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OPHTHALMOLOGIST/RETINA SPECIALIST, IN-DEPTH: Making A Difference In The Lives Of Young People

About this video 

Dr. Bill, an ophthalmologist, describes the challenges of his job, what he likes most, his key decisions, how difficult getting into the industry is, and work-life balance. Though many find working with children with diseases difficult, this is actually Dr. Bill's favorite part of his job - with children, you are working with people who have their whole lives ahead of them, so you can make a great difference.

Degree: Medicine
Job Title: Ophthalmologist

Job Summary: Physicians and Surgeons

Job Description

Physicians and surgeons diagnose and treat injuries and illnesses in patients. Physicians examine patients, take medical histories, prescribe medications, and order, perform, and interpret diagnostic tests. Surgeons operate on patients to treat injuries, such as broken bones; diseases, such as cancerous tumors; and deformities, such as cleft palates.

On-the-Job Training

Fellowship/residency

Additional Info

All physicians and surgeons must pass a standardized national licensure examination. M.D.s take the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). D.O.s take the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA). For specific state information about licensing, contact your state’s medical board.

Certification Requirement
Required by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) or the American Osteopathic Association (AOA).

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
Confirm
$70,000 - $400,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
20 to 30 percent
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Full-time, Irregular, Long hours
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Hospital / Clinic, Indoor, Military, Office
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Detail oriented, Empathy, Leadership ability, Likes working with hands, Organizational skills, Patience, Problem solving skills, Verbal communication skills, Written communication skills, People skills

