Sunday, October 1, 2017

The good thing about working on Sundays is hearing stories from diff optoms. The bad thing is you're by yourself and people are all waiting because they almost always all come in at the same time. One year later, the over-achieving optom was rostered again at our store. Surprisingly he remembered me/what year I was supposed to be. It's actually quite inspiring listening to their goals/ambitions, something that I know I won't have the brains or passion to pursue. Worked 2ish years after doing optom, then decided to study med, just finished his MD at USYD with the infamous one liner email saying 'satisfactory'. Then another year on intern then 2 years as a registrar, and aims to be some senior registrar and do a Masters/PhD before even applying to become a fellow to become an opthal. I didn't realise how competitive being an opthal is, 5-7 places each year out of 5000 applicants (all who are obviously doctors, and we all know doctors are smart or else you wouldn't have studied med). That is some crazy competition. The pay is great as an opthal, more money than I would even imagine. $600k to even $1.5mil per year, and apparently opthal is a desired specialty since it's a lot more chill/have a life compared to something like surgery where you're under the pump every minute of your life trying to save someone's life and all those emergencies and bad working hours. Apparently other desired specialities are dermatologist, anaesthetist and radiologist.

So, me being calculative, asked him how long he had to go if everything went to plan, by the time he built his CV and finally became a fellow for opthal etc etc, and it's another 12 years of study. He's already 12 years out of high school. So essentially, 24 years of study (or 36 including high school), then you are an opthal in your 40s, then pretty much just work like 10 years, retire early, then use that money for retirement. Then when you think about it, it's a lot of hard work to get to that stage. I think I'm more yolo and just enjoy life while I have time and not that much money, because experiences are different from when you're young compared to when you're older and have more money. His partner who he met during uni did a Masters in Shanghai, and now doing some optom/opthal stuff there. But credits to him for his goals. I have met other optoms studying med who want to become opthals.

It's also sad how the whole supply and demand things work. 5 years ago, you can pretty much choose your jobs and get good pay as a new grad in a metro job around $85k (with inflation, this amount probs is more today). Nowadays, Newcastle/Wollongong isn't even considered that rural, and you have to go even further out to get similar amount of pay, or really, more rural more pay. Gone are the days when you can select jobs, although one or two friends said they have a few offered, but next year with a larger cohort, that ain't gonna happen. Most optoms I've talked to who moved rural said it was because of the pay, which has decreased for graduates now compared to when they graduated 5+ years ago... Then again, for me, I think pay isn't really the driving factor and if I think I would prefer less pay, less/no rural, but then you don't have as much experience. Oh well, have an extra year to figure out these sort of things.

1 comment:

  1. Hahahaha yes, this is such a common story our tutors tell us. Realising how long the road is!