MockQuestions

Ophthalmology Interview Questions

To help you prepare for your Ophthalmology interview, here are 25 interview questions and answer examples.

Ophthalmology was written by and updated on February 27th, 2021. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 25

If you're on a rotational call for indigent patients or patients without a doctor, how would you feel about having to see a patient in the ED whom you had dismissed from your practice.

How to Answer

This is a test of your willingness to comply with policy. Most physicians have dismissed patients from their practice for failure to pay or a failure in compliance. If you're fulfilling an obligatory role and a dismissed patient is assigned care by you, you have to accept it.

Written by Ryan Brown on February 27th, 2021

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25 Ophthalmology Interview Questions & Answers

  • 1. If you're on a rotational call for indigent patients or patients without a doctor, how would you feel about having to see a patient in the ED whom you had dismissed from your practice.

      How to Answer

      This is a test of your willingness to comply with policy. Most physicians have dismissed patients from their practice for failure to pay or a failure in compliance. If you're fulfilling an obligatory role and a dismissed patient is assigned care by you, you have to accept it.

      Written by Ryan Brown on February 27th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "Although I would not choose to see this patient electively, I would follow policy and accept him or her without any personal asides to the patient. If the patient chose not to accept me as his or her doctor for this episode, I would call the Patient Advocate and arrange a consultation with the patient to remedy the conflict."

      Written by Ryan Brown on February 27th, 2021

  • 2. If you are treating a patient who is experiencing a rocky course and you fear a likely lawsuit, would you still treat him/her if continuity of care were requested?

      How to Answer

      This is just a question to see how you think on your feet when presented with uncomfortable situations. The interviewer wants to know your dedication to continuity of care, even when things are their worst or adversarial.

      Written by Ryan Brown on February 27th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "I would treat any patient who wanted to continue using me, unless I felt someone could address the situation better. At that point, I would offer transfer or co-management, and explain to the patient why this would offer his/her best chance of remedy in the current crisis. I would never base my decision to treat or accept a patient because of what might happen, medicolegally."

      Written by Ryan Brown on February 27th, 2021

  • 3. Do you have any personal feelings for or against optometrists?

      How to Answer

      There might seem to be a traditional antagonism between MDs and other credentialed practitioners who do some of the same things, such as optometrists. At the hospital or large group level, it is no longer a philosophical issue, however, but purely financial. As these providers co-exist in the health care marketplace, you have to present yourself as being open-minded.

      Written by Ryan Brown on February 27th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "I see myself partnering with such practitioners so that I can practice more exclusively within my interests in ophthalmology. In fact, I may even have an optometrist in my office as part of my team. However, legitimacy of the health disciplines is not my job. That is left to authorizing and credentialing authorities. If such providers are so entitled to practice, this is not a conflict for me."

      Written by Ryan Brown on February 27th, 2021

  • 4. Medicare is increasingly basing reimbursement on 'best practices,' which is often nothing more than evidence-based medicine. Do you agree this is the best way to practice?

      How to Answer

      This is a trick question. The catch? that medicine is an art will always apply when judgement is necessary, not to mention the impact of a particular skill of a diagnostician or the technical prowess of someone doing procedures. But it is true that 'evidence-based medicine' is probably here to stay. Since Medicare is heavily invested in it as part of a 'best practices' modality, the same prior authorization constraints will be applied by the other third-party payers. Nowhere is this more obvious than in ophthalmology, where overhead keeps going up and reimbursements, down. Unfortunately, evidence-based medicine is Gaussian and doesn't take into account the 'outliers' of the bell curve, for which thinking outside of the curve is indicated--the 'zebras' in medicine. You need to include something about that in your answer.

      Written by Ryan Brown on February 27th, 2021

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  • 5. Do you have any hesitation referring to a glaucoma specialist, subspecialist surgeon, or other ophthalmological subspecialty?

      How to Answer

      This is a question that asks if you plan to practice out of some comfort zone, i.e., appropriately. Your answer should be centered on what is best for your patient, not winning some turf battle.

      Written by Ryan Brown on February 27th, 2021

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  • 6. Do you accept Medicare assignment?

      How to Answer

      This is really no business of theirs, unless there is a policy that you must be a 'participating doctor,' accepting Medicare assignment. If it's a group, this might be so; if it's a hospital, it only applies to those employed by the hospital, not independent staff. Nevertheless, a specialty geared toward the elderly, like ophthalmology is, probably requires you to accept assignment for financial reasons.

      Written by Ryan Brown on February 27th, 2021

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  • 7. How is your attendance at general staff and department meetings?

      How to Answer

      Running a group or a hospital, unfortunately, requires a significant bureaucracy. The doctors are needed to make that run, which means a responsibility to the clerical drudgery involved. This means meetings--lots of meetings. And they're always at night or--worse--during office hours that can cut into your income. Note that the question doesn't ask whether your attendance will be good, but how it has been in the past. This implies that your answer may be verified by a phone call or two, so tell the truth. (Most likely, no one will be checking up on your answer, so even if you've been truant in the past, pledge to do better.)

