IMG interested in Ophthalmology - what are my chances? - USMLE Forums
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  #1  
Old 04-28-2011
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Show Teeth IMG interested in Ophthalmology - what are my chances?

Hi,

I have been reading the Q&A posted on the forum and have found them to be extremely helpful. Thank you all for contributing!

I know this was addressed a few times by different members. I am still curious as to my chances of getting into an ophthalmology training in the USA.

I graduated from medicine in Sydney Australia. I have completed 3 years of residency training of which the 3rd year was in surgery as a senior resident (probably equivalent to a PGY2 in USA). I am currently in the final year of my PhD (in Sydney) in eye genetics, have published a couple of papers & have at least 2 more on the way. I volunteer once every 2 years overseas with an eye team (irregular due to financial/time constraints) & am planning to get more involved with volunteering amongst the local communities.

I am hoping to complete Steps 1 & 2 by next year.

What are my chances (I know it's slim to start with) if I also did a 3-month externship (assuming good USMLE results also)?

Thank you in advance for all advice!
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Old 05-08-2011
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Embarrassed

I gather the lack of responses to my questions is an indication of how tough it is? I would really appreciate any advice from anyone who knows someone or has some personal experience regarding this

Thank you!
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  #3  
Old 05-09-2011
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Unhappy It's almost impossible for IMGs

Ophthalmology residency is one of the toughest to get to residencies in USA, some people might argue that it is the toughest of all.

This fact is even magnified in the case of an IMG.

The reason why people are after it, is two fold:
- Great quality of life - Not much night calls
- Fantastic income - Up to 1.5M per year!

So in your case, you need to put these facts in consideration before starting such a journey.

You may end up spending years doing unpaid research just to try to get through the doors (even if you have super high USMLE scores and a fabulous CV)
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Old 05-30-2011
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Default it is possible

I know an Egyptian who finished a 4 year ophthalmology residency in Egypt and finished a Masters (not a Phd as in your case), and then he did a fellowship in the US ... then guess what he is doing a residency in Opthalmology now.
I think with your PhD, you're in much better shape. Good luck. Don't ever give up on something you think about everyday
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Old 05-30-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hokolesqua View Post

The reason why people are after it, is two fold:
- Great quality of life - Not much night calls
- Fantastic income - Up to 1.5M per year!

Mmm...this was in the long past...may 10-15 years from now (If we suppose they were payed this amount!!).
Ophthalmology no longer a highly payed speciality as it was...May be they get an average of 250-350 K/year.
Even an Orthopedician, Cardiac Surgeon or Radiologist doesn't get 1.0 M !!
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Old 06-04-2011
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The most important point here is how long has it been since you graduated. It looks like it's been years since you left med school, and US program directors do not like that. It's painful but they don't care if you have a PhD. They don't care about your clinical experience no matter how rich it is as long as it was achieved outside of the US. The medical system is very unique in America that they disregard any other system, except in rare cases perhaps. That's why IMGs are encouraged to get USMLE done as soon as possible to get into residency.

This does not mean there's no chance for you. There's always a chance out there, but I don't think it would be through the NRMP (the Match). Rather, you need to contact programs/universities/faculties and work it out on a personal level.
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  #7  
Old 06-04-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haisook View Post
The most important point here is how long has it been since you graduated. It looks like it's been years since you left med school, and US program directors do not like that. It's painful but they don't care if you have a PhD. They don't care about your clinical experience no matter how rich it is as long as it was achieved outside of the US. The medical system is very unique in America that they disregard any other system, except in rare cases perhaps. That's why IMGs are encouraged to get USMLE done as soon as possible to get into residency.

This does not mean there's no chance for you. There's always a chance out there, but I don't think it would be through the NRMP (the Match). Rather, you need to contact programs/universities/faculties and work it out on a personal level.
Dear Haisook, thanks very much for your advice & encouragement! I do realize the difficulties ahead - it's a shame they disregard the clinical experience one has from the home country. Regardless, I'm going to give it my best shot every step of the way (pardon the pun!) & leave the rest up to divine measures!
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