Factors Influencing Career Decisions and Satisfaction Among Newly Practicing Ophthalmologists

Steven J. Gedde, William J Feuer, Ashley M. Crane, Wei Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: To describe the career choices of newly practicing ophthalmologists and explore factors influencing career decisions and satisfaction. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted using data from an electronic survey of ophthalmologists who completed training within the prior 5 years. The survey included questions about demographic information, medical education, current practice, factors affecting career choices, and career satisfaction. Statistical comparisons were made based on gender, type of practice, subspecialty training, and practice area. Results: Surveys were completed by 696 (32%) newly practicing ophthalmologists, including 276 (40%) women, 179 (29%) academicians, and 465 (67%) subspecialists. A higher proportion of female respondents entered academics than male respondents (36% vs 26%, P = .009). Female and male respondents pursued fellowship training with similar frequency (64% vs 68%, P = .32), but men were more likely to seek vitreoretinal fellowships (30% vs 11%, P < .001) and women were more likely to undertake fellowships in pediatric ophthalmology (21% vs 8%, P < .001), uveitis (10% vs 2%, P = .002), and neuro-ophthalmology (6% vs 2%, P = .042). A total of 514 (83%) respondents reported being happy with work life. Conclusions: The career choices of newly practicing ophthalmologists differ based on gender, type of practice, subspecialty training, and practice area. Many factors affect career decisions, and they have varying influence on subgroups within ophthalmology. Ophthalmologists have high levels of career satisfaction. This information may prove useful when developing workforce strategies to meet future eye care needs.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

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