      Our Sample Answer is of someone who has not been in regular attendance in the past.

      Written by Ryan Brown on February 27th, 2021

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  • 8. What would be your response to hearing a code being called in the middle of the night as you're getting ready to go home after attending a patient?

      How to Answer

      A no-brainer question. Of course, you would respond. It is tempting to assume that certainly someone else would be there to respond, and that it typically true, but you don't want to be seen as the type of person who would need to hear the code called repeatedly before you responded. Nevertheless, your speciality is not typically involved in life-and-death crises.

      Written by Ryan Brown on February 27th, 2021

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  • 9. Would you be willing to serve on a committee investigating an issue with one of your colleagues?

      How to Answer

      Internal affairs and investigation are just necessary. Things happen, and when patient care is affected or jeopardized, they must be explored and dispositions made so that they don't recur. Besides Joint Commission accreditation and insurance reimbursements, a public reputation is jeopardized by uncorrected omissions or errors in care. The interviewer wants to know if you'll have the courage to step up and do what's right.

      Written by Ryan Brown on February 27th, 2021

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  • 10. How timely is your practice to sign off on chart entries and make all of your dictations current? Have you ever been suspended from a staff for failure to do these?

      How to Answer

      This type of suspension is not a 'hard' suspension, per se: it doesn't mean there are any deficiencies in your medical care or expertise. Most physicians get a little behind from time to time, the only thing lighting a fire under them to get these clerical loose ends tied up being suspension. However, although this is frowned upon but not necessarily condemned, it does impact the hospital or group's bottom line, so the question is one of fiscal importance.

      Written by Ryan Brown on February 27th, 2021

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  • 11. If you were to receive a communication from the Executive Committee about a practice issue of yours that it feels could have clinical repercussions, how would you address the members when you went to the meeting with them?

      How to Answer

      This is more than just hospital policy, but a challenge to your clinical authority, which is traditionally up to the physician alone. Therefore, it can be upsetting. This is a question of how you handle personal challenges to your privileges. Even if you're right and the Executive Committee is wrong, you have to show them you're willing to be a good sport about the whole thing.

      Written by Ryan Brown on February 27th, 2021

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  • 12. How would you handle a problem in which Utilization Review wants you to discharge a patient who you feel isn't medically ready for discharge?

      How to Answer

      This pits you against the hospital for a solution to everyone's benefit. UR actions are usually based on dollar issues, protecting the hospital bottom line from insurance denials.

      Written by Ryan Brown on February 27th, 2021

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  • 13. Would you be willing to accept whatever electronic medical record process is in use here?

      How to Answer

      Another test of your willingness to comply with policy, so you should agree.

      Written by Ryan Brown on February 27th, 2021

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  • 14. Would you please tell me a little about yourself?

      How to Answer

      This should be answered briefly and succinctly, and it should include why you want this position and the circumstances behind your leaving your current situation (they will want to know--and will ask if you don't say why).

      Written by Ryan Brown on February 27th, 2021

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  • 15. Are there any substance abuse, domestic violence, or other background items that could impact the integrity of our hospital (or group)?

      How to Answer

      Such situations are a reason for running away from a current situation. If there is such a damaging component in your history, own it and explain the steps you took to eliminate the risk of it recurring, i.e., rehab, successfully completed therapy, etc. Let the interviewer know you are comfortable with a probationary period or supervision if deemed necessary.

      The most likely (and desirable) answer, of course, is 'No.' However, for the sake of example, our sample answer is of someone with a DUI history.

      Written by Ryan Brown on February 27th, 2021

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  • 16. Are you going to be doing any chronic pain care?

      How to Answer

      This answer is simple if you don't plan on managing chronic pain, but if you do, your interviewer will want to know to what extent. The opioid crisis makes for bad press from overdoses, and institutions and groups want to steer clear of the whole controversy--not to mention scrutiny from the DEA and your state board. Before your interview, you need to know that you are being asked this to see if you're overstepping into controversial practices.

      Written by Ryan Brown on February 27th, 2021

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  • 17. How do you feel about telemedicine?

      How to Answer

      Since the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine is probably here to stay, and everyone--including hospitals and groups--are looking for ways to incorporate it in a fiscally prudent way. You should be seen as ready to embrace it; not blindly, but thoughtfully within the parameters of what is considered good medical care.

      Written by Ryan Brown on February 27th, 2021

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  • 18. What invasive procedures are you planning to do?

      How to Answer

      This is a matter of what exact privileges you're seeking in this position. They don't want 'mavericks' who are seeking privileges beyond their training.

      Written by Ryan Brown on February 27th, 2021

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  • 19. If you were to see a peer doing or saying something inappropriate, how would you respond?

      How to Answer

      This isn't your problem to fix. You can't go wrong answering this question by saying you would go up the chain of command. A hospital or group wants something like this handled a certain way, and their best assurance that this will happen (when you're involved) is to pledge yourself to that chain of command, i.e., up the ranks to department chairman, Executive Committee, administrator, etc.

