Peds to Ophtho, possible transition

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Jul 29, 2003
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Just curious if anyone has any experience with switching from Peds to Ophtho.

Im in the midst of my intern year in Peds, and have grown to realize that Im not quite pursuing the right career path. Without going into slews of complicated details - i do like pediatric patients, and will some day want to specialize in treating them. But i dont really see myself as a pediatrician the way i once did, either general or subspecialty.

Im interested in ophtho because i am the type of person who likes to be very knowledgeable about a small niche area, more than a generalist. I love surgery, and i love working with my hands, and i like research (and have some experience with it).

Ive talked to a number of peds ophtho folks are my current institution, but the path would be pretty hard. I could finish peds and then do ophtho (then fellowship) or i could try to cut off a little bit of peds residency and move forward with the match next year. the latter is more efficient, but far more risky.

I was just curious if anyone had any experience with this, and what sagely thoughts might be.

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It is always tough to switch specialties, but not impossible.

You must develop a compelling story for your switch and try to find key supports in ophthalmology. You should work hard during your internship and finish this year. It is important to obtain the blessing (and recommendation letter) from your program director to leave pediatrics. Personally, I would spend a year working with a peds ophtho department, gaining research and clinical experience. Get to know these folks well, so they can really go to bat for you during the match process. Clarify your situation in your personal statement application. I don't think you would have enough time, especially in a busy internship, to form connections for this year's application. Once you match into ophthalmology, the road to peds ophtho is relatively easy. There is a large demand for peds ophtho because not enough graduates enter the field. Good luck.
Agree with above. The nice thing about wanting to do peds ophtho is that you don't need to get into a top ophtho residency in order to be able to get into a very good peds ophtho fellowship. So just try to match.

Also, even if you switch at this point, it probably won't be much longer than Peds + a pediatric fellowship.