Is ophthalmology residency too difficult?

There is no doubt that ophthalmology residency training is more difficult now than it was 10 or 20 years ago. There is far more material to learn and it needs to be done in the same number of years. Just think that when I did residency there was no OCT, no femtosecond lasers, no DMEK surgery, no anti-veg-F injections, and more. I have learned all of these things on my own and I continue to learn every day. But when it comes down to it, is residency too difficult?

In June of 2000, when I was finishing my ophthalmology residency, I said, “I can hardly wait until I’m in private practice because life will be so much easier!” I find this humorous now because it is so naive and so far from reality. Residency is difficult the same way that 11th grade was difficult: yes, at the time it seemed so difficult to juggle all of those advanced placement classes, studying for the SAT, and balancing extra-curricular activities. Of course, we now look back and realize that 11th grade was actually very easy in comparison to life right now during residency or practice.

You can excel in residency, learn so much, hone your surgical skills, and blossom into a great ophthalmologist. And yes, it will be challenging and some of it may be difficult, but it is all part of the growing experience. I have faith that you can do it.

In the video below, I will share with you the most important lesson that I learned when I was a medical student. That lesson has been instrumental to my success — I would not be here without it. Let me pass this pearl on to you so that you can achieve incredible success and happiness in your career!

click below to watch a beautiful cataract surgery while I explain more:


  1. We can make the ophthalmology residency 50% easier by having the residents study and work only on the right eyes.

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