      Written by Ryan Brown on February 27th, 2021

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  • 20. Do you have any personal problems with our seeing or our assigning you indigent or 'charity' cases?

      How to Answer

      Before you interview, you should learn the demographics of this group or hospital. You should be comfortable with the demographic distribution because that will determine the type of practice you will have or how you will interact with this demographic. Regardless of whether they take care of such patients, you should always state you have no personal problems seeing anyone who needs you--you just can't go wrong saying this! Many groups and hospitals are required, for example, to have a 'life-and-limb' list of doctors who rotate turns seeing uninsured emergency patients. If a hospital, for example, accepts any federal funds (Medicare or Medicaid), no patient can be refused in their Emergency Department. If your practice does not accept patients under a federal or state program, if you're doing your duty serving on a 'life-and-limb' ED rotation, you will still be required to see such patients as well as provide follow-up in your office, regardless of your practice preferences. Of course, in Ophthalmology, it is assumed you accept Medicare.

      Written by Ryan Brown on February 27th, 2021

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  • 21. If you're not available, due to illness or vacation, for example, how will your patients be cared for?

      How to Answer

      This is a straightforward question whose answer is always part of the by-laws of any institution. In other words, if you're on staff, your patient should never go without care if you have not made arrangements for coverage. If you're not new to the area, you should identify others on staff with whom you expect to have a reciprocal on-call relationship; if you're new to the area, you should state you intend to be full-time responsible until you can establish such reciprocal relationships. An extra overture would be to say you plan to serve on many committees in order to meet others in your specialty.

      Written by Ryan Brown on February 27th, 2021

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  • 22. Here we have a policy of [STIPULATED]. Do you have a problem with that?

      How to Answer

      You should never have a problem with any policy of the place to which you're applying. A good example is a Catholic hospital that won't provide pregnancy termination counseling. Before you interview, you should decide whether you can practice under such constraints. Luckily, seldom are there any stipulations that will ruin your life.

      Written by Ryan Brown on February 27th, 2021

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  • 23. Do you have any lawsuits currently or in the past, including any settlements?

      How to Answer

      This is a straightforward question. No one wants someone certain to lose them money or jeopardize their reputation. However, it is a truism that all physicians are at risk for malpractice suits, whether these actually come to pass or not. The interviewer will not dismiss you for lawsuits--he or she just doesn't want someone who is sued so frequently as to suggest there's a problem. That being said, not all suits come to pass, and a lawsuit filed is not a dealbreaker; many are just filed against you for the purpose of initiating and accomplishing discovery to see if there really is merit to a case (for the plaintiff attorney!). If there aren't really any substantial missteps on your part, these go away or prescribe, and your interviewer will know this. A settlement, on the other hand, can be just as bad as a lawsuit you lose, because most settlements are made to mitigate the damage of a likely unfavorable outcome.

      What do you do if there are suits, losses, or settlements? Be truthful, but half of the truth is your side of the story, so make sure you give it. Do not blame your previous institution or group--that just looks bad for you. Take ownership, but if you can explain why a lawsuit occurred due to a complication and not due to overt malpractice, this is something any hospital administrator will understand.

      Written by Ryan Brown on February 27th, 2021

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  • 24. What can you bring to [OUR ENTITY OR GROUP]?

      How to Answer

      You don't just want to say that you're an expert or have a lot of experience, but be a little bold here by stating that, although you find it very impressive here, you have noticed that there are some gaps in the total picture of care rendered and that you feel you can fill these gaps. This is a way of saying that selecting you will not only get this hospital or group what it needs, but even exceed its needs. You can further state that you can bring to this hospital or group additional resources that most hospitals don't have, which would make this organization stand out above the rest. (These are the offerings that will make you particularly attractive, where you tout your 'special interests'; special interests are specific aspects of one's specialization that do not have the bureaucratic designation of certification by a board.) For example, you may be board certified or board eligible in Ophthalmology, or even further trained (for example, in retinology), but you might say you have a special interest in macular degeneration, as an example; this would sound very fortuitous to a hospital with a sizeable geriatric population.

      Written by Ryan Brown on February 27th, 2021

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  • 25. What is it about [ENTITY REPRESENTED BY INTERVIEWER] that makes you want to be a part of it?

      How to Answer

      You must assume the interviewer thinks his or her hospital or group is absolutely wonderful...or potentially wonderful with the addition of the right person. This is--hopefully--you. You can stroke the corporate ego and begin endearing yourself to the interviewer by invoking the Mission Statement and/or Vision of the hospital or group. Most hospitals will have these, prominently displayed on the landing pages of their websites; they are brief and easy to imbue into your interview strategy. You can tell the interviewer that you find those values you saw in the Mission Statement and/or Vision Statement align with your personal views of how you want to lead your professional life.

      Don't actually refer to the 'Mission Statement' and 'Vision' when you answer; just state that you find this group's values align with yours, and you can paraphrase the ones you saw displayed.

      Written by Ryan Brown on February 27th, 2021

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