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Radiology vs Ophthalmology

Discussion in 'Radiology' started by Marlonex, May 4, 2008.

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  1. Marlonex

    Marlonex

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    ok guys i give up! I can't decide between the two.
    Here are my opinions about both of them.

    Radiology:


    pros

    - A lot of imagery involved
    - incredible pay
    - you work with all the things other doctors do
    - pretty good hours

    cons

    - somewhat repetitive
    - you often sit in the dark
    - you don't see patients a lot


    Ophthalmology

    pros

    - I like working with the eye
    - also some imagery involved
    - you can start your own business
    - you see patients on a regular basis

    cons

    - you need more education
    - less pay
    - you will need to perform surgery (it's ok, but i am not really too excited about it)
  2. Mariah246

    Mariah246

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    Are you still a pre-health student?

    You've got a lot of the pros and cons mixed up.

    Pick what you actually like to do. There's very little relation between ophtho and rads.
  3. hans19

    hans19 I'm back... Moderator Emeritus

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    1. Ophthalmology is 4 years, radiology is 5 yeas.

    2. If you don't like surgery you shouldn't even be considering ophthalmology.

    You're all mixed up-- like pasta primavera.
    Do the premed curriculum first. Shadow some doctors-- any doctors and if you like what you see then go to med school. Then you can can decide what you want to do.
  4. Amxcvbcv

    Amxcvbcv Radiologist

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    One man's pros are another man's cons for every occupation on Earth.

    As Hans pointed out, though, your biggest problem right now is you don't fully appreciate what's involved with the distinct specialties; your cart is too far in front of the proverbial horse. You don't even make the decision from a technical standpoint until the fall of third year. At that point we're all still medical students.

    Focus on getting into medical school first, do well in the pre-clinical years, rock Step 1, then experience the world as a third year. Do those three things and you'll have the luxury of even contemplating two of the more competitive fields.
  5. Mariah246

    Mariah246

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    mmm...I could go for that for lunch
  6. keye

    keye

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    you folks have great points! In regards to pay, some of the ophtho subspeciatlies like Retina average around 800K much higher than radiology. however it is true that the average general radiologist makes more than the genearl ophthalmologist. There is more upside in ophtho since it is a business and not a hospital based profession--many out of pocket sources of income which will be key as medicaid/care/HMOs cut reimbursments.
  7. Marlonex

    Marlonex

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    why is it that most ophthalpologist don't like their job?
  8. Mariah246

    Mariah246

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    They're probably upset that the public continues to misspell their job title.
  9. keye

    keye

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    who says ophtho docs dont love their job, everybody I know would not have done anything else, infact if their kids are doctors, most go into ophtho as well....
  10. Taurus

    Taurus Paul Revere of Medicine

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    Oh really?

    As Economy Slows, So Do Laser Eye Surgeries
  11. Mariah246

    Mariah246

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    Are all radiology reimbursements based on medicaid/care/HMOs?

    No out of pocket payments possible in this field?

    Re: ophtho, I was under the impression that only cosmetic procedures or surgeries like Lasik would provide for out-of-pocket income.
  12. hans19

    hans19 I'm back... Moderator Emeritus

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    Creepy, I'm sharing Apache's disdain. We agree twice in a 24 hour period. It must be the end of the world or something... :D
  13. Mariah246

    Mariah246

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    I'm selling all my oil shares.

    Armageddon is arriving :laugh:
  14. keye

    keye

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    How can anyone rely on Apache Indian's views on Ophthalmology??? He cannot have any real insight into Ophtho except his personal opinion--which is just that, opinion and far from the truth.

    Secondly, to say Lasix is economically sensitive and Medicare reimbursements are not is naive. Where does the govt get money to reimburse???---from taxes of course--which come aplenty with the economy is doing well and sink with there is a recession. Medicare reimbursements are economically sensitive as well.

    Has any one looked at the amount of money that is allocated to the various fields of medicine through Medicare reimbursments, Radiology is around $5billion and Ophthalmology is about $4billion, and guess what, there are less then half of us. Look at this years Medicare reimbursement dollars....

