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academic vs private practice

Discussion in 'Ophthalmology: Eye Physicians & Surgeons' started by CutIt, 08.22.03.

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  1. CutIt

    CutIt Member

    SDN 7+ Year Member

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    What is the difference between an academic and private practice, in terms of cases you see, variety, and salary? Also is it common to combine both?
  2. Andrew_Doan

    Andrew_Doan Doc, Author, Entrepreneur Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor

    San Diego, CA
    Attending Physician
    Physician SDN 10+ Year Member
    Cases you see depend on what you're comfortable with. If you're the hot-shot, cataract jockey in your area, then you'll likely handle all the wierd and difficult cases. If not, send it to the university.

    Typically, academic centers see many patients that have already been seen by at least one or two other eye professionals; thus, the number of difficult and challenging cases increases in the academic setting.

    You see more variety in academics because you're handling both stable, regular patients as well as being a referral center for your area or state. At Iowa, we definitely see the wierd and complete "badness" that occurs in this state. At the university, there is a larger patient base to draw from, e.g. millions vs thousands.

    Salary for academics is typically one-half or one-third less than their private practice colleagues.

    I know of programs that allow academic ophthalmologists to function as a "private practice" physician too. Needless to say, these salaries are considerably higher.

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