Jan 3, 2014
2
0
Status
Medical Student
Hi,
I am wondering if there is any general consensus on the future of pediatric ophthalmology. I am very interested in the field (as well as ophthalmology in general) but it doesn't seem to be discussed as frequently here. As we move forward, what kind of practice model will likely form? Will health care reform at all affect this field?
I'm well aware that pediatric ophthalmologists are not compensated as well as comprehensive, but I love the population. However, I'm not super clear on what kind of lifestyle I could expect in private practice. As I get older, I am interested in a more flexible lifestyle (I hope to get pregnant after residency), so I would be attracted to some kind of group practice. Also, I would like to stay on the East Coast if at all possible.
If anyone had any thoughts, I would appreciate it.
 

MstaKing10

10+ Year Member
Aug 17, 2009
562
126
Status
Attending Physician
Hi,
I am wondering if there is any general consensus on the future of pediatric ophthalmology. I am very interested in the field (as well as ophthalmology in general) but it doesn't seem to be discussed as frequently here. As we move forward, what kind of practice model will likely form? Will health care reform at all affect this field?
I'm well aware that pediatric ophthalmologists are not compensated as well as comprehensive, but I love the population. However, I'm not super clear on what kind of lifestyle I could expect in private practice. As I get older, I am interested in a more flexible lifestyle (I hope to get pregnant after residency), so I would be attracted to some kind of group practice. Also, I would like to stay on the East Coast if at all possible.
If anyone had any thoughts, I would appreciate it.
Healthcare reform will affect ALL sub-specialties. Hard to predict the future but there will always be a need for pediatric ophthalmologists (PO). There are plenty of PO in both private practice and academic settings, both will hopefully be available by the time you are looking for a job. There is a relative shortage of PO's and I suspect the job market will not be over saturated over the coming years. Since you are a medical student, rotate through the clinic and see if you like it. Ultimately it is hard to choose a sup-specialty until you immerse yourself in it. This won't really happen until residency.
 

peter2013

5+ Year Member
May 9, 2013
88
20
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Hi,
I am wondering if there is any general consensus on the future of pediatric ophthalmology. I am very interested in the field (as well as ophthalmology in general) but it doesn't seem to be discussed as frequently here. As we move forward, what kind of practice model will likely form? Will health care reform at all affect this field?
I'm well aware that pediatric ophthalmologists are not compensated as well as comprehensive, but I love the population. However, I'm not super clear on what kind of lifestyle I could expect in private practice. As I get older, I am interested in a more flexible lifestyle (I hope to get pregnant after residency), so I would be attracted to some kind of group practice. Also, I would like to stay on the East Coast if at all possible.
If anyone had any thoughts, I would appreciate it.
For what it's worth, a medical student's perspective:

You probably won't find any consensus. Health care reform will affect pediatric ophthalmology, but nobody knows in what ways and to what extent until things get implemented more. This is because of unpredictable/nontransparent variables such as:
-External forces on Congress, president, HHS, CMS, RUC, IPAB (political climate, lobbyists, money)
-Internal bureaucratic forces within HHS, CMS, RUC, IPAB
-Innovations within pediatric ophthalmology (new drugs/procedures tend to have higher reimbursement rates than older drugs/procedures)

Different people will have different guesses, but IMO there's too much uncertainty (unless you have insider info) to predict what will happen.

As for practice models, you'll find group practices in a location you're interested in practicing. As I'm sure you already know, the more desirable the location the more difficult it'll be to find a job where they're willing to give you the salary and hours you want.

In general, the best compensation/work hour specialties seem to be within derm/ophtho/ENT/anesthesia/radiology/rad onc/ortho. You'll find niches of good lifestyle within other specialties. You can also end up with a crummy lifestyle within each of those specialties if you get unlucky/stupid.

The advice I got was to completely ignore lifestyle and find a specialty that I truly love. You'll find a good lifestyle in almost any specialty if you sign a good contract. More important is that you enjoy learning the material during residency. That'll improve your chances of being a good and happy physician.
 
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