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What kind of skill set is required to be an Ophtho?

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gluon999

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FYI, I am MS3 exploring ophtho...it seems very interesting but working with fine sutures on a delicate structure as the eye seems a bit intimidating at first. Does the residency prepare you from square one up? or do you need to be one of those people who is naturally good at suturing. I hope you get what I am trying to ask, i.e. ophtho is quite different from all other fields and how much of that is on the job learning and what do you need to bring to the table before you even start a residency?

Also, what kind of work do most ophthos do after finishing residency (i.e. clinic versus surgery and the weight they give to each?). I know each doc does their own thing but some general ideas would be helpful before I decide to pursue this interest further. Thanks!
 

Jokestr

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I think all ophtho's have really good skills....like bow staff skills and nun-chuk skills. Can anyone say Tina come n get your ham?

Seriously though...
I think you have to have some ability, but like anything else in life, much of what we do is learned. You have to be able to use your hands, feet and eyes under the scope all at the same time, all while maintaining some sort of intelligence. Working all parts at the same time can be tough, but learning/practicing is part of residency. Practice on pig eyes, or old eye-bank eyes, not in vivo please....
As for how skillful do you have to be? don't think anyone can answer that question except you. Sure, when you get inside your first patient, your hands are likely to be a little shaky....but you will get more comfortable and with some good instruction would hopefully be able to pick things up. If your home program has a wet lab, try out using their scope/foot pedal/microscope etc and just try throwing some 10 ties into a pig eye cornea. See if you like it and if you can do it. If yes, then you likely have the ability to learn. If you can't stand it or are horrible at it, then try nun-chuks.
Good luck
 

cubsrule4e

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    Im just a 4th year, but in my experience so far Id have to echo the above sentiments. It helps to have steady hands and good coordination, but for the most part, practice and repetition is going to be what ultimately determines how good you become. For example, just last week I pulled some lashes for the first time under the slit lamp. Looking at my hand you couldnt tell much of anything...but when i looked through the scope it was like i had an advanced case of parkinsons. I mentioned how tough it was to the residents and they basically told me that everyone is like that at first, and that as you do more you get better and better. I hope theyre right!
     

    MAYOphtho

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    I think all ophtho's have really good skills....like bow staff skills and nun-chuk skills. Can anyone say Tina come n get your ham?

    In addition, computer hacking skills and a fond passion for Ligers (pretty much my favorite animal) may or may not help you with Ophtho.



    (disclaimer: Napoleon Dynamite reference. MAYOphtho does not condone violence through nun-chucks, bow staffs, computer hacking, or the training of ligers. The views expressed here are that of MAYOphtho and do not necessarily represent those of the Student Doctor Network or the SF Match :D).
     
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