    Even from the perspective of RVUs, Ophthalmology is only behind IR, Cards, DR in regards to average RVUs per physician.

    Simply becuase you many not enjoy working with patients does not mean the rest of us shouldnt -- and get paid well for it.
  15. colbgw02

    colbgw02 Delightfully Tacky

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    Remember your Hippopotamus Oath!
  16. hans19

    hans19 I'm back... Moderator Emeritus

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    I agree-- I meant I was a little irked by some of the comments made by the OP. I will gladly help anyone that has a sincere interest in radiology. If someone is truly curious or enthusiastic about this field (or any field), you would think that they would have been motivated enough to do a little homework beforehand rather than making totally inaccurate statements regarding both radiology and ophthalmology. Or expressing an interest in a field for no other presumable reason than that it pays well, or having a disinterest in a field because they heard from someone else that it was boring and repetitive. :rolleyes:


    If you knew how low the reimbursement for lasix was, I bet you'd pee in your pants!I hate to break it to you but lasix is now available in generic. ;)
  17. hans19

    hans19 I'm back... Moderator Emeritus

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    [Raises right hand] "I solemnly swear that will not cheat at Hungry Hungry Hippos or other Milton Bradley games such as Operation..."
  18. OHMAN0125

    OHMAN0125 Poor Member

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    I've seen the avg listed for optho retina to be around 400-500k. General is like 250-300k. I dont know where u got that 800K from. If your talking about personal experience then let me share mine. I can tell you that i know multiple radiologists who have their own imaging centers (repeat CENTERS plural). THey have multiple penthouses in manhattan and work only twice a week since they have their junior partners working most of the time. I dont get why u think radiologists cant start their own practice. Most do or join one.
    One more thing optho is a good field but the ODs are trying to take over. I think in Oklahoma they can do surgery including Lasik now. Scary stuff.
  19. Taurus

    Taurus Paul Revere of Medicine

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    My gf's cousin is a retina guy in Dallas. Makes $500k. Not sure where the $800k figure came from either.
  20. Mariah246

    Mariah246

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    Err...you mean most join one right? Not actually start one. (At least not solo)
  21. Doublecortin

    Doublecortin

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    yeah, i am curious about this too, would anyone like to provide some insight, hans, apache?
  22. f_w

    f_w 1K Member

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    If you have the financial backing to do so, you can certainly start your own equipment owning (imaging center) practice in radiology.

    If you don't have much capital to burn, you can start a practice at a hospital that is looking for radiology coverage.
  23. keye

    keye

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    Its not as easy to start an imaging center as it is a 7-11 despite
    funding since many states require a certificate of need -- which may already be met by a local hospital.
  24. f_w

    f_w 1K Member

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    Some states require CONs, but often there are entirely legal ways to circumvent them.

    (otoh as I am finding out right now, the capital requirements to open an ophtho practice aren't trivial either ;))
  25. schan

    schan radRounds.com CoFounder Partner Organization

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    Agreed w/ previous post(s)-at least some of them. Radiology is the best! Just kidding--actually I know many happy docs in all fields. They love what they do, yes even the PCP's. However, I know unhappy docs that are bitter--and you know what they say?

    Bottom line is that you gotta find out what you like. You like it, you will be good at it. And most importantly, you will be happy. Cliche but extremely true.

    Hey, we all put in alot of time into our training to be docs. Don't be unhappy just for money. Reality is that most of you will all make 6 figures with great salaries if you are hardworking, creative, and good w/ money. Everyone here 99% are all of the above.
  26. Amxcvbcv

    Amxcvbcv Radiologist

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    Spoken like a true attending. ;) :laugh:

    Unless you're doing a lot of charity work or absolutely disdain getting paid appropriately, it seems to me like it would be extremely difficult to make <$100000/year as a physician in any field/specialty.
  27. noncestvrai

    noncestvrai Member

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    Apache's views on the topic are rather short sighted.

