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Application Process

Residents at the Wilmer Eye Institute observe a patient with slit lamp

Thank you for your interest in applying to the Wilmer Eye Institute Ophthalmology Residency Program. Wilmer's residents are selected from a large applicant pool of over 450 of the best medical students in the country and abroad.

Applications to the program are processed through the Central Application Service (CAS) provided by the San Francisco Matching Program at Use of CAS is mandatory for domestic and international applicants. 


Application Process FAQs

  • In 2019, there were over 450 applicants for our five resident positions. The interviewees included 20 women and 15 men from 29 different medical schools. The average USMLE Step 1 scores ranged from 186-268 (mean 243) and the Step 2 scores (when available) ranged from 195-270 (mean 253).

  • Above all, we look for candidates who demonstrate a true passion for ophthalmology and who show the potential to become leaders in the field. There are no absolute requirements beyond what the CAS lists. We do not have minimum cut-off scores for USMLE or ECFMG examinations. Each application is carefully reviewed by multiple members of our selection committee.

    Applicants selected for an interview will have many of the following accomplishments:

    1. Outstanding clinical grades.
    2. Excellent board scores.
    3. Evidence of scholarly activity (clinical or basic science research, publications).
    4. Outstanding letters of recommendation and Dean's letter.
    5. Demonstrated leadership potential.
  • They are not required since they are not available from all applicants prior to our interview process. However, they are helpful if available. Any updates to an applicant’s file must go through the Centralized Application Service (CAS) at

  • We do not require anything beyond the minimum requirements listed by CAS. We recognize that our early application deadline results in some relevant information becoming available after the deadline. However, this information (ex: election to AOA, publication of a scholarly journal article, grades, Dean’s Letter, board scores) can be sent to CAS for forwarding to our admissions committee.

  • We do not have minimum scores. While most applicants who are invited for interviews have scores above the national average, we consider the entire application when deciding who to invite for an interview.

  • Beginning with the 2020 application cycle, the internship for our program will be integrated. When you match with us, you will match for 4 years, including a preliminary year at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. You will have to apply once through the SF match for our program. For other programs, you may have to apply separately, depending on whether they are a joint (as opposed to integrated) program or have not yet become a joint or integrated program.

  • Due to the fact that we are an early match and use the SF matching system, couples matching is not available with other specialties. We do strive to work with other departments that a spouse or significant other of an applicant is applying to.

  • Foreign Medical Graduates must hold a valid certificate from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) at time of appointment.

  • It is the policy of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine that all offers of a house staff position, as well as offers to applicants for medical school or fellowship in any Graduate Medical Education program sponsored by Johns Hopkins, are conditional, based on a review of the prospective house officer’s criminal background.

    The University reserves the right to rescind an offer of appointment to any educational or training program, including the Wilmer Eye Institute, to any individual whose background investigation reveals a history of criminal conduct that:

    1. the University reasonably determines increases the risk of harm to patients or individuals on Johns Hopkins premises;
    2. was not accurately disclosed in response to a direct question regarding criminal history on any application for admission or appointment in connection with the program; or
    3. is inconsistent with the high standard of ethical conduct required of all members of the academic community or is otherwise unbefitting a member of the academic community. A complete description of the policy is available upon request.

For additional questions about the application process or guidelines:

Cathy Taylor
Residency Program Coordinator

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