Going into academics from private practice?

Discussion in 'Young Ophthalmologists' started by bucknut101, Jul 31, 2015.

  1. bucknut101

    7+ Year Member

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    Hello all
    I was wondering how difficult it would be for an ophthalmologist in private practice to obtain a position at an academic center. I finished my cornea fellowship 5 years ago this summer and have been in private practice ever since. It may just be that I've been unfortunate with the groups I've joined but I am currently in my second group and I have not been very happy these past 5 years. There are many reasons for my unhappiness, and I'm beginning to wonder if I'd be happier in academics.

    I really miss the academic environment. I miss discussing interesting cases with other doctors. I miss grand rounds. I really enjoy teaching and would love to educate residents and medical students. I would really like to be just a corneal specialist again and handle the difficult cornea cases. I still do some cornea surgery but near the amount I'd like to. The major flaw in my background I feel would be my lack of research experience. I helped write a case report in residency and one more in fellowship. But have no other research to speak of. Research never really interested me during training but now I'm wondering if I'd enjoy it more than think.

    Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated. A cornea position has opened up where I did my fellowship and I am seriously considering making a change. .
     
    DrZeke likes this.
  2. LightBox

    7+ Year Member

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    I think that most academic places (besides the biggest names) are STARVING for more attendings. Even just full-time clinical ones whose main purpose is to staff the residents and see some of the patient load.

    The reasons why academic places are hurting for more attendings has been beaten to death: significantly-lower compensation, dealing with bureaucracy, dealing with faculty that you may not like, taking "real" call, etc. Before making the big leap from private practice back into academics, perhaps you could consider other options: (1) starting your own practice (a lot of professional happiness usually has to do with one's autonomy of how to practice Medicine; (2) working for a HMO; or (3) government facility (military or VA).

    The only reason I suggest alternatives is because you will just have the "title" of an "academic." Without significant research, what's the point of doing academics? You can still teach residents/etc by volunteering your time once a month proctoring them in the OR or clinic.
     
    DrZeke likes this.

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