    noncestvrai
  28. abefromann

    abefromann Junior Member

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    The coolest thing about radiology, other than NEVER having to be on the wards, is working as a consultant to other doctors in the hospital. Most days, either an attending, a senior resident, or the whole team would come down and ask the opinion of the rad attending. That was very cool.
  29. judu

    judu inner game first

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    actually they seem pretty far-sighted and well researched. opthalmology jobs have dried up. the little money that's left is hogged up greedily by the old guard of optho's. lasik was the cash cow, but just like a table with one good leg, once it cracked things hit the floor. optho is, for the time being, dead. if you love eyes and that's all you can imagine, go for it. if you want easy money or lifestyle, there are wiser choices.

    rads has a huge job market and more potential than apple before the ipod. radiology = technology. and technology for right now is the centerpiece of the american economy. that's enough job security for me. and again, if you love patients.. see what you say after intern year. i swear on all that is holy--you will take your words back. and if you still love it, do IR. it's an open fellowship right now compared to MSK.
  30. Doublecortin

    Doublecortin

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    what do you mean by open fellowship, and what is MSK?
  31. leagueelbow

    leagueelbow

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    IR is a lot easier to get into now.

    MSK is musculoskeletal radiology and one of the more competitive fellowships to obtain currently.
  32. Doublecortin

    Doublecortin

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    Why is it more competitive? does MSK involve any procedures?
    does it pay better than IR?
  33. OHMAN0125

    OHMAN0125 Poor Member

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    Why anything is more competitive. MSK = more money right now and not a bad lifestyle. At least that's what I hear. IR is still real good money but ur life isn't as good. Also you have to deal with those egomaniacs (cardiologists and vasc surgeons).
  34. noncestvrai

    noncestvrai Member

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    In my part of the world, ophthalmologists have a great life and make tons of lasik $. I agree that rads is the "shiznit", since I'm going to do my residency in this specialty, but, ophtho is far from being garbage...

    noncestvrai
  35. judu

    judu inner game first

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    not the new ones. again, look a the job offers on auntminnie or at head hunter websites and compare them to what you see with optho through the headhunters or in commercial journals. if you're not at an institution that provides easy access to headhunters, there are even headhunter websites although those seem to be the left over left over jobs.

    either way, it's far more accurate than these bogus "health surveys" where you have to rely on whatever random number a physician felt like writing down on a survey.
  36. judu

    judu inner game first

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    not the new ones. again, look a the job offers on auntminnie or at head hunter websites and compare them to what you see with optho through the headhunters. if you're not at an institution that provides easy access to headhunters, there are even headhunter websites although those seem to be the left over left over jobs.

    either way, it's far more accurate than these bogus "health surveys" where you have to rely on whatever random number a physician felt like writing down on a survey.


    again i'm talking about the NEW jobs. not what some old opthalmologist manages to milk out based on his cash farm from the 90's.
  37. browneyez01

    browneyez01

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    Im a third year med student who has been thinking about ophtho since my first year of medical school. I've done a third year rotation in the field and some research. I really enjoyed ophtho clinic, but I haven't seen many surgeries besides cataract and Lasik so I'm not really familiar with the surgery side of ophtho. I've also been considering rads and shadowed a radiologist for a few hours while on my medicine rotation. I like aspects of both fields and can't seem to decide which one would be the best fit for me! How do I decide??

    What are your thoughts on rads and ophtho?

    Thanks!
  38. bronx43

    bronx43 Word.

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    This might be a CRAZY idea, but I'ma throw it out there anyways. Maybe you can actually read the thread and see what others have posted, especially the ones where they break it down by "pros" and "cons."
  39. browneyez01

    browneyez01

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    you mean the one posted by the pre-health student 3 years ago? I was just trying to get more info about what others currently think about these fields.
  40. drowsy12

    drowsy12 New Member

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    rad onc beats all
  41. daeojkim

    daeojkim Member

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    There are plenty of eye surgeries besides cataract and LASIK that you can take a quick look in youtube. I am sure it is a lot more exciting to see it in person.

    e.g. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBIaxiQ4n9w

    Well ocular oncology is a sub-sub specialty so not something that everyone does. You would need to do fellowpships in retina and ocular oncology, which are two years each. Anyways... what I am trying to say is that if you like to do surgeries in small scale there are plenty in ophtho.