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P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='80'>The</span> <span m='300'>most</span> <span m='890'>interesting</span> <span m='1390'>part</span> <span m='1610'>of</span> <span m='1650'>my</span> <span m='1780'>job</span> <span m='2140'>is</span> <span m='2270'>that I</span> <span m='2400'>deal</span> <span m='2630'>with</span> <span m='2830'>children</span> <span m='3230'>in a</span> <span m='3630'>section</span> <span m='3905'>of</span> <span m='4180'>my</span> <span m='4320'>practice.</span> <span m='4830'>So,</span> <span m='5020'>I</span> <span m='5130'>have</span> <span m='5270'>to</span> <span m='5360'>deal</span> <span m='5530'>with</span> <span m='5710'>children</span> <span m='6110'>with</span> <span m='6300'>interesting</span> <span m='7000'>and</span> <span m='7290'>unusual</span> <span m='7880'>diseases</span> <span m='8420'>which</span> <span m='8580'>a</span> <span m='8630'>lot</span> <span m='8800'>of</span> <span m='8860'>people</span> <span m='9090'>don't</span> <span m='9250'>like</span> <span m='9430'>to</span> <span m='9510'>deal</span> <span m='9790'>with.</span> <span m='10420'>And</span> <span m='10890'>I have to</span> <span m='11130'>deal</span> <span m='11280'>with</span> <span m='11390'>their</span> <span m='11510'>families,</span> <span m='11980'>which</span> <span m='12190'>is</span> <span m='12670'>fulfilling,</span> <span m='14150'>somewhat,</span> <span m='14540'>because</span> <span m='15430'>you're</span> <span m='15520'>not</span> <span m='15720'>dealing with</span> <span m='16040'>people</span> <span m='16390'>at</span> <span m='16460'>the</span> <span m='16580'>end</span> <span m='16720'>of</span> <span m='16840'>life.</span> <span m='17230'>Or</span> <span m='17850'>you're</span> <span m='17950'>looking</span> <span m='18230'>at</span> <span m='18310'>people</span> <span m='18560'>who have their</span> <span m='18885'>whole</span> <span m='19210'>lives ahead of</span> <span m='19700'>them, so you can</span> <span m='19920'>really</span> <span m='20140'>make</span> <span m='20310'>a</span> <span m='20360'>difference</span> <span m='20750'>in</span> <span m='21080'>their life.</span> </p><p><span m='21410'>The</span> <span m='21490'>most</span> <span m='21660'>challenging</span> <span m='22150'>part</span> <span m='22380'>of</span> <span m='22420'>my</span> <span m='22550'>job</span> <span m='22910'>is</span> <span m='23090'>to</span> <span m='25300'>be</span> <span m='25530'>prepared</span> <span m='25950'>to</span> <span m='26030'>deal</span> <span m='26220'>with</span> <span m='26410'>many</span> <span m='26630'>different</span> <span m='27010'>things</span> <span m='27290'>in</span> <span m='27720'>the</span> <span m='27850'>course</span> <span m='28160'>of</span> <span m='28250'>one</span> <span m='28530'>day,</span> <span m='28780'>whether</span> <span m='29200'>it be</span> <span m='29430'>an adult</span> <span m='29740'>with a</span> <span m='29820'>problem,</span> <span m='31050'>specific</span> <span m='31590'>problem,</span> <span m='31950'>an age-related</span> <span m='32460'>problem,</span> <span m='32830'>or</span> <span m='33050'>a</span> <span m='33110'>child</span> <span m='33390'>with a</span> <span m='33670'>problem,</span> <span m='34490'>and</span> <span m='34820'>traumas,</span> <span m='35095'>and</span> <span m='35370'>emergencies,</span> <span m='36170'>and</span> <span m='36300'>things</span> <span m='36510'>that are</span> <span m='36650'>really</span> <span m='36850'>disruptive</span> <span m='37340'>to</span> <span m='37440'>people's</span> <span m='37790'>lives.</span> <span m='38160'>And</span> <span m='38260'>you have</span> <span m='38440'>to</span> <span m='38670'>handle</span> <span m='38970'>them</span> <span m='39120'>all</span> <span m='39270'>the</span> <span m='39340'>same</span> <span m='39580'>way.</span> </p><p><span m='40490'>Each</span> <span m='40760'>day,</span> <span m='41450'>you have to</span> <span m='41500'>be</span> <span m='41630'>prepared</span> <span m='42040'>for</span> <span m='42160'>that.</span> <span m='42430'>So,</span> <span m='42540'>mentally,</span> <span m='42855'>it can</span> <span m='43170'>be</span> <span m='43260'>very</span> <span m='44110'>challenging</span> <span m='44650'>to</span> <span m='45440'>keep</span> <span m='45720'>up</span> <span m='45950'>your</span> <span m='48560'>keen</span> <span m='48960'>awareness</span> <span m='49510'>of</span> <span m='49600'>what other</span> <span m='50010'>people</span> <span m='50270'>are</span> <span m='50310'>going</span> <span m='50610'>through</span> <span m='51020'>when you're</span> <span m='51080'>doing</span> <span m='51350'>this</span> <span m='51610'>over and</span> <span m='51830'>over</span> <span m='52030'>again</span> <span m='52240'>every</span> <span m='52430'>day.