The preclinical years of medical school are important for students considering a career in Ophthalmology.
Ophthalmology residency programs value involvement in extracurricular activities, community service, leadership, and research.
The preclinical years are an excellent time to build these credentials
3 ways to Build your Credentials in Ophthalmology as a Preclinical Student
Ophthalmologists are involved in service work in the United States and abroad through such organizations as Unite for Sight, Operation Access, ORBIS, Volunteer Eye Surgeons International, Eye Care America, and Prevent Blindness America. Medical students can also participate. Participation in community service can enhance your ophthalmologic knowledge and eye examination skills while providing a much needed service.
Shadow an ophthalmologist. According to Dr. Andrew Lee, Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at The Methodist Hospital, “shadowing both a private practice eye MD or an academic faculty member might allow the student an insider glimpse into the practice of ophthalmology, and can create a mentoring opportunity that could lead to an important and convincing letter of recommendation downstream.”
Summer Student Fellowships are available to med students interested in eye research through Fight for Sight. Research grants for medical students are also available through the Sjogren’s Syndrome Foundation. For students interested in a longer period of research, Research to Prevent Blindness offers a one-year fellowship with $ 30,000 grant support.
For more information on how to stand out in Ophthalmology as a preclinical student, turn to our book Success in Medical School: Insider Advice for the Preclinical Years.