    As for ophtho vs. radiology, take $$$ out of the equation first then decide. It is very likely that ophtho will not earn as much as radiologist in the future (prob they aren't already unless you are doing retina).

    I was in the same boat as you deciding between ophtho vs radiology.

    Please answer these questions first

    1. Do you need to see patients? For me this was a requirement. I love patients (almost all of them), talking to them, forming a doctor-patient relationship, rapport etc. This is important for me.

    2. Do you have a need to do procedures / surgery? For me, I love procedures and surgeries. It gives me a good mix between clinic and keeps me excited. In first year of med school, I thought about doing IM, but after my first day in surgery rotation, I was sold.

    3. Do you like to seat in a dark room all day and look at images and dictate what you see in the screen? This was a big no no for me. I did radiology rotations as 3rd year, 4th year, and a neuroradiology elective in intern year. I could not stay in dark room for more than 2 hours. I was getting depressed. That's just my preference. All radiology faculty and residents loved it!! So they made THEIR right choice, but I was glad that I did not choose radiology.

    Anyways.. good luck!!

    Sorry to invade the radiology forum. I was just passing by and saw something about ophtho so decided to stop by.
  42. davidjones

    davidjones

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    and then there's interventional radiology :D; where you get to see every kind of patient, young/old, healthy (fibroids and trauma patients) and not so healthy (TIPS and vascular patients) as well as cancer patients, with interventional oncology a hugely growing sub-speciality out of radiology treating things intravascularly (liver mets/primary, retinablastoma (new tx), pre-op embolization of tumors) and non-vascularly RFA/cryo, ablation of bone mets

    IR is has mostly shifted from being a diagnostic to a therapeutic/clinical specialty there are now IR specific training pathways (DIRECT and Clinical pathway for IR where you still get a fair bit of the diagnostic stuff, just not the irrelevant stuff like mammography)

    The major benefit of IR is you can still do diagnostic radiology, many practices with a 100% IR still do the DR part on their own patients: i.e. non-invasive vascular imaging, cancer imaging, since many are part of a larger multi-specialty group or radiology group or hospital

    as the above guy said take $$$ out of the equation, and some people would argue ophtho may make more than rads in the future, but realistically I think we will all be making less regardless of specialty

    the only problem with IR for me was the reading room part (i.e. dark room) it can get a little boring, but to get to somewhere you want to be you have to crawl through mud for a while

    I could imaging doing ophtho for the trauma and the oncology but could not picture myself in a primarily outpatient setting seeing tons of clinic patients for foreing bodies, diabetes, glasses and glaucoma; you just have to figure out if you can tolerate the worst part of any field. Every field has it, just like every field has a great component to it.
  43. werewethere

    werewethere Chief Resident

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    I second this. IR is a great field with both patient contact, exciting procedures, and the opportunity do to things that even our colleagues in the clinic don't realize we can do.

    Life is short and medical training is long. Do what you love, whether in the IR suite, the ophtho OR, the diagnostic reading room, or the clinic.
  44. gobulls2012

    gobulls2012

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    I completely agree this this. What field ophtho or rads do you thinking is more conductive to women who want children and a family?
  45. fun8stuff

    fun8stuff *hiding from patients*

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    It's not too hard to do radiology part-time as you could easily do night-hawk from home, locum tenens a couple days a week, or find a practice that allows you pick up a couple shifts per week... or i have even seen half days. Part time usually means a paycut, which isn't always proportionate.

    I'm not sure how easy it would be to do this in optho as you have to see patients in clinic and do surgeries. You definitely wouldn't be able to build a practice and I don't know how easy it would be to build a patient base if you are only available 2 days a week.

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