I’ve been humbled by the many people who have had the courage to contact me over the past few years to ask my advice on preparing for various exams. I don’t claim to be an expert at the various exams, but I do want to help my fellow colleagues succeed in any way possible, and if this website helps more people fare better on their tests and also become better ophthalmologists, that’s great.
Here we are, at the end of September, and for those in residency and fellowship, hopefully you're starting to get used to the lifestyle of the trainee. By now, the routine of waking up at all hours of the day and night, working on minimal sleep, cramming in study time, etc. should be second nature.
It was around this point during my first year of ophthalmology residency that I began to question the effectiveness of my learning/studying strategies. It seemed like my peers always had a better grasp on the obscure facts, picking up on subtle clinical findings, or be able to answer questions in lecture while I sat there clueless.
Happy early July! For those who just started residency, congratulations! Hopefully the first few days of residency have been a smooth transition.
Perhaps some (or many) of you are just getting started with ophthalmology residency. This week may have been full of firsts, such as your first full refraction, your first dilated fundus exam, your first call, your first consult, etc. There will probably be many other firsts to come - your first cataract surgery, your first post-cataract 20/20 patient, your first posterior capsular tear, your first vitrectomy, your first open globe, etc. Okay, not all of these things are going to be super exciting. But it's the beginning of one of the most rewarding and exciting specialties in medicine.
Diabetic retinopathy is a very common disease that is seen/screened within ophthalmology. As such, having a well-organized understanding of identifying and classifying diabetic retinopathy as well as how to manage it is a crucial competency for the beginning ophthalmologist.
The BCSC Section 2, Fundamentals and Principles of Ophthalmology, provides an extremely detailed overview of the anatomy and physiology of the eye. Organizationally, it lays out the “fundamentals” of learning about the eye so that by the end of reading this book, you should be able to understand the anatomical structure of the eye, eye genetics, embryology, growth, and development, physiology of the eye, and medications that are used to treat eye conditions.
For this reason, this book is typically suggested as the first book to read for first-year ophthalmology residents. Please see the articles Reading The BCSC and OKAPs Reading Schedule to learn how to pace yourself through learning the material.