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Is it worth it to switch to medicine from optometry?

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2 hours ago, Corgi1 said:

Worth it if you get the OD and gun for ophtho. People who do this are extremely competitive applicants, it's almost unfair.

? And how many ODs do you know who are gunning for ophtho?  Anecdotal at best lol. 

I know a ophtho resident who did an art-history major and masters in asian studies. Zero research, did 1 elective in M4, liked it and applied and matched. 

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2 hours ago, Corgi1 said:

Worth it if you get the OD and gun for ophtho. People who do this are extremely competitive applicants, it's almost unfair.

Though, isn't the job market for ophthals not that great? A few of the young ophthalmologists that I know are doing straight clinic and not operating, but then again I don't interact with ophthalmologists on a regular basis.

 

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Just now, hero147 said:

Though, isn't the job market for ophthals not that great? A few of the young ophthalmologists that I know are doing straight clinic and not operating, but then again I don't interact with ophthalmologists on a regular basis.

 

Yep, not as great as it used to be. With recent cuts in cataract billings as well.  Young opthos take a few years to get a stead stream. Not poor by any means and still making really good money, but less of the new ones are getting anywhere close to the 600k+ 1million range as the old guys holding on to the OR spaces etc.  

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12 hours ago, JohnGrisham said:

Yep, not as great as it used to be. With recent cuts in cataract billings as well.  Young opthos take a few years to get a stead stream. Not poor by any means and still making really good money, but less of the new ones are getting anywhere close to the 600k+ 1million range as the old guys holding on to the OR spaces etc.  

Depends what province you’re looking at. I would say that the 600k mark is easily attainable in certain provinces. In terms of jobs, I think Ophtho has an advantage compared to other surgical specialties as it is viable for you to just run clinic while you bode your time for OR privileges. All of the grads I am aware of have gotten jobs in or near their desired locations.

In terms of OD to Ophtho. I am aware of a handful of residents and staff. I also know a few medical students with OD who are applying. 

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With regards to switching. I think if you can truly break down why you would want to switch into medicine and justify it then you should. If it's just for some preconceived notion of prestige, or money then I would have to push back on the idea. I think it's very hard to know if medicine is a good fit until you're deep into the training process and by then it's hard to leave. I have many well-intentioned colleagues end up both loving or hating the job at the end of all their training. 

Also, isnt it bad to bide your time in a clinic? I'm not a surgeon but don't you lose your operative skills if you don't have OR time?

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In general what I've seen in AB is seasoned optometrists making 120-140k/yr and starting at 80+/yr. The conversation here seems to be skewing towards best case scenario optometrist pay and low-end family medicine pay. In AB for example average pay for Family docs only doing clinic is 330/yr. If you add in hospitalist which is very lucrative, or many other sources of lucrative supplemental income (derm, urgent care/rural emerg, etc.) that number quickly goes up. It's also much easier to do those things versus owning and operating a private optometry clinic/franchise.

Just my 2c :).

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2 hours ago, blacktowel said:

In general what I've seen in AB is seasoned optometrists making 120-140k/yr and starting at 80+/yr. The conversation here seems to be skewing towards best case scenario optometrist pay and low-end family medicine pay. In AB for example average pay for Family docs only doing clinic is 330/yr. If you add in hospitalist which is very lucrative, or many other sources of lucrative supplemental income (derm, urgent care/rural emerg, etc.) that number quickly goes up. It's also much easier to do those things versus owning and operating a private optometry clinic/franchise.

Just my 2c :).

Not sure about Alberta but in Ontario family docs are looking around 300k gross income on average, and 30% overhead which gave me the 210 per year net income figure. That's average, not "low end" pay. Sure some will make more, but some will make less. 

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On 2/7/2019 at 9:24 AM, Aetherus said:

Depends what province you’re looking at. I would say that the 600k mark is easily attainable in certain provinces. In terms of jobs, I think Ophtho has an advantage compared to other surgical specialties as it is viable for you to just run clinic while you bode your time for OR privileges. All of the grads I am aware of have gotten jobs in or near their desired locations.

In terms of OD to Ophtho. I am aware of a handful of residents and staff. I also know a few medical students with OD who are applying. 

How do you keep up your skills if you don't operate for years?

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2 hours ago, NLengr said:

How do you keep up your skills if you don't operate for years?

Not sure. The ones I’ve heard of have done this for at most a year. I’ve also heard of people doing locums up north for OR time while living in the city of their choice. I think people are understanding and once you do get OR time your mentors would sit in on a couple of cases until you gain your comfort back. 

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2 hours ago, NLengr said:

How do you keep up your skills if you don't operate for years?

Yea that's my concern as well. As a non-surgeon I was always under the impression that you took awful setups so you could get the OR time to maintain your skills. If you just did clinic what was the point of a surgical residency? If you lost your skills doesn't that really limit your job opportunities?

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1 hour ago, Aetherus said:

Not sure. The ones I’ve heard of have done this for at most a year. I’ve also heard of people doing locums up north for OR time while living in the city of their choice. I think people are understanding and once you do get OR time your mentors would sit in on a couple of cases until you gain your comfort back. 

Seems very altruistic compared to some other fields I'm thinking of.  

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Sorry for bringing back this thread but same question here... finally realized that I’m more attracted with being specialized in eye health than other systemic stuff, but ophtho just seems impossible for me so idk if I’m better coming back to optometry school... (background: I did one year of optom school before med school (optom was my backup plan back then), and am starting to regret my choice a bit now that I’m thinking that med school might not be for me)

Would it be feasible to focus on eye health as a MD without actually going through ophthalmology (I’m okay with not doing surgery, if anything I’m more interested with glaucoma/AMD management), or should I call it quits and reapply to optometry school (and hopefully getting my first year credited if I’m accepted)?

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1 hour ago, haenurplaza said:

Sorry for bringing back this thread but same question here... finally realized that I’m more attracted with being specialized in eye health than other systemic stuff, but ophtho just seems impossible for me so idk if I’m better coming back to optometry school... (background: I did one year of optom school before med school (optom was my backup plan back then), and am starting to regret my choice a bit now that I’m thinking that med school might not be for me)

Would it be feasible to focus on eye health as a MD without actually going through ophthalmology (I’m okay with not doing surgery, if anything I’m more interested with glaucoma/AMD management), or should I call it quits and reapply to optometry school (and hopefully getting my first year credited if I’m accepted)?

A lot to unpack.  The billing structures, wouldn't make sense to be a Family doc who focuses on eye health.  I mean, could you? yes. Would it be kind of odd, yes. You'd need to do a lot of self preparation, because the MD degree wouldn't teach you as much to function as a pseudo-optometrist as...actual optometry school would.

Just a note that Optometry in Canada is very different than the US, the scope of practice here is very different for Optoms. Not nearly as wide as the US.

Good luck , there is nothing else in medicine that you think you would like?  There is a whole lot to choose from, other than just ophthalmology, but if thats your passion, then maybe it is a better idea to go back to Optometry school and cut your losses sooner rather than later. 

You could also complete MD, try for ophthalmology, and just go back to OD school after if you are unable to secure a residency in Canada/US. You'll just lose the 3 years of MD. But knowledge can't hurt. 

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