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kgmom: 关于我进入眼科住院医生的情况小结(读者提问解答--英文版)
作者:USMedEdu
发表时间:2008-01-19
更新时间:2008-01-19
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kgmom: 关于我进入眼科住院医生的情况小结(读者提问解答--英文版)
http://www.mitbbs.com/pc/pccon.php?id=2289&nid=30596


发信人: kgmom (kgmom), 信区: MedicalCareer
标 题: 谢谢老刀和大家的祝福,ophtha match experience in preparation
发信站: BBS 未名空间站 (Fri Jan 18 23:09:33 2008)

昨天SF match 发榜, I matched in an ophthalmology program, 忐忑的心终于落下
了。
谢谢老刀的古道热肠, 也谢谢认识/不认识的朋友们的祝福。 从去年八月左右发现了
这个版面, 偶尔来看看,实属“非资深潜水员“,拜读了一些版上大牛, 如gira,
madmice, 那个将去S大的, 考经,面经, 只有深深佩服的份。今天被老刀一宣传,
我也被误归牛类, 实在不敢当。 能match到眼科,主要是我一直干这行。
去年申请初期, 有一具体操作问题无从定铎, 电话咨询老刀, 当他听说我竟然只申
请眼科, 没有back-up, 还对地理位置“挑挑拣拣”,大怒, 我只有在电话另一头毕
恭毕敬地听着,最后老刀忘了回答我的问题,:)。但我相信他是出于为我着想,就为
了老刀这份诚心诚意帮助后来人的精神, 我还是很敬重他, 所以match 后赶快汇报。
我答应老刀会写一些经验和教训, 会先发到他的博克, 然后他会转来。 还真犯愁怎
莫写这作业呢,想当初我的作文还得过奖,这些年医学学下来, 却变得言语乏味, 笔
头干涩了。大家要是有什么具体问题, 不妨给我个提纲。


请问你怎么提高/解决交流方面的
--I practiced with my study partners, who are also applying residency this
year, and I have an AMG helped me, she used to be my summer student. My
spoken english is not bad in IMGs, I think.
比如你的observeship怎么弄得牙 有灭有经验
--I didn\\\'t do observership, since I have an advantage in my work, I actually
worked in clinic 2 days a week for more than a year


【 在 ericusa (Jedi) 的大作中提到: 】
: Wow, experience count. Are you going to do Lasik in the future?


Yeah, I agree with you, the experience in china does count. At least for the
small specialties, ophthal, derma, radio, I would say no IMG can make it
without experience in home country.
I am not sure about the future yet, but since I majored in cornea diseases
back in china, Lasik is a cornea procedure.


Congratulations! Sorry I have the same problem of the input typing with my
computer right now. :( I can\\\'t write in Chinese for unknown reason. I personally have the following Qs,

1) how many years since you graduated?
2) how many years you had been worked in Ophth in China?
3) how many years you have not been in Ophth clinical since you had been in
USA?
4) how do you think your past clinical experience in China counts on in your
match?
5) If you do not mind, what sort of the program you have the pre-matched? I
mean a univ pg or a community pg? Are there special issues you think competitive and harsh for you with
previous Ophth experience?
6) How many programs you had applied for if you do not mind?
7) What are the first three problems for an elder CMG do you think?
8) Could you explain a little bit about your previous words \\\"I actually
worked in clinic 2 days a week for more than a year\\\"? I am confused.
9) Do you mind sharing your USMLE score with us ?

I am so sorry with these many Qs. :) Congrats again for your great pre-match,
which is a gr8 encouragement for a senior CMG with previous clinical
experience! Thank you very much for sharing your feelings and experiences
with us!
Best wishes for your residency!



发信人: kgmom (kgmom), 信区: MedicalCareer
标 题: Re: 谢谢老刀和大家的祝福,ophtha match experience in preparatio
发信站: BBS 未名空间站 (Fri Jan 18 23:50:01 2008)

1) how many years since you graduated?
--12 y
2) how many years you had been worked in Ophth in China
--6
3) how many years you have not been in Ophth clinical since you had been in
USA?
--4
4) how do you think your past clinical experience in China count in your
match?
--a lot, ophthal is a highly specialized subject, I am a trained
ophthalmologist, they can sense it even with one or two Q&A. But, as a
candidate, be careful, you don\\\'t want to show that you think you are a
specialist already, you just want to show you are committed, it\\\'s a little
tricky here.

5) If you do not mind, what sort of the program you have the pre-matched?
--Actually, Doc was wrong, it\\\'s not a pre-match, I don\\\'t know id there are
pre-match in Ophtha. It\\\'s regular match, SF match is just earlier than NRMP.

