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  • #46
    Orthopaedics again in a heart beat, wish I got it the first time going into the Match though

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    • #47
      I'm not a Dr., and I do enjoy my job.  I'm a programmer by training, but took a sales position with a financial services company.  I live on the west coast so at work at 6:00 AM, but home by 3:30.  I have been able to coach, train, and support my wife's coaching and training for things that other schedules would make difficult.  And I still get to do programming.

      cd :O)
      Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary. -- Isaiah 40:31

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      • #48
        MS4 here trying to decide between Ophtho vs IM --> GI and I am somewhat surprised that no Ophthalmologists promoted their field. The ones I have met seemed happy with their decision. I know we are just a small pool here but still ...

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        • #49
          I'm a vitreoretinal surgeon, a subspeciality of ophthalmology. Love the surgery, fascinating pathology, still pays pretty well. Would do it again.

          Comment


          • #50
            Thanks for the plug. Would you mind expanding about any words of wisdom for us possible future ophthos (I am interested in retina too but have yet to work with a retina specialist). What portion of your time is spent on procedures and how many patients do you see on a normal day. What attracted you to the field initially?

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            • #51




              Thanks for the plug. Would you mind expanding about any words of wisdom for us possible future ophthos (I am interested in retina too but have yet to work with a retina specialist). What portion of your time is spent on procedures and how many patients do you see on a normal day. What attracted you to the field initially?
              Click to expand...


              Attracted to the field by some mixture of the following: outpatient lifestyle (priority #1), clean surgery, good compensation. Now, that I'm actually doing lots of surgery, I'm blown away by the surgical technology and what is able to be accomplished when operating on the retina.

              I am finishing fellowship now, but my future partners see about 50 patients a day 4 days a week and do about 5 major surgical cases on their OR day 1 day a week. During the clinic days, there are lots of 'minor' procedures: lasers and injections. My guess is the workweek is about 50 hrs, weekends generally off.

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              • #52
                Oh boy. I am an ophthalmologist 7 years out in practice. I love the field, the technology, the lifestyle, the surgeries, the for the most part grateful and happy patients. Unfortunately, as a career I can't recommend it. Practice opportunities are miserable in competitive areas and things are getting worse as more insurance consolidation takes place and ACOs take over. And I know I know- there a few fabulously wealthy LASIK and cataract cowboys- they are a small minority.

                Retinadoc, you are a fellow and haven't experienced real world pressure yet. As of 1/1/16, some retina surgical codes were cut up to 40%. I am friends with many retina docs in private practice and they are seriously worried about keeping the lights on (one was recently telling me that after the cuts, he makes exactly ZERO dollars on a urgent RD repair even on a patient with good insurance). Overhead is extremely high (my practice is currently looking at a new OCT machine- $90,000) and opportunities in good areas are nonexistent. Do yourself a favor and do GI. You will thank me later.

                I am faithful WCI reader; I love reading discussions about how ER, anesthesia, surgery residents can moonlight (we can't do that, unless you want to prescribe glasses at Walmart on Saturdays), as attendings do locums for a few years, increase work load/decrease work load (nope, we can't do that either, for the most part no opportunity like that exist in ophthalmology). Hospitals don't hire ophthalmologists (well, some are starting to), so this opportunity doesn't even exist for us. We are limited to private practice (have you ever seen a $90,000 starting salaries for ophthalmologists? yep, seen that), academics, or VA.

                 

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                • #53
                  Being a dentist is pretty nice.  Most graduate at 26 years old and within a year make six figures.  Not mentally stimulating though and owning a practice has enough headaches.  On the plus side I work 30 hrs a week and make 300-350k/yr.

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                  • #54
                    This is from Medscape compensation report 2015. Surprising, isn't it?

                    Comment


                    • #55




                      Oh boy. I am an ophthalmologist 7 years out in practice. I love the field, the technology, the lifestyle, the surgeries, the for the most part grateful and happy patients. Unfortunately, as a career I can’t recommend it. Practice opportunities are miserable in competitive areas and things are getting worse as more insurance consolidation takes place and ACOs take over. And I know I know- there a few fabulously wealthy LASIK and cataract cowboys- they are a small minority.