</span> </p><p><span m='52960'>One</span> <span m='53110'>of</span> <span m='53150'>the</span> <span m='53230'>key</span> <span m='53410'>decisions</span> <span m='53870'>I</span> <span m='53940'>made</span> <span m='54190'>when</span> <span m='54330'>I</span> <span m='54490'>started</span> <span m='54880'>in</span> <span m='55010'>medicine</span> <span m='55400'>was</span> <span m='55570'>that</span> <span m='55640'>I</span> <span m='55670'>wanted</span> <span m='55880'>to</span> <span m='56310'>do</span> <span m='56420'>something</span> <span m='56780'>where</span> <span m='57010'>I</span> <span m='57050'>would</span> <span m='57700'>deal</span> <span m='57870'>with</span> <span m='58010'>people</span> <span m='58620'>with</span> <span m='60110'>systemic</span> <span m='61460'>diseases</span> <span m='62010'>that</span> <span m='62130'>affected</span> <span m='62560'>whatever</span> <span m='62840'>organ</span> <span m='63050'>I</span> <span m='63290'>decided</span> <span m='63700'>to</span> <span m='63790'>study.</span> <span m='64160'>And</span> <span m='64260'>the organ</span> <span m='64500'>I decided</span> <span m='64680'>to</span> <span m='64920'>study</span> <span m='65360'>was</span> <span m='66370'>the</span> <span m='66650'>eye.</span> <span m='66960'>And</span> <span m='67350'>at the</span> <span m='67450'>time</span> <span m='67720'>I</span> <span m='67780'>was</span> <span m='67970'>going</span> <span m='68130'>to</span> <span m='68260'>medical</span> <span m='68570'>school and</span> <span m='68790'>residency,</span> <span m='69350'>age was</span> <span m='69720'>very</span> <span m='69870'>prominent.</span> </p><p><span m='70410'>And</span> <span m='70570'>we</span> <span m='70710'>dealt</span> <span m='71030'>with a</span> <span m='71080'>lot</span> <span m='71270'>of</span> <span m='71320'>people</span> <span m='71670'>who had</span> <span m='72610'>age-related</span> <span m='73540'>illnesses</span> <span m='74100'>and</span> <span m='74350'>blindness</span> <span m='75160'>from</span> <span m='75400'>age-related</span> <span m='76090'>diseases</span> <span m='76570'>in</span> <span m='76650'>their</span> <span m='76840'>eye.</span> <span m='77960'>So,</span> <span m='78250'>that</span> <span m='78440'>was</span> <span m='78770'>one of the</span> <span m='79110'>more</span> <span m='79310'>interesting</span> <span m='79660'>things.</span> <span m='79870'>So,</span> <span m='80000'>I</span> <span m='80070'>decided</span> <span m='80490'>not</span> <span m='80690'>to</span> <span m='80760'>do</span> <span m='80930'>a</span> <span m='81010'>lot</span> <span m='81230'>of</span> <span m='81930'>standard</span> <span m='82380'>ophthalmology</span> <span m='82735'>stuff.</span> <span m='83090'>I</span> <span m='83330'>specialize</span> <span m='83740'>in</span> <span m='84150'>things</span> <span m='84450'>that</span> <span m='85330'>affected</span> <span m='85820'>the back</span> <span m='86060'>of</span> <span m='86140'>the</span> <span m='86310'>eye.</span> </p><p><span m='87280'>And</span> <span m='87950'>it</span> <span m='88120'>was</span> <span m='88250'>very</span> <span m='88440'>influential</span> <span m='89040'>in</span> <span m='89100'>the beginning</span> <span m='89460'>that</span> <span m='89590'>I</span> <span m='89630'>was</span> <span m='89990'>trained</span> <span m='90320'>during</span> <span m='90610'>the AIDS</span> <span m='90900'>year</span> <span m='91170'>when</span> <span m='91740'>the</span> <span m='91850'>disease</span> <span m='92260'>was</span> <span m='92410'>pretty</span> <span m='92560'>much</span> <span m='92790'>doing</span> <span m='92940'>whatever</span> <span m='93270'>it wanted</span> <span m='93520'>to</span> <span m='93730'>do,</span> <span m='93890'>and it</span> <span m='94050'>presented</span> <span m='94470'>a</span> <span m='94520'>lot</span> <span m='94760'>of</span> <span m='94850'>interesting</span> <span m='95720'>challenges</span> <span m='96390'>for</span> <span m='97120'>eye</span> <span m='97540'>doctors,</span> <span m='97960'>especially</span> <span m='98340'>retina</span> <span m='98560'>specialists</span> <span m='98880'>like</span> <span m='99200'>me.</span> <span m='99930'>It's</span> <span m='100140'>fairly</span> <span m='100460'>difficult</span> <span m='101030'>to</span> <span m='101610'>become</span> <span m='101980'>a</span> <span m='102040'>retina</span> <span m='102370'>surgeon,</span> <span m='102700'>because</span> <span m='103030'>there's</span> <span m='103210'>a</span> <span m='103270'>limited</span> <span m='103620'>number</span> <span m='103850'>of</span> <span m='103930'>training</span> <span m='104270'>positions</span> <span m='104920'>every</span> <span m='105150'>year.