Ophthalmology is a highly competitive specialty. If as a medical student
you are seriously considering a career in ophthalmology, it is worthwhile
thinking how you might enhance your curriculum vitae. You may like to include
ophthalmology in one of your elective or optional periods. Clinical medical
students are eligible to enter the Duke-Elder Prize in Ophthalmology, which
is a national competitive MCQ examination run by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.
Additional ways to improve your CV include:
Doing a BMed Sci related to ophthalmology in your intercalated year. This
may be ocular anatomy, physiology, pharmacology or microbiology. Extra
points will be gained if the study is presented or published.
If you were about to finish your medical study and possess no BMed Sci.
or are not interested in doing one, you may consider doing an elective
in ophthalmology. You can do so by writing to well known Ophthalmology
Institution either in the UK or outside (contact your medical school to
find out if anybody has done so in the past or your university eye units
for more information about such Institutions; you may also get the addresses
from the Internet). It is important to give yourself plenty of time to
avoid disappointment as they are quite popular. While doing your elective,
you may want to find out if you could participate in any study or help
to write up an interesting case report. Any presentation or publication
will put you ahead of your competitors.
If you were adventurous, you may like to do your elective in a developing
country. You can either join an eye camps or primary eye care. The London
Institute of Ophthalmology in City Road, London has done excellent works
in such countries and would be a good source of information about such
services in the developing countries. Again give yourself plenty of time,
as you may need to collect all the necessary documents and vaccinations
for such trip. You can carry out study to find out the local needs and
the ways common eye problems are managed. Photographs and videos will be
invaluable for later presentation in either your medical school or some
medical meetings. The Royal Society of Medicine in Wimpole Street organizes
many medical meetings including ophthalmology, your study is likely to
find an audience there.