acepoint

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Hi Everyone,
i'm a third year interested in ophtho for a variety of reasons but would like to know a little bit more about peds ophtho. I want to basically find a specialty that allows me to deal with the peds population but is also procedure heavy, so it seemed to me that peds ophtho was a solid fit. however I do not know all that much about what a peds ophtho does especially in terms of procedures since my school's optho department has basically fallen apart.

does it involve just a lot of lazy eyes and not a lot of procedures? is there a chance to be in the OR a good amount as a peds optho? do people who specialize in peds optho go out into private practice and keep doing general optho as well or do most stay academic with a children's hospital? any insight/info would be great. thanks you
 

orbitsurgMD

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Hi Everyone,
i'm a third year interested in ophtho for a variety of reasons but would like to know a little bit more about peds ophtho. I want to basically find a specialty that allows me to deal with the peds population but is also procedure heavy, so it seemed to me that peds ophtho was a solid fit. however I do not know all that much about what a peds ophtho does especially in terms of procedures since my school's optho department has basically fallen apart.

does it involve just a lot of lazy eyes and not a lot of procedures? is there a chance to be in the OR a good amount as a peds optho? do people who specialize in peds optho go out into private practice and keep doing general optho as well or do most stay academic with a children's hospital? any insight/info would be great. thanks you

Most peds ophth specialists do mostly peds only, and some but not all will do adult strabismus as well. Not many will do adult general ophthalmology.

A busy peds ophth practice runs differently than an adult ophtho practice and mixing the two is difficult. As with pediatrics, a lot of time is spent with parents and dealing with their concerns. Referral seems to be directed from both pediatricians and optometrists, and less frequently from general ophthalmologists.

You should know that in many communities, pediatric ophthalmology has a high percentage of patients covered by public insurance--Medicaid--and the practices have to endure all of the difficulties that the Medicaid population and agencies present: high no-show rates, poor payment schedules and long delays to getting payment. If you choose pediatric ophthalmology and want to be in private practice, you ought to understand this reality. While there is a strong procedure base, there is also a substantial clinic requirement, and high public insurance loads mean lower income, compared to other subspecialties in ophthalmology.
 

wr100m

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This question can probably be best answered by a pediatric ophthalmologist, but here's a junior resident's perspective.

Peds ophtho is a great field to go into and the demand is high in most places. As you see from the above post, peds ophtho pays less than most other ophtho subspecialties, (it's like comparing an interventional cardiologist to a peds cardiologist probably) but don't be discouraged by that because those I know who do it, love it, and are very happy they chose it. The best reason to go into it would probably be that you like working with kids (and parents). Some subspecialties in ophtho are competitive in the communities, but you would probably find that as a pediatric ophthalmologist you would have a whole lot of flexibility as to where you wanted to start a practice, and you'd probably find several academic positions available as well. There is more demand for peds ophtho because there are fewer ophthalmologists who are drawn to it. It's a mixture of clinic and OR time, and will include some exams under anesthesia as well. Surgeries are numerous and diverse and include cataracts, plastics, retinoblastoma and other tumor surgeries, retinopathy of prematurity, and muscle surgeries. Because peds ophtho is the authority on strabismus, they can treat peds and adult strabismus. I think peds has the most diversity of procedures of them all. You'd be involved with many patients with genetic disorders as well as those suspected to be victoms of abuse. "Acepoint," it sounds like you would probably like peds ophtho, and it would be well worth your while to do a rotation at a place that has a good peds ophtho department (there are many), maybe first thing 4th year.
 
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