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career change

eyedoctobe1977

New Member
10+ Year Member
Dec 13, 2008
1
0
0
Hi everyone

new to this site recently (used it long long time ago), but i graduated from medical school in 2003 and completed an anesthesia residency and pain management fellowship. ive been working now for a few months but have been thinking about going back and doing a residency in optho. I was always interested in ophtho in medical school but got caught up doing some research in pain management and continued down that path. I did a surgical intenship yaer where i did 2 months of ophtho and loved it, but at that point i already had matched into a "top 5" anesthesia program and did not want to switch (which at this point i realize i should have). In any case i fortunatly did well in medical school and did well on the USMLES (241, 240, 237). Just wanted to know how i should approach this, if these scores are still considered "competetive" and to see if there is anyone here who has gone through a similar or somewhat similar process. ANY thoughts are appreciated

thanks
Nik
 

Bluemirage

Senior Member
15+ Year Member
Nov 2, 2003
387
2
251
45
USA
  1. Fellow [Any Field]
Just out of curiosity, what is it about the field of pain management/anesthesiology that you are so discontented with that you are willing to start all over and complete a new residency? Right now I am interested in anesthesiology (and maybe pain) but I am still MS-2 so I have very little exposure to anything else to be able to make an informed decision about career choice.

Hi everyone

new to this site recently (used it long long time ago), but i graduated from medical school in 2003 and completed an anesthesia residency and pain management fellowship. ive been working now for a few months but have been thinking about going back and doing a residency in optho. I was always interested in ophtho in medical school but got caught up doing some research in pain management and continued down that path. I did a surgical intenship yaer where i did 2 months of ophtho and loved it, but at that point i already had matched into a "top 5" anesthesia program and did not want to switch (which at this point i realize i should have). In any case i fortunatly did well in medical school and did well on the USMLES (241, 240, 237). Just wanted to know how i should approach this, if these scores are still considered "competetive" and to see if there is anyone here who has gone through a similar or somewhat similar process. ANY thoughts are appreciated

thanks
Nik
 

bulldoc

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
May 27, 2006
57
1
0
  1. Resident [Any Field]
the scores are still competitive, but another huge plus is your non-traditional route. programs like to brag about having a top 5 trained pain specialist switch into their program, makes for good conversation. =]

may want to check how long usmle scores are good for, i'm not sure if they "expire" or not. anyways, it may be to your advantage to find a mentor of some sort to help you navigate through the process, perhaps someone that has done it before.
 
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last_minute

New Member
10+ Year Member
Nov 20, 2005
3
1
1
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Having completed a residency in internal medicine and ophthalmology, I feel inclined to respond. If you do not feel fulfilled by your current career, there is no question that you should pursue something else. It would be in your best interest to make sure that ophthalmology is the final answer for you.

It is only fair to warn to you that residency programs are going to be curious with regard to your change of heart. I will be first to admit that there is a lot of luck involved. They are going to want to see you demonstrate a commitment to the field. The people you know will be a big help (from your home medical school) as ophthalmology is a tight knit field where everyone knows everyone. Big name research is critical as well.

Some program directors/interview selection committees have enough foresight to realize that you can drop out of their program whenever you want and still have a job...which means they are taking a chance by selecting you. Having just looked at applications of the current class of interviewees, there are plenty of good applicants fresh out of medical school with the same board scores and medical school performance who have no place to go if they drop out.

I don't see why you shouldn't go for ophthalmology. It is a long road. It is a lot of fun...but another residency means a lot of time without a real salary. Once you take the step, don't look back.

Good luck!!!
 

eyedontknow

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Jun 21, 2008
19
0
0
Hi,

Sorry but I just have one question - which surgical internship allowed you to do 2 months of ophthalmology? I am inclining towards prelim surgery for many reasons but I would like to do some electives. Please PM me.
 

MacularStar

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Oct 15, 2008
56
0
0
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Ultimately go with your heart, but definitely think it through... a lot. Ophthalmology is awesome and definitely the best specialty out there ;) but...so much of any career is what you make of it. How did you get through all of those years of residency will out liking anesthesia? You went to a great program and undoubtedly put in a lot of hard work while attendings/residents generously trained you... are you really to write that all off as a loss? Ophtho is very competitive and chances are you won't be getting into a top 5 ophtho program unless there is something else VERY compelling about your application that has not been mentioned. Not sure how programs will view your history. I know there is a resident at Yale who left the business world to pursue ophtho. Perhaps there are other people out there who have switched and could share their story. If it were me... I would find a way to make anesthesia a better fit for me instead of making such a drastic change ie. changing practice, location, different fellowship etc.
 

Wolverine98

Full Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Oct 13, 2006
264
1
0
West Bloomfield, MI
  1. Attending Physician
In addition to the issues mentioned by last_minute, there's also the issue of salary. As I'm sure you know, the government helps supplement the cost of resident training. The allocate that funding based on when you start your training and what you start in. So if you start in peds, for example, there are only three years worth of funds allocated. If you spend two years in that, and then switch into a 5 year ortho program, then the program will have to pay for 4 years worth of training, since there will only be one year left from what was originally allocated. Since you completed a residency already, this means that any program that agrees to train you will be completely eating your salary and benefits.
Some won't care, but some Chairman will definitely take that into account as a tie-breaker if it's a close call between you and another applicant (and there are always a lot of close calls when you're putting together the final rank list), especially in this climate of economic uncertainty.

I don't think this is a reason not to try it, especially if you're not happy with what you're doing. I just think you should be aware that you will be at a disadvantage, and you have to be able to make up that ground in another way.
 
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