I mean a univ pg or a community pg?
--An university pg, mid tier.

Is it competitive and harsh for you with
previous Ophth experience?
--very competitive.

6) How many programs you had applied for if you do not mind?
--90+/-, 10 IVs
7) What are the first three problems for an elder CMG do you think?
--foreign medical school origin, long graduation yrs, poor spoken english,
poor inter-personal skill....

8) Could you explain a little bit about your previous words \\\"I actually
worked in clinic 2 days a week for more than a year\\\"? I am confused.
--I am a junior faculty without my own funding yet, part of my salary came
from the department, and when they need hands in clinic, I have the skill
and desire, it just worked out perfectly.

I am so sorry with these many Qs. :) Cong again for your great pre-match,
which is a gr8 encouragement for a senior CMG with previous clinical
experience! Thank you very much for sharing your feelings and experiences
with us.
--u r welcome.


: I bet you have strong recommendation from your supervisors?

-the letters are ok, one is very strong but not from my supervisor and he is
not a big-wig. The one from my direct supervisor is not very strong, since
she would like to keep me forever if she can, I guess.


9) Do you mind sharing your USMLE score with us ?
--sorry, missed a question, 245/255 in step 1 and 2,
--


【 在 monana (monana) 的大作中提到: 】
: 申请眼科的人是不是都不能近视?呵呵,这个问题有点好笑,不过还是想知道啊。虽然
: 国内的眼科医生很多是带眼镜的,但是眼科手术仪器很精密,手术本身不容丝毫偏差,
: 近视的话会不会对做眼科有不利影响?match的时候这会不会是个不利因素阿。。。谢
: 谢


Refractive error is not considered abnormal, so myopia (near-sighted ) is ok
, as long as your best corrected vision is over 20/20. But they do require
your have a normal eye test, including your best corrected vision,
stereotype (li-ti-shi-jue, sorry I can\\\'t type chinese now)
--


Following are my summary:

My road to ophthalmology residency in the US


Don’t know where to start.
The first time I heard of USMLE was back to my first year in BMU nearly 20
yrs ago. An old professor, Dr. Liu gave us medical students a talk about
USMLE and being a doctor in the US. It was like a fairy tale for me at that
time, there was only one exam spot in China is Hongkong at that time, and
considering I will have to pay the penalty for not serving after graduation,
I thought that was just something beyond my reach.
After working as an ophthalmologist for 6 years in China, I just don’t feel
the environment is right, the system, the training, the patient-doctor
relationship, so came to the US 6 years ago. I first landed in an Immunology
research lab. As all Chinese postdocs, I worked very hard and soon became
productive, but I also realized being a non-native-speaker, and without
systematic research training, I can hardly make a living as an independent
researcher.
The longest process in my USMLE preparation is making up my mind. Since I
did not hear many successful stories before, especially for ophthalmology
residency, even AMGs are saying “if your parents did not submit your
application for your ophthalmology residency when you were in diaper, you
are too late”. Recent years, we are hearing and seeing more and more
inspiring cases of our CMGs get into clinical field. I finally made up my
mind 2 years ago when I came back to ophthalmology field.


My credential:
Background: graduates 12 years ago, PhD in China (actually it’s in clinical
ophthalmology with only one year of lab work, but the certificate is Ph.D),
6 yrs ophthalmology in China, 6 yrs research in US, so-so papers 10+, green
card
USMLE: 245 (Oct. 2006)/255(June 2007)/cs pass (April 2007)/step 3 not taken
yet/USCE 2ys
Matching stat: applied 90+/- ophthal programs, received 10 IVs (7 univ. and
3 community pgs) and went on all, matched in a university program, in the
middle of my list. Applied 40 prelim-IM in local, 5 IVs all community
hospitals, went to 4, got two pre-match offers, and highly possible from the
other 2 as well if further pursued, signed one in mid Dec.

Retrospectively, what helped me got good number of IVs?
1. ophthalmology experience in china: experience in home country does count,
almost all the cases of CMGs got into ophthalmology programs in US were
ophthalmologist in china.
2. usmle scores: 245/255: I would say, 99/99 maybe a pre-requisite for
getting interviews, if you don’t have a connection when applying hot
specialties.
3. US clinical ophthalmology experience: As a junior faculty without my own
funding yet, part of my salary came from the department, and when they need
hands in clinic, I have the skill and desire, it just worked out perfectly.
4. Research and good numbers of paper, even though most are not in
ophthalmology: good tracking record in your career speaks highly for your
ability.

