For young ophthalmologists, this year has been full of canceled meetings and rotations, virtual information sessions and interviews, a disrupted job market and hurting economy. This has been the most challenging year of many people’s lives—it sure has been the case for me, and being isolated from people and typical human interactions due to COVID-19 amplifies these challenges. As a result, today’s young ophthalmologists have experienced more shifts in 2020 than ever anticipated. Adjusting to the new world we now live in has been difficult enough; doing so while also setting out on a training or career path is likely, at times, overwhelming.
But, there is a silver lining: Adapting to these changes builds resilience, and it prepares you for a lifetime of deviations ahead. Most practicing ophthalmologists will tell you that their pathway to practice was lined with roadblocks, detours, twists, and turns. And, even when the road ahead looked clear, it likely still wasn’t guaranteed safe from a potential rerouting.
In this issue of MillennialEYE, we hear from aspiring, young, and experienced ophthalmologists about their pathways to practice. Stories of creativity, commitment, and, of course, change provide insights into building and navigating a career at all steps of the process. As 2020 has reminded us, sometimes the best resource for preparedness is to expect the unexpected. Just like in surgery, it also never hurts to learn from every experience—planned or unplanned—along the way.