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Saturday, June 18, 2005

Work

I've started work at an ophthalmology clinic until school starts. It explains my posting frequency recently.

It is actually cooler than I thought it could be. I'm working with the ophthalmologic photographer who takes pictures of patient's eyes (inside and outside). I can pick out obvious cholesterol deposits, melanomas, ulcers, some glaucoma complications after only a week. That part of the work is actually pretty fun.

An ophthalmology residency is pretty difficult to get into, yet is only four years (including a transitional year). The pay per hour is superb. It is a clinical based practice, with office hours, and yet as a specialty the average annual income is excellent. Unlike other clinical based specialties which have good hourly pay (like derm) you perform far more procedures and surgeries as an ophthalmologists. As well, I would argue, since almost none of your work is cosmetic (you have optometrists to do that), compared to say dermatology where the majority of income is derived from cosmetic work, ophthalmologists are actually doing more...well, good.

Consider going on a mission trip to Africa. A Medicine doc sees a young malnourished child and diagnosis him with a parasite. He gives some drugs to expel the parasite and leaves Africa, knowing that because of the patient's lifestyle he'll probably have worms again in a month. An ophthalmologist sees a blind patient, whose been that way for years. He performs surgery, fixes the detached retinas, and leaves knowing the patient has his sight back for the rest of his life.

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