again next year.  Some people have been able to successfully obtain an ophthalmology residency position outside the match because a matched person decided to go into a different specialty during their internship training.  SF Match provides the information on open residency positions.

When should I take my USMLE Step 2? Does it matter for my application?

You should not take Step 2 until after the application process.  I would only consider taking it early if your score was low on Step 1. 

Once you have made it to the interview, do the numbers still matter?

No, once you have been invited for an interview, you have already made the number cut off for that institution.  At this point, it depends mostly on your interview.

I am trying to couples match, should I tell the programs about it?

No, you should not tell the programs.  Some programs react negatively to such a disclosure.  I believe they should not inquire about your marital status or whether you have children.  I would not voluntarily disclose the information.