8 Tips for Landing your Dream Fellowship in Ophthalmology

The journey to your goal of sub-specialization can sometimes feel long and weary. You’ve been through college, medical school, residency, and now is one other hurdle, the fellowship stage. How much longer until you can be a practicing specialist? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves; you first need to get a fellowship match. To succeed, you will need more than just a compelling ophthalmology personal statement, in your application arsenal. Read on to find out what you need to do to get your dream fellowship.

Preparing to get into an Ophthalmology Fellowship

1. Research

Your dream fellowship is one that best matches your interests. Your compatibility will depend on the faculty. Are there specific skills you would like to gain?

Contact alumni and fellows in the programs you find appealing. Ask them about their experiences.

It will also help you with your cover letter vs. personal statement.

2. Get Experience

Since this is going to be something you will be doing for several years, it’s essential to determine if it’s what you desire. Look for opportunities that will allow you to get real experience in the specialty.

Volunteer your skills if you have to. Just spending time with a specialist in a hospital, won’t be enough.

3. Develop relationships with specialists & mentors

The connections you form will prove invaluable. Identify an ophthalmologist who’s revered in the field. Offer to shadow them.

They may offer you valuable advice on how to succeed. Moreover, the relationships you form will help you with your recommendation letters.

When it comes to your Personal Statement and other application documents

4. Start early

The research into each program requirements will help you identify what is required of you in the application. Prepare the needed documents in advance. That includes your motivation letter and CV.

5. Ask for Recommendation letters

Often, the faculty will ask for your CV and personal statement to help them develop your letter of recommendation. Request for this in advance. Remember, recommenders have other responsibilities, too.

Choose people who know you well. The quality of the letter matters.

6. Explore other interests outside the field

Be a well-rounded individual. That means it’s okay to pursue your hobbies. Be it in sports, music, and more. It may be what makes you stand out in your personal statement scholarship.

Also, you need to be able to capture the reader’s attention from the start. Being unique helps you achieve that.

Once the personal statement & application secures you an Interview

7. Plan

Don’t be late for your interview. Be professional and courteous. How you act may get back to the program director.

Even to the administrative staff. So, be thoughtful.

8. Show enthusiasm

Prepare for the interview and be enthusiastic during the meeting. Make eye contact with the interviewer. Identify a compelling case that you’ve experienced in the field and bring it up.

Consider sending a personalized thank you note after the interview, too.

Final Note on Landing an Ophthalmology Fellowship

It helps to prepare in advance. From identifying the application requirements, gaining the necessary experience, and organizing the needed documents. It will save you the stress of having to work against the clock.