MilesDavisTheDoctor

2+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2017
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Medical Student
Hi everyone, I'm an incoming MS1 interested in ophthalmology. There is a lot about the field I don't really understand and I wanted to clear some of my possible misconceptions. I think I'm someone who would really like the surgery side of ophtho but less so the clinic side. Are there certain types of fellowship training you can do like retina or something where you are spending a lot more time operating than in clinic? How many days a week does the average ophthalmologist spend in clinic vs doing surgery?
 

MstaKing10

10+ Year Member
Aug 17, 2009
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Attending Physician
Varies but most are split roughly 75% clinic 25% OR. Maybe some closer to 1/3 OR 2/3 clinic. You have to be in clinic to generate surgery
 
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MilesDavisTheDoctor

2+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2017
60
61
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Medical Student
That's interesting but good to know. I think that split is a little more in the clinic direction than the other surgical specialties I've been considering.
 
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docdoc2012

7+ Year Member
Feb 13, 2011
70
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Medical Student
it really depends on what you are leaning towards.
-There are high volume refractive/cataract/ant seg surgeons operating 3 days a week - its a different setup than your typical practice - many dont see the pt until day of surgery.
- Oculoplastics clinic seems to be very geared towards preop consultations and postop evaluations, and in office procedures
- retina is more clinic, 60-70%, but there are injections and lasers scattered throughout. Remember retina surgeons see many systemic manifestations of ocular disease where medical management is necessary. Goal is to keep the person out of the OR unless an emergency RD, trauma or necessary for vision.
- cornea and glaucoma are variable depending on how surgically heavy your practice is.

Bottom line- if all you want is to operate and eyeballs and can tolerate clinic, there are jobs out there for you. But most likely the more you learn about eye pathology you will come to appreciate clinic
 

Hanky

2+ Year Member
Apr 8, 2017
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Resident [Any Field]
It's very difficult for any specialty to have more than 1/3 OR 2/3 clinic, just because of pre- and post-ops. The specialties that go above that typically have much longer case time. So you may be closer to 50/50 split, but you're either in house (at the hospital fixing whatever trauma or acute pathology presents) or each case is taking you several hours. Almost every routine ophthalmic surgery is completed in less than an hour. Our case volume is higher than most surgical specialties, even if others may have slightly more total OR time on average (though, as mentioned above, some practices are setup so that their best cataract surgeon spends well over 50% of their time in the OR).

Clinic time can also be procedure-heavy. Intravitreal injections, Botox, skin lesion removal, etc.
 
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gregoryhouse

Head of the Department of Diagnostic Medicine
5+ Year Member
Nov 6, 2013
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Medical Student
There is a lot of clinic. I don't mind ophthalmology clinic and there are quite a bit of procedures that I do on a daily basis but if you want to be in the OR > clinic, I don't think Ophtho is the best choice. Oculoplastics might give you the best ratio of OR to clinic but its also very competitive.

Obviously this varies, some high volume cataract surgeons have a very efficient clinic and can spend 2 to 3 days in the OR but from what I've usually seen its like 3 to 4 days clinic and 1 to 2 days OR max.
 
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