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Cover Focus | June '13

Myth Busters: The Differences Between Private and Academic Practice

Check your preconceived notions at the door.

The path to becoming an ophthalmologist is fairly straightforward: Work your “arse” off and try to graduate with top marks from the best college, then the best medical school, then the best residency and fellowship.

Suddenly, every graduating resident/fellow is faced with the ultimate decision: What to do next. For the first time, there is no single best choice, only different ones. Unfortunately, most graduates are ill prepared for this important decision because minimal guidance is offered during training. Discussions of the pros and cons of the different types of careers are almost nonexistent until graduates are faced with a deadline to make this decision.

Having spent my first decade after training in full-time academics at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary before joining a large private practice, Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston, I was surprised to find that my preconceived notions of academic and private practices were inaccurate.

Bonnie An Henderson, MD

Bonnie An Henderson, MD, is a partner in Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston and a clinical professor at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. Dr. Henderson may be reached at (781) 487- 2200, ext. 3321; bahenderson@eyeboston.com.

June '13