                      Retinadoc, you are a fellow and haven’t experienced real world pressure yet. As of 1/1/16, some retina surgical codes were cut up to 40%. I am friends with many retina docs in private practice and they are seriously worried about keeping the lights on (one was recently telling me that after the cuts, he makes exactly ZERO dollars on a urgent RD repair even on a patient with good insurance). Overhead is extremely high (my practice is currently looking at a new OCT machine- $90,000) and opportunities in good areas are nonexistent. Do yourself a favor and do GI. You will thank me later.

                      I am faithful WCI reader; I love reading discussions about how ER, anesthesia, surgery residents can moonlight (we can’t do that, unless you want to prescribe glasses at Walmart on Saturdays), as attendings do locums for a few years, increase work load/decrease work load (nope, we can’t do that either, for the most part no opportunity like that exist in ophthalmology). Hospitals don’t hire ophthalmologists (well, some are starting to), so this opportunity doesn’t even exist for us. We are limited to private practice (have you ever seen a $90,000 starting salaries for ophthalmologists? yep, seen that), academics, or VA.

                       
                      Click to expand...


                      I feel you -- this realization is what has driven me to dedicate time to understanding personal finance.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Wow, this is really something I have to think about. Thank you for your perspective. I certainly don't want to graduate after 5+ years of training + loans and make 90k. That's just ridiculous.

                        Comment


                        • #57




                          Oh boy. I am an ophthalmologist 7 years out in practice. I love the field, the technology, the lifestyle, the surgeries, the for the most part grateful and happy patients. Unfortunately, as a career I can’t recommend it. Practice opportunities are miserable in competitive areas and things are getting worse as more insurance consolidation takes place and ACOs take over. And I know I know- there a few fabulously wealthy LASIK and cataract cowboys- they are a small minority.

                          Retinadoc, you are a fellow and haven’t experienced real world pressure yet. As of 1/1/16, some retina surgical codes were cut up to 40%. I am friends with many retina docs in private practice and they are seriously worried about keeping the lights on (one was recently telling me that after the cuts, he makes exactly ZERO dollars on a urgent RD repair even on a patient with good insurance). Overhead is extremely high (my practice is currently looking at a new OCT machine- $90,000) and opportunities in good areas are nonexistent. Do yourself a favor and do GI. You will thank me later.

                          I am faithful WCI reader; I love reading discussions about how ER, anesthesia, surgery residents can moonlight (we can’t do that, unless you want to prescribe glasses at Walmart on Saturdays), as attendings do locums for a few years, increase work load/decrease work load (nope, we can’t do that either, for the most part no opportunity like that exist in ophthalmology). Hospitals don’t hire ophthalmologists (well, some are starting to), so this opportunity doesn’t even exist for us. We are limited to private practice (have you ever seen a $90,000 starting salaries for ophthalmologists? yep, seen that), academics, or VA.

                           
                          Click to expand...


                          It's amazing how many medical students want to do retina without having even shadowed a retina doc. I do suspect the reimbursement is largely behind it - I always tell them a lot can change with one year, and your point about surgical codes illustrates that. Thanks for sharing, this is very illustrative and explains why one of my ophtho friends in training recently opted away from retina (not that she would admit to the $$$ being the issue).

                          I do think that retina vs GI is a strange decision. But I think both IM and ophtho have a diversity of fields and lifestyles - would explore as many as you can and gravitate toward what you enjoy the most with little regard for $$ as it will be there in both fields (just manage your expenses in keeping with the WCI philosophy).

                          Comment


                          • #58







                            Oh boy. I am an ophthalmologist 7 years out in practice. I love the field, the technology, the lifestyle, the surgeries, the for the most part grateful and happy patients. Unfortunately, as a career I can’t recommend it. Practice opportunities are miserable in competitive areas and things are getting worse as more insurance consolidation takes place and ACOs take over. And I know I know- there a few fabulously wealthy LASIK and cataract cowboys- they are a small minority.

                            Retinadoc, you are a fellow and haven’t experienced real world pressure yet. As of 1/1/16, some retina surgical codes were cut up to 40%. I am friends with many retina docs in private practice and they are seriously worried about keeping the lights on (one was recently telling me that after the cuts, he makes exactly ZERO dollars on a urgent RD repair even on a patient with good insurance). Overhead is extremely high (my practice is currently looking at a new OCT machine- $90,000) and opportunities in good areas are nonexistent. Do yourself a favor and do GI. You will thank me later.

