Dr Ahmed Hassan is an ophthalmologist working in Victoria. We begin our conversation today with how Ahmed stumbled into ophthalmology during his HMO 2 year in Bendigo (quite literally!). Having entered medicine with a background interest in fine arts and crafts, the skill of “bloodless” surgery appealed to Ahmed, who hasn’t looked back since entering the field (no pun intended). Since that time, his work has taken him from Australia – predominantly in Wonthaggi but also in Alice Springs performing outpatient procedures – to Myanmar and Ethiopia. We learn about what other specialties aside from ophthalmology are useful for this doctors aiming to work internationally.

Ahmed believes ophthalmology to be one of the most rewarding specialties. For example, we learn that cataract surgery ranks second in operations in terms of improvement in quality of life (number one will shock you!! #clickbait). It is this patient satisfaction that drives him to pursue his line of work. However, some aspects of the job, including advanced diseases with no cures, can be taxing.

The training program, which comprises intense study, on call work and a great deal of learning on the job, is “busy”. Yet graduates are rewarded with a fantastic lifestyle upon passing there exams. The lack of inpatient work, few emergencies and extensive private practice make this specialty a lucrative one. We discuss the subspecialties available to consultants, as well how to maximise one’s chances of being accepted into the program, such as the benefits of diplomas and general surgical years. Ahmed delivers some fantastic life advice that all aspiring doctors should hear.

We hope you guys enjoy this podcast! Feel free to send through any questions you may have for Dr Ahmed Hassan, and give us feedback on this week’s episode by filling out the survey.

Pathways into Ophthlmology:

Medical School → Internship → HMO (1 year minimum) → Advanced Training in Ophthalmology (5 years) → consultant



According to the Australian Government Taxation Data, in the 2013-14 income year we had approximately:

  • 143 female ophthalmologists earning an average of $217,242
  • 423 male ophthalmologists earning an average of $552,947
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TMC024: Ophthalmology with Dr Ahmed Hassan
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