In the age of the internet and a smartphone at everyone’s fingertips, here are some free resources I have found to be useful on the job, and hopefully will be of use to you too.
Feedly (Android/iOS): Better known as a news aggregator for many platforms, Feedly can also be used to monitor your favourite journals for any new publications. A quick search for #ophthalmology brings up the feeds for many leading ophthalmology publishers (Eye, AJO, Retina, etc.) If you can’t find your go to journal, there’s a good chance that they have an RSS feed which can be easily added to Feedly with a couple of taps!
Figure 1: Feedly with ophthalmology journal feed.
Visual Acuity Charts (Android) / Eye Test Snellen Ishihara (iOS): We have all been caught out reviewing a patient on the ward without a visual acuity chart. Visual Acuity Charts works a treat as it allows you to set the measuring distance from the patient and adjusts the optotype size accordingly. Eye Test Snellen requires measurement from four feet.
Ullman Indirect (Android/iOS): When on calls go into the late hours of the night, you probably won’t have the luxury of having an Optos or your ophthalmic photographer around to get that fundus photo to run by your boss. This app makes it easy to take reliable fundus photos with just your phone and a 20D lens. It allows control of light exposure and focus on the same screen, so you don’t have to keep going back and forth with manual controls to get the right shot, and also captures bursts of images or video. Of course, get your patient’s permission first in order to take and share their photo securely (NHSmail works really well for this).
Figure 2: Ullman indirect with a model eye and 20D.
Instagram (Android/iOS): Hear me out! When you think of Instagram, highly photoshopped, impossible, holiday destinations and vanity photos come to mind. However, there is now a growing community of ophthalmologists posting interesting and educational photo or video-based cases on a daily basis. These are seen by thousands of ophthalmologists who then comment on their own experiences and provide suggestions, which have high educational value. @the_eye_dr is one of my favourite accounts, done by an FRCOphth qualified ophthalmology trainee based in London. Ophthalmologists have even taken to it to spread awareness on general eye health to the public.
Figure 3: @the_eye_dr on Instagram.
BNF (Android/iOS): If you haven’t got the BNF app on your phone you’re missing a trick! Why run from room to room searching for one when you can look up drugs with a couple of taps? The web version works well too.
Quizlet (Android/iOS): This is a great flashcard app to help with revision for knowledge based exams. Create your own flashcards or browse through ones that have already been made. There are a few on there already for FRCOphth Part 1 and 2 revision.
Xodo (Android/iOS): Is a great PDF editor. If you have your favourite reference manual in PDF format, this is a great app to write on, or add notes or images to aid your learning.
Oculoplastics.info, Eyerounds.org, Eyetube.com, Gonioscopy.org, Timroot.com, Djo.harvard.edu and of course Youtube.com are already well established websites with plenty of material. New online resources worth having a look at are Eyeguru.org and Eyesforears.net.
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