                            I am faithful WCI reader; I love reading discussions about how ER, anesthesia, surgery residents can moonlight (we can’t do that, unless you want to prescribe glasses at Walmart on Saturdays), as attendings do locums for a few years, increase work load/decrease work load (nope, we can’t do that either, for the most part no opportunity like that exist in ophthalmology). Hospitals don’t hire ophthalmologists (well, some are starting to), so this opportunity doesn’t even exist for us. We are limited to private practice (have you ever seen a $90,000 starting salaries for ophthalmologists? yep, seen that), academics, or VA.

                             
                            Click to expand…


                            It’s amazing how many medical students want to do retina without having even shadowed a retina doc. I do suspect the reimbursement is largely behind it – I always tell them a lot can change with one year, and your point about surgical codes illustrates that. Thanks for sharing, this is very illustrative and explains why one of my ophtho friends in training recently opted away from retina (not that she would admit to the $$$ being the issue).

                            I do think that retina vs GI is a strange decision. But I think both IM and ophtho have a diversity of fields and lifestyles – would explore as many as you can and gravitate toward what you enjoy the most with little regard for $$ as it will be there in both fields (just manage your expenses in keeping with the WCI philosophy).
                            Click to expand...


                            Money may be there but there is a vast difference in what other opportunities are available to invest in your practice, branch out, etc...in the separate fields I'd imagine. You can always do something in every field, but some definitely lend themselves to it easier than others (control, outpatient, surgery centers, etc..).

                            Comment


                            • #59







                              Oh boy. I am an ophthalmologist 7 years out in practice. I love the field, the technology, the lifestyle, the surgeries, the for the most part grateful and happy patients. Unfortunately, as a career I can’t recommend it. Practice opportunities are miserable in competitive areas and things are getting worse as more insurance consolidation takes place and ACOs take over. And I know I know- there a few fabulously wealthy LASIK and cataract cowboys- they are a small minority.

                              Retinadoc, you are a fellow and haven’t experienced real world pressure yet. As of 1/1/16, some retina surgical codes were cut up to 40%. I am friends with many retina docs in private practice and they are seriously worried about keeping the lights on (one was recently telling me that after the cuts, he makes exactly ZERO dollars on a urgent RD repair even on a patient with good insurance). Overhead is extremely high (my practice is currently looking at a new OCT machine- $90,000) and opportunities in good areas are nonexistent. Do yourself a favor and do GI. You will thank me later.

                              I am faithful WCI reader; I love reading discussions about how ER, anesthesia, surgery residents can moonlight (we can’t do that, unless you want to prescribe glasses at Walmart on Saturdays), as attendings do locums for a few years, increase work load/decrease work load (nope, we can’t do that either, for the most part no opportunity like that exist in ophthalmology). Hospitals don’t hire ophthalmologists (well, some are starting to), so this opportunity doesn’t even exist for us. We are limited to private practice (have you ever seen a $90,000 starting salaries for ophthalmologists? yep, seen that), academics, or VA.

                               
                              Click to expand…


                              It’s amazing how many medical students want to do retina without having even shadowed a retina doc. I do suspect the reimbursement is largely behind it – I always tell them a lot can change with one year, and your point about surgical codes illustrates that. Thanks for sharing, this is very illustrative and explains why one of my ophtho friends in training recently opted away from retina (not that she would admit to the $$$ being the issue).

                              I do think that retina vs GI is a strange decision. But I think both IM and ophtho have a diversity of fields and lifestyles – would explore as many as you can and gravitate toward what you enjoy the most with little regard for $$ as it will be there in both fields (just manage your expenses in keeping with the WCI philosophy).
                              Click to expand...


                              What amazes me is that we doctors (or soon-to-be) assume the worst in our colleagues. The reason why a lot of people and patients think that we are in it for the money and lose respect is because we propagate that belief ourselves. We see someone going for competitive specialties and assume they are doing it for the money. You may be surprised to find out that the 2 fields have a lot in common, procedural based, long term patient relationships, outpatient lifestyle if so chosen etc. Why retina? It's very procedural/surgical and I find the retina more attractive. We all started with something that sparked our interest to trigger the shadowing or the electives, so yes, it is possible to want to do something without shadowing first.

