Photo courtesy of Anthony Khawaja, MBBS
What does it take to succeed as a clinician-scientist in ophthalmology? During AAO 2016 in Chicago, young ophthalmologists gathered with experts to glean real-world insights on how to succeed in this professional path. Here are the top five tips from “YO ARVO: Navigating a Career as a Clinician-Scientist.” This event was jointly sponsored by the Academy’s YO committee and the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology’s Members in Training committee. Explore funding opportunities using the ARVO or National Eye Institute funding guides.
1. Evaluate the Fit
“If you really relish the opportunity to work with patients and their unique problems and also enjoy tackling conceptual, large-scale questions, an academic career would be a comfortable fit.”
- Jay Katz, MD, director of glaucoma service, Wills Eye Hospital
2. Protect Time for Research
“If you want to establish yourself in a particular field, you must find support for protected research early on in your career.” He also advised identifying an effective mentor to help guide you.
- Michael Boland, MD, PhD, associate professor of ophthalmology, Wilmer Eye Institute
3. Pursue Excellence at Every Stage
“To be the best possible candidate in an academic health center, train to be both the best clinician and the best scientist you can be — simple!”
- Eduardo Alfonso, MD, director and Kathleen and Stanley J. Glaser chair of ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute
4. Learn From Failure
While the road may be tough, persistence pays off. “Be strong in the face of adversity. Expect to fail, accept failure and then persist.”
- Claude Burgoyne, MD, Van Buskirk chair of ophthalmic research, Devers Eye Institute
“No clinician-scientist succeeds alone. You need a good team around you.”
- Iris Kassem, MD, PhD, assistant professor of ophthalmology, Medical College of Wisconsin