Practice Development, Young Ophthalmologists
Business and Management Skills for Young Ophthalmologists
Dr Paul Rosen, Chairman of the ESCRS Practice Management & Development committee, says YOs need to understand the business of ophthalmology if they want to provide the best service to their patients.
Published: Wednesday, August 31, 2022
The ESCRS has always made the education of young ophthalmologists in training one of its major priorities.
This applies not only to clinical training but also an understanding and training in business through the ESCRS Practice Management & Development Programme.
While our programme has focused primarily on business skills for ophthalmologists who have completed their training, we have become increasingly conscious in recent years of the need to expand the programme’s scope to address the specific needs of YOs.
We have updated the programme to reflect this at the 40th ESCRS Congress in Milan, Italy, when there will be a one-hour presentation called “Why Young Ophthalmologists Need to Learn Business and Management Skills”.
The session - held during the ESCRS Practice Management & Development Programme Workshops on Monday, 18 September, 2022 - is aimed at YOs intending to either remain in public practice in a hospital or clinic setting or set up their own private practice.
While medical training focuses primarily on acquiring specialist clinical knowledge and practical skills, career success is based on several capabilities rarely, if ever, taught or addressed in medical school and residency.
Negotiation is one of these skills. The first presentation, “Negotiating Your Way to Success” by Dr Daniel Kook, Germany, will explore how YOs can get a competitive advantage in their career by learning how to negotiate successfully in the various stages of its development. As Dr Kook will explain, it is not always the smartest YOs who get the best jobs, but those who can successfully negotiate their way to better training positions during their residencies and then to more senior positions once completing those residencies.
For YOs who plan to go into private practice, negotiating skills are also essential to agree on their starting salaries with the practice owners and a path to sharing the practice profits in the long term. Contract negotiations can be complex, and Dr Kook’s discussion can develop skills in YOs that will allow them to successfully negotiate when joining a private practice for the first time.
However, negotiation is important for all ophthalmologists daily - especially in competition for clinical resources such as operating theatre time or equipment.
Dr Nic Reus, the Netherlands, the chairperson of the ESCRS Young Ophthalmologists Committee, will present “What Makes a Good Leader”.
As Green (et al.) points out in a recent article in the Annals of Eye Science, young ophthalmologists must learn how to lead themselves when learning the technical content and skills required in their specialty. In the early stages of their training, YOs may also receive minor leadership roles, and as they progress, they may start to run clinics and operate without direct supervision.i
Dr Reus will give practical examples of how YOs can become good leaders and explain the important differences between leadership and management.
The session will conclude with a presentation from Dr Artemis Matsou, Greece, “What They Don’t Teach You at Medical School”.
Dr Matsou will make suggestions on how the existing training curriculum could expand and give her perspective on how she has progressed on her career path. Clinical training can be very stressful, but if YOs are prepared to think outside the box and take a more holistic view of their training, they will become better doctors.
I realise YOs will have a busy schedule at this year’s Congress, but I would urge them to take the time to attend the Practice Management & Development Masterclass and Workshops, which will be held on Sunday, 18 September, and Monday, 19 September. Further information is available at congress.escrs.org/programme/
i Green C, Atik A, Hay M. “Developing leadership skills in young ophthalmologists,” Ann Eye Sci, 2019; 4:37.