                              Do I look at potential income and lifestyle in my future choice? Absolutely just like every other professional. Would I accept a full time position for 90k after 6 years of residency/fellowship training? Absolutely not! I care for my patients a great deal and I hope to become one of those physicians who is remembered for the good work by patients but I also need to care for my family and myself, and asking fair compensation for busting my butt in school since high school, all the ongoing sacrifices, delayed gratification and mountain of debt is absolutely fair. Nobody does anything for free, so why should I/we?

                              Comment


                              • #60










                                Oh boy. I am an ophthalmologist 7 years out in practice. I love the field, the technology, the lifestyle, the surgeries, the for the most part grateful and happy patients. Unfortunately, as a career I can’t recommend it. Practice opportunities are miserable in competitive areas and things are getting worse as more insurance consolidation takes place and ACOs take over. And I know I know- there a few fabulously wealthy LASIK and cataract cowboys- they are a small minority.

                                Retinadoc, you are a fellow and haven’t experienced real world pressure yet. As of 1/1/16, some retina surgical codes were cut up to 40%. I am friends with many retina docs in private practice and they are seriously worried about keeping the lights on (one was recently telling me that after the cuts, he makes exactly ZERO dollars on a urgent RD repair even on a patient with good insurance). Overhead is extremely high (my practice is currently looking at a new OCT machine- $90,000) and opportunities in good areas are nonexistent. Do yourself a favor and do GI. You will thank me later.

                                I am faithful WCI reader; I love reading discussions about how ER, anesthesia, surgery residents can moonlight (we can’t do that, unless you want to prescribe glasses at Walmart on Saturdays), as attendings do locums for a few years, increase work load/decrease work load (nope, we can’t do that either, for the most part no opportunity like that exist in ophthalmology). Hospitals don’t hire ophthalmologists (well, some are starting to), so this opportunity doesn’t even exist for us. We are limited to private practice (have you ever seen a $90,000 starting salaries for ophthalmologists? yep, seen that), academics, or VA.

                                 
                                Click to expand…


                                It’s amazing how many medical students want to do retina without having even shadowed a retina doc. I do suspect the reimbursement is largely behind it – I always tell them a lot can change with one year, and your point about surgical codes illustrates that. Thanks for sharing, this is very illustrative and explains why one of my ophtho friends in training recently opted away from retina (not that she would admit to the $$$ being the issue).

                                I do think that retina vs GI is a strange decision. But I think both IM and ophtho have a diversity of fields and lifestyles – would explore as many as you can and gravitate toward what you enjoy the most with little regard for $$ as it will be there in both fields (just manage your expenses in keeping with the WCI philosophy).
                                Click to expand…


                                What amazes me is that we doctors (or soon-to-be) assume the worst in our colleagues. The reason why a lot of people and patients think that we are in it for the money and lose respect is because we propagate that belief ourselves. We see someone going for competitive specialties and assume they are doing it for the money. You may be surprised to find out that the 2 fields have a lot in common, procedural based, long term patient relationships, outpatient lifestyle if so chosen etc. Why retina? It’s very procedural/surgical and I find the retina more attractive. We all started with something that sparked our interest to trigger the shadowing or the electives, so yes, it is possible to want to do something without shadowing first.

                                Do I look at potential income and lifestyle in my future choice? Absolutely just like every other professional. I care for my patients a great deal and I hope to become one of those physicians who is remembered for the good work by patients but I also need to care for my family and myself, and asking fair compensation for all the ongoing sacrifices, delayed gratification and mountain of debt is absolutely fair. Nobody does anything for free, so why should I/we?
                                Click to expand...


                                "You may be surprised to find out that the 2 fields have a lot in common, procedural based, long term patient relationships, outpatient lifestyle if so chosen etc. Why retina? It’s very procedural/surgical and I find the retina more attractive."

                                Thanks for the explanation and lecture, MS3 (4?). The above quote speaks for itself, but I'll avoid shooting fish in a barrel.

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