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Academic Ophthalmologist

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MarketDoc

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I am confused about what exactly an Academic Ophthalmologist does.
Anyone with more info please post, I'll be extremely thankful.

Also.., Pay and hours? Doesn't matter but always good to know.

Thanks!
 

BruinEye

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I am confused about what exactly an Academic Ophthalmologist does.
Anyone with more info please post, I'll be extremely thankful.

Also.., Pay and hours? Doesn't matter but always good to know.

Thanks!

Academic ophthalmologist, like the other attendings you work with during your rotations, work for a university or teaching hospital. They usually have clinic/wards duties, but they also spend a significant amount of time teaching and with research. I only know of one institution and they made 250k to 300k. Hours weren't bad. It's ophtho! :D Hope that helps.
 

smiegal

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Most academic ophthalmologists do not make 250-300k. There are a lot of variables, and some do, but that is pretty high for a general estimate.
 

PDT4CNV

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Most academic ophthalmologists do not make 250-300k. There are a lot of variables, and some do, but that is pretty high for a general estimate.

Actually, for many institutions that is a reasonable estimate. Many academic medical departments now pay based on production as opposed to being strictly salaried. An academic ophthalmologist with a busy clinical and surgical practice as well as research grants could easily make that amount. Especially in sub-specialty areas.
 

DOCTORSAIB

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Actually, for many institutions that is a reasonable estimate. Many academic medical departments now pay based on production as opposed to being strictly salaried. An academic ophthalmologist with a busy clinical and surgical practice as well as research grants could easily make that amount. Especially in sub-specialty areas.

Wow I didn't know that doc.

All the ones I know of (which aren't many) in academic medicine have started out in the low to mid $100's for general and upper $100's as subspecialists.
 
I

Incandescent

Wow I didn't know that doc.

All the ones I know of (which aren't many) in academic medicine have started out in the low to mid $100's for general and upper $100's as subspecialists.

Is it possible to become an academic ophthalmologist and have teaching and clinical work as your focus, instead of research?

I love research, but I am not confident that I have the training required to produce really good research on my own.

That being said, I can't imagine NOT being an educator as this is something I think I can really do well.

Anyway, thoughts are much appreciated.
 

Olddog1

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Actually, for many institutions that is a reasonable estimate. Many academic medical departments now pay based on production as opposed to being strictly salaried. An academic ophthalmologist with a busy clinical and surgical practice as well as research grants could easily make that amount. Especially in sub-specialty areas.

The numbers of 200-300K are wrong. Maybe if you have an endowed chair, but very doubtful for assistant and associate professors. I know for a fact at two of the frequently sited "top 10" programs you are coming in just over six figures as a new assistant professor, even fellowship trained retina. At some smaller programs the numbers are slightly higher to start. As mentioned many places are going to a more private practice model. However, at many tertiary referral centers you have patients that can't pay/have no insurance. At most places your productivity is based on collections, not billing, so this model really hurts your bottom line. Coupled with the fun filled dean's tax, usually high overhead, and occational "town vs gown" mentality it makes academics a difficult row to hoe financially. However, the lifestyle (read: call) is excellent as are usually the retirement and benefits.
 

orbitsurgMD

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The numbers of 200-300K are wrong. Maybe if you have an endowed chair, but very doubtful for assistant and associate professors. I know for a fact at two of the frequently sited "top 10" programs you are coming in just over six figures as a new assistant professor, even fellowship trained retina. At some smaller programs the numbers are slightly higher to start. As mentioned many places are going to a more private practice model. However, at many tertiary referral centers you have patients that can't pay/have no insurance. At most places your productivity is based on collections, not billing, so this model really hurts your bottom line. Coupled with the fun filled dean's tax, usually high overhead, and occational "town vs gown" mentality it makes academics a difficult row to hoe financially. However, the lifestyle (read: call) is excellent as are usually the retirement and benefits.


The high figures are usually total packages that include several income sources. Salary is only part of that total. Sometimes a second salary is paid from the VA, sometimes there is grant stipend for those who are doing significant research, sometimes there is income from outside funding sources like pharma companies that are subsidizing research. And there is the usual side income from expert witness work that frequently gravitates toward academic institutions.

Most starting salaries for associate or assistant professors are under $200K, even for high-dollar subspecialties.

And overhead is usually inflated, frequently with not just a Dean's tax, which is a naked skim, but also obliquely through inflated office leasing and staff leasing and through having to use institutional billing services which can be both expensive and ineffective.
 

MarketDoc

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Thank you all for the amazing replies! Been very helpful! Now..


As all work hours for opth are great..., is Academic maybe better? or Worse?

Still, What exactly Do they do? Or..., What can they do? Any Idea's?

IF so post pwlease!!

Thanks!
 

7ontheline

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As all work hours for opth are great..., is Academic maybe better? or Worse?

Still, What exactly Do they do? Or..., What can they do? Any Idea's?

First, as to the notion that ophtho works great hours. . . While ophtho is certainly not the most hours/time-intensive specialty, don't go into it thinking it's going to be cush and you're going to work 4 days a week and make a million dollars. Because of reimbursement, medicare, etc. those days are over for all doctors. It's my impression that academics might have a touch more work after hours, in terms of research grants, experiments, etc. However, the call is much less so it balances out. Also, many private practice MDs work a lot after hours too, on the business of the practice as well as research.

Academic medicine can be whatever you want it to be as long as the department you are with is willing to support you. Almost all academic ophthalmologists are involved with research of some type, and many with resident or fellow education. However, many have busy clinics and plenty of surgery as well. It varies greatly. There isn't any procedure or specialty that I can think of that is done only in academics or in private practice, although often the resources a university provides can be an advantage. Then again, as has been stated, on average the private practitioner is going to make more money.
 

twintiger32

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MarketDoc:

being as you are a premed, you haven't had a chance to work with an "academic doc."

essentially they are physicians that work in a university hospital, and spend part of their time teaching residents and medical students. for most, it means having residents and students in your clinic, seeing your patients under your supervision, operating with residents and teaching them how to perform a particular surgery. many also participate in lectures to residents and students, and are interested in research (which keeps them on the cutting edge).

in general, physicians that choose a career in academics like to teach, are interested in being on the cutting edge of their field, and want to care for sicker patients. in turn, they enjoy the benefits of being associated with a university: resources (laboratories, colleagues), prestige, and the help of residents (who help out with a lot of "scut")

hope this helps.
 
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