As I mentioned in my last post, I applied for fellowship in oculoplastics!!
If you’re thinking, “what in the world is oculoplastics?” wonder no more. I will explain…
All About Oculoplastics Fellowship
Ophthalmology seems like a tiny field to begin with, right? Eyes are pretty small, so how can they be divided into even smaller sections? Well, shockingly, there are fellowships in cornea, anterior segment surgery, retinal surgery, medical retina, glaucoma, neuro-ophthalmolgy, pediatric ophthalmology, ocular oncology, ocular pathology, and oculoplastics.
Most fellowship applications take place in the fall of the final year of residency. Oculoplastics is an outlier and has applicants submit everything during the second year of ophthalmology residency, or PGY-3. That means that if you want to become an oculoplastic and orbital surgeon, you have to decide either during your first year of ophtho residency or shortly into your second year- pretty early!
I had no idea I wanted to do oculoplastics until I did my rotation in November, 2015. I loved it and started to see myself in the field. From December, 2015 until May, I kept plastics in the back of my mind as I rotated through the other subspecialties in ophthalmology. By the end of my first year, I knew that I truly loved plastics and didn’t want to do anything else. I decided to apply for an ASOPRS fellowship (American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery) which is a highly competitive sub-specialty.
Here is a little blurb about orbital surgery from our basic text book, which I think describes orbital surgery very well.
Oculoplastic surgeons specialize in plastic and reconstructive surgery involving the face, eyelids, orbit, and lacrimal system. Oculoplastic surgeons can also perform cosmetic and aesthetic procedures involving the face and eyes.
I am very interested in facial reconstruction, thyroid eye disease, orbital inflammation, and oncology. I have not had very much exposure to cosmetic procedures, but I think I will enjoy those as well 🙂
Here’s a photo from an orbital dissection course. This is a a cadaver head with the brain removed, looking down on the orbits from above. I think orbital anatomy is fascinatingly complex and challenging.
In order to apply, I had to submit a personal statement, letters of recommendation, an application which listed my honors/awards, research activities, leadership, etc. Many programs have also asked for my OKAP test scores, dean’s letter from medical school, medical school transcript, and more. So for all of you applying to residency, medical school, or any other professional program, we are in it together!!!
The match for a plastics fellowship is extremely competitive, so I will be happy just to match into a fellowship. Interviews should take place January-March, so I will keep you updated! As of right now, my application has been submitted to all the programs (29 spots in the country) and I am waiting to hear about interviews.
I will be posting tons more about the application and interview process (as long as I get some interviews- fingers crossed) so stay tuned!
Are you applying for fellowship/residency/medical school/any other programs?? Tell me about the process!