1. Download free Tapatalk for iPhone or Tapatalk for Android for your phone and follow the SDN forums with push notifications.
    Dismiss Notice

Can I be a surgeon with one-eye

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by TheBadge24, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. TheBadge24

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2018
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    This question has been on my mind since I became motivated to go into medicine. I have had a permanently detached retina in my left eye since birth, leaving me completely single-sighted. I do have 20-20 vision in my right eye, and feel I have adapted with this mono-vision quite well. I actually went on to become our varsity quarterback and point guard in high school (with proper eye protection, of course), so it hasn't been a deterrent for me this far. However, I am barred from entering any sort of military service because of it. I was wondering, will this also hurt my chances of becoming a surgeon? Orthopedic surgery is an interest of mine, however I am trying my best to avoid narrowing my scope too early and would like to explore other areas, both surgically and non-surgical. I would really appreciate your thoughts!

    Thank you in advance!
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. FreeRadicals

    FreeRadicals SDN Gold Donor
    Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2016
    Messages:
    196
    Likes Received:
    89
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Did you ask this question on AFB 3 years ago?
     
  4. Healer@1994

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2016
    Messages:
    2,128
    Likes Received:
    3,331
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Eye don’t know if that’s a good idea...
     
  5. RogueUnicorn

    RogueUnicorn rawr.
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    9,715
    Likes Received:
    1,442
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Yes. You *might* have trouble with microscope assisted surgery but given how much it sucks no one should do micro anyway.
     
    TheBadge24 likes this.
  6. Catalystik

    Catalystik Platinum
    Physician Faculty SDN Advisor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    29,427
    Likes Received:
    9,083
    Anecdotal information for an N=1. I have a friend who's an orthopedic surgeon, with a fellowship in hand surgery. He did a lot of work with reconstructing infants born with hand anomalies. He lost one eye through an accident ten years into his career. He was not able to do microsurgery anymore, and reverted to his base training in general orthopedics and does just fine with that.
     
    DubbiDoctor, TheBadge24 and CAFFEINE! like this.
  7. aldol16

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Messages:
    4,649
    Likes Received:
    3,013
    MDApps:
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Any idea how he was able to do it with impaired depth perception/did he talk about that?
     
  8. gonnif

    gonnif Only 810 Days Until Next Presidential Election
    Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Messages:
    16,970
    Likes Received:
    23,681
    Status:
    Non-Student
    -It will not likely keep you from medical school
    -there is no guarantee that any surgical program will take you on with a risk of depth perception with your sight
    -lastly ortho is one of the most highly sought surgical specialties and this may work against you.

    As I tell all applicants, med school is long and hard and you wind up as FP in a midwest suburb someone. So be aware of the possibilities
     
    On_The_Way_Up, Goro, Suess and 3 others like this.
  9. Catalystik

    Catalystik Platinum
    Physician Faculty SDN Advisor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    29,427
    Likes Received:
    9,083
    Sorry, I don't know.
     
    FreeRadicals likes this.
  10. RogueUnicorn

    RogueUnicorn rawr.
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    9,715
    Likes Received:
    1,442
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    You don't need sophisticated depth perception for the vast majority of orthopedics.

    No one tested my vision in my residency interviews.
     
  11. TheBadge24

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2018
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I did not, this is my first time reaching out about this issue. I saw the previous post from years ago, and wanted to see if anything had changed in the years since then where new contributors had new stories or information, as well as whether this being a reality since birth and never knowing any difference made any difference or not.
     
  12. TheBadge24

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2018
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    And thank you all for the feedback!
     
  13. Matthew9Thirtyfive

    Matthew9Thirtyfive Kind of fantastic.
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Messages:
    7,761
    Likes Received:
    11,624
    Humans and animals with monocular vision use other visual cues to judge distance. Yes, it’s impaired, but you can definitely compensate enough for most ortho procedures.
     
  14. georgia_boy1

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2014
    Messages:
    790
    Likes Received:
    221
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    The only specialty I can think of that actually tests vision and requires an eye exam is ophthalmology which makes sense as you're looking in a slit lamp your entire life.
     
    TheBadge24 and MyOdyssey like this.
  15. aldol16

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Messages:
    4,649
    Likes Received:
    3,013
    MDApps:
    Status:
    Medical Student
    There's obviously an adaptation period - if I close one eye and try to touch something requiring depth perception, it requires a lot of focus. You probably have to learn to use your set again with monocular vision. I wouldn't want to be those first patients.
     
    Matthew9Thirtyfive likes this.
  16. mw18

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Messages:
    860
    Likes Received:
    911
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I think it could be somewhat difficult, even for medical student tasks (cutting suture that is near important structures, if they let you). But if there's a surgical field that may lend itself to this work (outside of hand and maybe spine, I'm unsure how delicate it can get), Ortho may be among the more doable.
     
  17. RogueUnicorn

    RogueUnicorn rawr.
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    9,715
    Likes Received:
    1,442
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I don't understand this statement; I as an experiment just put a patch on one of my eyes and I have no trouble with perception in surgical-depth activities. Just tried some hammering also (haha bones) and I am happy to report all of my (insured) fingers are intact.

    To clarify, when I posted above it isn't because ortho is somehow easier or less coordinated than other surgical fields, it's because A) i'm a pod and B) because that's what the OP asked about.

    It's also important to remember that a great many surgical fields actually operate almost exclusively in a 2-D plane; I'm specifically thinking of the many image guided specialties, which are by and large on a flat screen. (e.g. laparascopic surgery, arthroscopic surgery, vascular surgery (fluoro suite), etc.).

    Lastly... dude.. like how hard is cutting suture...
     
    Goro likes this.
  18. aldol16

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Messages:
    4,649
    Likes Received:
    3,013
    MDApps:
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I'm impressed with your vision.
     
    Goro likes this.
  19. mw18

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Messages:
    860
    Likes Received:
    911
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Obviously not difficult. But if OP was cutting a knot near delicate anastomoses, he'd want to be sure the scissors were where he thought they were. But the same issue applies to laparoscopy and with practice people obviously become very adept.
     
  20. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels
    Moderator Physician Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Messages:
    9,653
    Likes Received:
    1,373
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I agree with the others that you can be a physician. I have heart of some very 've residency programs testing vision but the issue for you is if they can tell that you are blind in one eye. That might lead to some bias against you because it raises the question as to whether or not you can fulfill the physical requirements of residency. I tried to find an online document version but when I applied I had to attest to my physical ability to perform all tasks.
     
  21. Robin-jay

    Robin-jay Probationary Status

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2017
    Messages:
    1,702
    Likes Received:
    1,655
    Status:
    Medical Student
    As with any medical school student, if you can only see yourself in surgery, then don't go to medical school. As an above ADCOM said, if you can't see yourself in primary care, then don't go to medical school. Hopefully you can be a surgeon in some way. Best of luck.
     

Share This Page