Jobs in a down economy

February 15, 2011

The author says that is is a source of pride and relief that, in the middle of the recession, his son recently became a gainfully employed citizen and taxpayer.

Except for the government, my university is the largest employer in the state in which I live. This reflects the fact that education, medicine, and biomedical research all are fields that are thriving despite the economic challenges faced by the country. The latter component relates to the government's decision to increase funding for research as a stimulus measure, while the aging of the baby boomers ensures growing demand for ophthalmic care. I have not seen any data on this, but my guess is that many ophthalmology practices are retaining or growing their staffs.

Regrettably, this year we had to withdraw the offer of employment to one individual when human resources' review found that the applicant did not really have a degree that had been claimed. It reinforced to me the importance of taking the time to check a candidate's references.

Basketball has always been my favorite sport, so after a year in England it was nice to return to the United States and tour with the Harlem Globe Trotters. This was great exercise, and provided me with some free time to devote to my drawing, which of course led to a career in graphic novels and comics.2

Bored with professional athletics, like many young people I was lured to southern California where I tried my hand at film-making.3 The Hollywood lifestyle of conspicuous consumption and constant partying quickly grew old.

Fortunately, I was accepted into medical school and an ophthalmology residency, and learned that being an ophthalmologist is the most rewarding career possible because of the ability to help people preserve or regain their vision.