Sep 5, 2015
2
0
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I did a prelim year in surgery and it was hard but bearable. The whole time I was thinking how much better ophtho residency would be but after doing it for the past few months, i realized that it not that much better. It ultimately comes down to a lack of passion for the subject matter due to a lack of interest. I realized that the few weeks that I spent exploring the field during third year was not enough to understand what a long term career in the field would be like. The specialty had allure of a decent lifestyle and frequent procedures and I thought that I would be able to convince myself to like the field over time. I had stellar grades and recs and was able to match. (Sorry to take it from someone else). Thinking about switching into rads.

Anyone else with similar feelings?
 
Aug 16, 2015
12
4
Looking back, I remember the first 6 months being really tough. It's a totally new field, you feel uncomfortable not knowing things, and you're struggling with exam technique. It's hard to develop passion for something when you're not flourishing. I would give you the advice to give it some time. There were obviously things that attracted you to this field--other than the lifestyle--and those things may come back and become relevant again, and you may discover new things you really love about the field. And if you continue to feel the same way about switching, it'll be confirmation that a different field is a better fit for you. But rest assured, many ophtho residents go through a major adjustment in the first six months.
 

TheLesPaul

10+ Year Member
Aug 20, 2007
739
79
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Attending Physician
There are many residents who felt they wanted to leave ophthalmology, myself included, during the first year. My advice is to wait to make that decision until you start what ophthalmology is really about -- operating. Until then, you're just a glorified optometrist.
 

DrZeke

yzarc gniog ylwolS
10+ Year Member
Apr 25, 2005
2,659
566
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I did a prelim year in surgery and it was hard but bearable. The whole time I was thinking how much better ophtho residency would be but after doing it for the past few months, i realized that it not that much better. It ultimately comes down to a lack of passion for the subject matter due to a lack of interest. I realized that the few weeks that I spent exploring the field during third year was not enough to understand what a long term career in the field would be like. The specialty had allure of a decent lifestyle and frequent procedures and I thought that I would be able to convince myself to like the field over time. I had stellar grades and recs and was able to match. (Sorry to take it from someone else). Thinking about switching into rads.

Anyone else with similar feelings?
It's normal to feel like the posters below are describing. However if you have no interest in the subject matter or find it boring that may represent a larger issue. BCSC was hard to read last year but I still found it interesting and exciting. My lack of knowledge in ophtho has made me starved to read more. In the rest of med school lots of things were boring to me and I felt I was suffering through it....but there are rheumatologic conditions and diseases are read and learn about more now because of their relevance to ophtho.
 
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Sep 5, 2015
2
0
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Resident [Any Field]
Thanks for the support everyone. I know this isnt a decision to take lightly and I will make sure to think it though. Any thoughts from current attendings?
 

LightBox

7+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2011
368
162
Status
Thanks for the support everyone. I know this isnt a decision to take lightly and I will make sure to think it though. Any thoughts from current attendings?
Residency/training (especially first year in residency!) is NOTHING like how real-world practice is like. Being a first year resident means you are basically doing all the grunt work for everyone else. Also as I've re-iterated multiple times, training programs do a lousy job of preparing you for what life is really like outside of their ivory towers.

If you really don't like eye surgery, then sure consider switching out. But remember that the grass is always greener on the other side. My radiology friends routinely complain how they feel like they are working in a hospital "sweatshop" because they have to read 100-150 scans a day. In contrast, I have absolute control over my own schedule, don't take any call, and do a crapload of cataracts and LASIK weekly. Ophthalmology also helps you procure other revenue streams besides seeing patients (e.g. owning an ASC, real estate, optical shops, etc) that some other specialties are not routinely associated with. No, it's not like owning Facebook or something, but it's pretty good compared to some other fields in Medicine.