</span> </p><p><span m='106940'>My</span> <span m='107140'>medical</span> <span m='107520'>group</span> <span m='107800'>trains</span> <span m='108220'>retina</span> <span m='108530'>doctors,</span> <span m='108980'>and</span> <span m='109070'>we</span> <span m='109160'>have</span> <span m='109970'>a</span> <span m='110060'>limited</span> <span m='110430'>number</span> <span m='110760'>of</span> <span m='110830'>people</span> <span m='111830'>that</span> <span m='112200'>will</span> <span m='112810'>be</span> <span m='112950'>able</span> <span m='113130'>to</span> <span m='113230'>train</span> <span m='113580'>every</span> <span m='113790'>year.</span> <span m='114140'>So,</span> <span m='114410'>it</span> <span m='114480'>is</span> <span m='114660'>difficult.</span> <span m='115190'>There's</span> <span m='115960'>a</span> <span m='116020'>lot</span> <span m='116220'>of</span> <span m='116300'>hoops</span> <span m='116540'>you</span> <span m='116640'>have</span> <span m='116840'>to</span> <span m='116920'>jump</span> <span m='117180'>through</span> <span m='117420'>from</span> <span m='117620'>the</span> <span m='117680'>beginning</span> <span m='118040'>of</span> <span m='118090'>medical</span> <span m='118460'>school</span> <span m='118940'>until</span> <span m='119190'>fellowship,</span> <span m='120160'>which</span> <span m='120370'>is</span> <span m='120470'>what</span> <span m='120620'>you</span> <span m='120880'>do after your</span> <span m='121150'>residency.</span> <span m='121810'>So,</span> <span m='123340'>it</span> <span m='123520'>is</span> <span m='123680'>difficult</span> <span m='124170'>to</span> <span m='124230'>get</span> <span m='124380'>a</span> <span m='124450'>job</span> <span m='125770'>in</span> <span m='125930'>retina.</span> <span m='126250'>But</span> <span m='126380'>if</span> <span m='126460'>you're</span> <span m='126560'>dedicated,</span> <span m='127210'>you</span> <span m='127300'>work</span> <span m='127550'>hard,</span> <span m='128180'>it</span> <span m='128360'>shouldn't</span> <span m='128600'>be</span> <span m='128710'>that</span> <span m='128940'>difficult.</span> </p><p><span m='130840'>Work</span> <span m='131100'>life</span> <span m='131290'>balance</span> <span m='131660'>is</span> <span m='131740'>sometimes</span> <span m='132110'>difficult</span> <span m='132490'>because</span> <span m='132710'>I</span> <span m='132800'>have</span> <span m='132880'>to</span> <span m='132980'>deal</span> <span m='133140'>with</span> <span m='133230'>a</span> <span m='133280'>lot</span> <span m='133470'>of</span> <span m='133560'>emergencies.</span> <span m='134770'>Most</span> <span m='135090'>ophthalmologists</span> <span m='135650'>don't</span> <span m='135810'>have</span> <span m='135950'>to</span> <span m='136040'>deal</span> <span m='136180'>with</span> <span m='136280'>emergencies,</span> <span m='136850'>so</span> <span m='137000'>their</span> <span m='137640'>lifestyle's</span> <span m='138160'>pretty</span> <span m='138380'>good.</span> <span m='139040'>Ophthalmology</span> <span m='139660'>in</span> <span m='139760'>general,</span> <span m='140470'>and</span> <span m='140750'>even</span> <span m='140930'>my</span> <span m='141420'>sub</span> <span m='141680'>specialty,</span> <span m='142210'>is</span> <span m='142410'>pretty</span> <span m='142620'>good</span> <span m='142800'>as</span> <span m='142910'>well.</span> <span m='143790'>However,</span> <span m='144040'>I</span> <span m='144100'>do</span> <span m='144250'>a</span> <span m='144310'>lot</span> <span m='144500'>of</span> <span m='144590'>emergencies,</span> <span m='145210'>and</span> <span m='145320'>sometimes</span> <span m='145690'>I</span> <span m='145720'>have</span> <span m='146700'>a</span> <span m='146780'>large</span> <span m='147140'>number</span> <span m='147410'>surgeries</span> <span m='147780'>to</span> <span m='148040'>do.</span> </p><p><span m='148300'>It can be</span> <span m='148490'>kind of</span> <span m='148820'>exhausting</span> <span m='150510'>and</span> <span m='150990'>obviously it</span> <span m='151350'>cuts</span> <span m='151620'>into</span> <span m='151710'>my</span> <span m='151820'>family</span> <span m='152180'>time</span> <span m='152450'>if</span> <span m='152530'>I'm</span> <span m='153130'>working</span> <span m='153460'>on</span> <span m='153520'>the</span> <span m='153600'>weekends</span> <span m='154030'>or working</span> <span m='154260'>late at</span> <span m='154640'>night.</span> <span m='154880'>But</span> <span m='155060'>overall,</span> <span m='156420'>it's</span> <span m='156640'>not</span> <span m='157170'>too</span> <span m='157440'>terrible.</span> </p>","file":{"id":227216,"video_id":"2700097103001","name":"64767250","duration":158442,"thumbnail_url":null}});