The actual practice of ophthalmology is very different than what you experience in training. There are many complexities that residents and fellows need to be aware of when choosing the right job, evaluating contracts, negotiating compensation and working with insurance payers. These are all huge life choices that will contribute to your personal and financial success.
At the Nov. 13 “Welcome to the Real World of Ophthalmology: Reality 101 for Residents and Fellows” session during AAO 2017, an expert panel shared their tips for making a seamless transition from training to practice.
- More is better. When evaluating job offers and potential employers, talk to several hiring practices to determine if you are a good fit for their organization. Shadow the physicians of a potential practice, watch how they practice medicine and ask their staff how they interact with employees. Medical or device representatives can also give you advice about specific practices.
- Keep ethics in mind. You’ll also want to make sure a prospective employer practices in an ethical manner that is in line with your core values. The Academy has an entire site, the Michael R. Redmond, MD Professionalism and Ethics Education Center, dedicated to help you stay on top of standard professional conduct.
- Get an attorney. Be sure to have an attorney who is proficient in the health care industry evaluate your contract when you choose a job. They will ensure the noncompete is reasonable for that particular area, make sure tail coverage is included in the contract and negotiate the salary. They can also prevent costly expenditures down the road.
- Join your state ophthalmology society. Your state organization has many resources to help you in practice. They are also a good source for future mentors.