My profession


Am an ophthalmologist. The kinda doctor who checks ur spectacle power, prescribes glasses and treats diseases of the eye. Well, thats just the basic image of an ophthalmologist. If it were only as simple as that.

Ophthalmology as such has now many sub-divisions. General ophthalmology involving mainly cataract,Orbit and oculoplasty, Cornea and Lasik, Uvea, Lens, Paediatric ophthalmology, Glaucoma, Squint, Neuroophthal, Medical and surgical retina, Even ophthalmic oncology. And we have specialists in each area, some mastering upto two to three of the sub specialities.

When i took up ophthalmology, i thought that prescribing glasses and operating cataracts were the only job and life was gonna be so easy. Turned out to be a not a so easy as walk in the park for me. Cataract surgery the one surgery that we take months/years to master. The surgery that many ophthalmologists prefer to master. I too was not an exception. During my PG days, I had a good senior and HOD who helped me learn the basics. But of course, Phaco emulsification, now the most opted cataract surgery was never taught to us. The reason stated by one of my so-called Teacher “I paid money to learn it. He should also go out and pay money to learn it”. This coming from a guy who used the machine to learn phaco, which i bought for my thesis topic.

But during the middle of my PG, my interest slightly shifted towards Surgical Retina. And i was in a dilemma whether to join cataract training or surgical retina fellowship. My luck, i got a fellowship where i was allowed to do both, though initially i was given only Small Incision Cataract surgery and the ever-elusive phacoemulsication was promised after 1 year of my surgical retina fellowship.

As luck would have it or call it fate, within 6 months of my fellowship, a new medical director was appointed (the old one was my chief). Now the new guy wasnt much particular about giving me phaco surgery. So i kinda quit doing Small incision cataract surgery(SICS) as well since i was confident that i had learned what i needed to in SICS. Now focusing on my surgical retina training, am again at cross roads. Should i become a full-fledged retina surgeon or be also a cataract surgeon? Retina surgery has its own pros and cons. I cannot become a retina surgeon if i concentrate on cataract too because of the time it consumes to see retina patients and also the surgery.  But cataract surgery has always been my first love in ophthalmology. But cataract alone would only mean that i put these 2 years of my training to waste by opting out. Only time will tell i guess

 

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