Oct 13, 2018
I'm a current PGY-3 contemplating the job search. There are plenty of jobs in the area I am interested in based on pre-covid word of mouth as well as listed postings. However, I am somewhat concerned about how covid might affect the job search.

Some questions that come to mind:

Will I be taxed with a lower starting salary because of covid?

From an owner perspective, how will covid affect hiring decisions months and a year out?

How does covid affect the behavior of private equity owners?

My surgical volume as a pgy-4 is somewhat unpredictable at this point depending on when the ORs open up again. Seems that covid may be cyclical. My hospital is pretty packed at the moment. Should I just bite the bullet and do fellowship? Will job searching be even worse two years out during a recession?


Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated - these are truly unprecedented times and I'm new to all this!
Last edited:


2+ Year Member
Sep 20, 2016
Medical Student
Kudos to be on job hunt as a 1st year Ophtho resident. A lot of people don’t consider it until middle of PGY3 (at earliest in some cases). It’s tough for anyone to predict what the market will be be and how long (and if?) it will take for practices to get back up to full speed. This is the time where if you truly have a passion for a particular area in Ophthalmology, fellowship is certainly looking enticing.


2+ Year Member
Feb 28, 2017
Roanoke, VA
As of right now, most of the practices I work with are intending to move forward with recruitment after this is over. I haven't had any tell me they intended to reduce offers at this time although have talked with docs who were supposed to start during this time who either had their start date delayed or were asked to not take pay until they can see scheduled patients. I have also talked with some who had offers rescinded that were open when this started.

So for now, I predict that hiring will still move forward as it would have for the most part. There may be specific cases where that is not true but as a market, I don't think there will be a moratorium on hiring. The sentiment seemed to be they needed help before this started and they will still need help after this is over.

With that said, what CarpetWindow7 said about fellowship is very true and if you're worried about it, fellowship would be a great way put distance between your job search and CV19.
About the Ads


15+ Year Member
Sep 14, 2002
Visit site
Thankfully, you still have 15 months before you finish residency, but it’s great you are thinking about this. A lot can and will happen with the coronavirus situation in the next few months.

I think at least considering a fellowship is a good idea. For one thing, by doing a fellowship you would give this situation an extra 12-24 months to settle out, and another thing is you would gain more clinical and surgical experience in the setting of unexpectedly decreased experience during residency.

Most practices are taking a huge financial hit currently and likely will be for a few months, so I’m not sure how the job market will look in the next few months. Maybe a bunch of older docs will say, “forget it, I’m done” (has already happened in a few practices) and people will be hiring, or maybe the finances will be such that the partners will need and want the work for a while and will delay hiring for a year or two. So many unknowns right now.

If I were in your shoes, I’d be strongly considering a fellowship. At least get an application in the works with the extra time we all have with the cut-back schedules.

Best wishes. It will all work out, but it may take a while.


7+ Year Member
Mar 19, 2011
Attending Physician
After the crash of 2008 many older docs postponed retirement which hurt job prospects for new grads. This is slightly different in that Ophthalmologists are at high risk for contracting covid and older docs are at higher risk of dying. Wearing an N95 all day also sort of sucks.
Clinic efficiency will be down because we should be spacing patients apart and hopefully have most of the wait in their cars.
So normally this recession would hurt your job prospects. But in this case I don’t know.


President - Physician Search Associates
10+ Year Member
Mar 4, 2008
North Carolina
This time will not be a case of lack of volume.....it is going to be the financials within the practice. Some are going to weather this storm better than others.

I am anticipating that income guarantees will be lower than before the virus but overall income potential will be the same.

But again, I think a lot depends upon how quickly we can get back to normal.


Junior Member
15+ Year Member
Mar 19, 2005
Go into solo practice. No one can fire you, reduce your base salary by 70%, take away cataracts from you (I firsthand know folks this happened to). The big practices might take a while to ramp up due to social distancing.
Low overhead means a big decline in volume or reimbursement won’t take as much of a hit. A practice with 70% overhead needs to see patients until August to break even. One with 30% overhead needs to see patients until April to break even.
See: Steps To Start a Medical Practice
  • Like
Reactions: Dusn
About the Ads