When young ophthalmologists look to their mentors, it is easy to focus on their successes—their surgical skills, their wisdom, their reputations in the field. However, it is extremely important to remember that behind every established ophthalmologist is a history of obstacles, turning points, and career- and life-altering decisions.
As the host of Ophthalmology off the Grid, I have the privilege of speaking candidly with many of my colleagues on a regular basis. I am beyond appreciative of my guests’ honesty (see below), and, through these interviews, I have found that, more often than not, the route to success is indirect. Often, in fact, it is lined with events and experiences that actually challenge our goals and impede our paths. (I, for one, was told multiple times that I would never make it as a doctor.)
This issue of MillennialEYE is designed to remind young ophthalmologists that the route to success is rarely direct and that there will be roadblocks along the way. The best we can do is find the variables we can control—such as our work ethic, our mindsets, and our self-assurance—and direct our focus there. With those in check, the inevitable detours become much easier to navigate.