What else factors will help in getting IVs, which I wish I had:
1. US Ph.D, is much bigger than Chinese Ph.D
2. Research in big-cow school
3. Connections: but connections get you IVs, not the match
4. Big-wig LORs



What helped me finally matched?
The difficulty in matching into hot specialties is you are competing with
strong AMGs, even you are invited for interviews, to convince the program to
rank you high or even rank you is still a tough work. I do not have any
connections in the program I matched. While interviewed at the program I
matched, I think I performed extremely well, English was super fluent,
personal interaction was good. I can feel that the interviewers resonant
with my response. After the interview, I knew they like me the most among
all the programs.
1. improve spoken English
2. do extensive home work about the program, faculty
3. practice interview skill, be your self and successfully sell yourself,
show sincere interest in the specialty and the program
4. Then, you do need some luck, i.e, the AMGs that above you on the
programs rank list would not rank the program high. When I interviewed at a
program, one of the interviewer, a young faculty said to me: “I can tell
you your credential is way above most of the other candidates today, but…”
he paused, “Ranking is another story?” I added, I know I should not, but
I just can’t help. Then he said, “ while you have to admit being a FMG is
a big hit for you”

My experience: what I am happy with myself in the whole process:
I believe all CMGs can make it to your desired residency, as long as you
work hard enough.
1. Anything that you have a control in the whole process, try to make your
best.
--I knew I have to score 99/99 to have a slim chance in Ophtha, so I aimed
that and made it.
--Polish my English and interview skill over and over with my partners and
friends
--Small details in IVs: Nicely groom and dress, have CV printed on resume
paper, presented to each interviewers, thank-you email afterwords…
2. Be tough, physically and mentally.
--With a full time job and two young kids, I study both hard and efficiently.
-- Tell myself you only need one to match, and fully prepared before the 1st
IV. I had no major flaws in the first two IVs in early Nov. Actually, I
only had 4 ophtha IVs before mid Nov., very frustrating at that time.
--I had 10 IV (ophth and pre-lim) appointments fall in between 11/30 and 12/
19, and the ophth IVs are all over the country. I did not even think about
cancel any of them. And except the two bottom ophtha community programs (
reason see Regrets section), I think I interviewed well anywhere, even in my
No.1 choice big cow program, no regrets at all.
3. Great support from family:
--Thanks for my husband, who is very supportive, shouldered a lot of family
responsibility.
--My parents came to help us twice for several months each time before the
little one can go to daycare. But actually, although their coming were very
good for my kids, I ended up less study time due to have to think about how
to make sure they are happy here, so don’t recommend to have parents here
when you prepare USMLE.
--And my two daughters, they are all very good girls, except don’t want to
sleep until 10 or 11pm.


My regrets and lessons:
1. Score as high as you can. I wish I had scored higher in step 1, since
according to SDN data, to get into top ophtha programs, even AMG need >235.
While people are getting higher and higher scores, you have to follow the
rule.
2. Finish exams earlier to have ample time in preparing application: SF
match starts to receive application in June 1st, and close at Sep. 1st.
Deadline of programs ranging from mid Aug to mid Nov. I gave my ck on June
28th and ECFMG certified in end of July, finally submitted application in
mid August, missed deadline of some programs.
3. Apply as many programs as you can, I’m talking about the hot small
specialties: Don’t care about geography, don’t try to save money at this
point. And, don’t be afraid to apply big-cow programs if you do have
something glare. Sometimes it is the big-cow program that has the gut to
take a good IMG. I was told by several professors in my department that some
not-so good programs, with only 2 spots per year, do not want to take IMG,
because they are afraid of that they will become less attractive in good
AMGs if they take IMGs. And ophthalmology programs are so competitive that
they can always grab AMGs, although maybe not very good ones. Ridiculous and
insulting? Yes, but it is the truth. And the fact is, my worst interview
experience were from the two community programs at the bottom of my rank
list. They do not really appreciate your value at all.
4. Did not have California letter, lost CA, which has a lot of ophtha
programs.
5. Lost programs in another two states: Louisiana and MN. Misled by web
information and didn’t check by phone, I thought they require step 3 score
while apply, actually they mean when you come to the program, which is PGY-2.
6. Try to get good LOR from big-wig: As soon as you decide your specialty
, make your effort to get access to big-wigs in your area, that really
counts. My LORs are all from US physician, but no big-wig ophthalmologist.
The 2 ophthalmologists are not real big-wigs. The other one from postdoc
mentor is an ok big-wig in surgery, but not even known by the
ophthalmologists in the same school.
7. Have a back-up specialty: Although I didn’t, but I highly suggest you
have one if you have time to prepare the material. I did not have any
exposure to Patho, did not have any experience in IM what-so-ever. So even
if I apply other specialty, my CV is like yelling to the PD that “ I’m an
ophthalmologist looking for a back-up!”. A real back-up, you have to make
some credit for yourself on that.

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