Ophthalmology is a broad and exciting field to study but encountering the vast number of topics it contains for the first time in medical school can be a daunting prospect. Building a solid foundation of knowledge in the subject is no mean feat, taking into consideration the limited exposure we get to this specialty in medical school [1,2].
This, coupled with the fast-paced life of a medical student, leads to a thirst for efficient and effective digital study resources to revise these topics. This is where I hope this article will come in handy to make your studying smart, not hard. There are plenty of excellent, comprehensive textbooks out there, however I want to highlight resources aimed at the level of undergraduates to aid focussed exam preparation, and, more importantly, to gain an understanding of the fundamental topics in ophthalmology.
I present to you my top five digital ophthalmology revision resources for medical students.
TimRoot.com – website and video resources
A beginner-friendly guide to ophthalmology
- The Tim Root website and Ophtho book are fantastic free resources that serve as an introduction to ophthalmology.
- They cover relevant anatomy, physiology and pathology related to a variety of ophthalmology subspecialities.
- It is written in a simple, easy to understand fashion with accompanying videos to illustrate conceptual points and has useful, practical pearls of wisdom scattered throughout.
- Each chapter is concluded by a quiz which serves as a great tool to test your active recall of the information presented in the chapter.
- Think of this as a beginner-friendly guide to ophthalmology to help you get the fundamentals right. However, keep in mind that some of the content is geared towards clinical practice in America rather than being UK focused.
Zero to finals – website, book, videos and podcasts
A concise and efficient examination resource
- The Zerotofinals website is a useful free resource which contains articles, videos, and podcasts on a vast collection of medical and surgical topics including ophthalmic conditions.
- The content is presented in a user-friendly, concise format for efficient revision.
- As the content is based on UK guidelines and includes plenty of high-yield exam facts, it is highly relevant for UK medical examinations.
- Be aware that some elements of the website are currently outdated and in the process of being updated.
Geekymedics – website, videos
A crucial resource for Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) preparation
- This website covers a huge range of ophthalmology content and has a great user interface – it is truly a wealth of information aimed at medical students.
- Hence, it is already a popular resource amongst students, being well known for its high quality physical OSCE-style examination videos.• It also includes features such as a quiz platform with 3000 questions and 2000 flashcards and clinical cases you can work through to test your history taking and clinical knowledge.
American Academy of Ophthalmology EyeWiki – website
A comprehensive digital Eye Encyclopaedia written by ophthalmologists
- EyeWiki is an extensive, expertly written ophthalmology encyclopaedia that serves as a useful reference text.
- It boasts hundreds of evidence-based and literature-referenced informative articles which are organised under 12 subcategories encompassing the ophthalmology subspecialities.
- The EyeWiki project was created by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, therefore some of the content is specific for clinical practice in America and UK guidelines may vary.
NICE Clinical knowledge summaries (CKS) - website
Evidence-based practical guidance aimed at primary care
- The NICE CKS include up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with a focus on primary care management of a range of ophthalmology conditions.
- Each topic is divided into thorough, detailed sections on history taking, examination, differential diagnoses, assessment, and management which makes it a great revision resource for theoretical and practical examinations.
- There are also handy links to patient resources for each condition. These patient information leaflets are particularly useful to read in preparation for your OSCE examinations where you may have to explain this information in layman terms.
- As this resource is aimed at primary care practitioners, be mindful that it contains less detail on the assessment and management options available in secondary care.
1. Moxon N, Goyal A, Giaconi J, et al. The state of ophthalmology medical student education in the United States: an update. Ophthalmol 2020;127(11):1451-3.
2. Shuttleworth G, Marsh G. How effective is undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in ophthalmology? Eye 1997;11(5):744-50.
Declaration of competing interests: None declared.
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