BCSC

Studying After Failing A Test

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.

Glaucoma Genetics

Glaucoma Genetics

There are many inheritable forms of glaucoma, both primary and secondary. While inheritance patterns and genetics are not perfectly mapped out for glaucoma, there are some basic observations that can help us screen for glaucoma among family members:

Last Minute OKAP Review

One of the things I want to do on this site is to provide more finished "products" for you, in addition to the subject/literature reviews, test preparation and study ideas, and book reviews.  These will hopefully include charts, outlines, and other media that will help augment your studies.  I am working on several book-length projects for the site as well, including a mnemonics-style cheat book and a "textbook" of ophthalmology, with the goal of bridging the gap between the traditional high-academic works of the highly reputable textbooks and shorter-length review books.  Since those books are going to take me a considerable time to write and prepare (probably several years at the rate I'm going now), I plan to publish those for sale.  However, I still want to make the bulk of the content free, so the articles won't be hidden behind a paywall.

Ciliary Ganglion

The ciliary ganglion serves as the site of synapse for the parasympathetic nerves innervating the eye.  Because of the many nerves that course through it (not all of them synapse!) and its anatomical location, this structure is of importance in learning the basics of ophthalmology.  According to the Basic and Clinical Science Course, it is located lateral to the ophthalmic artery, situated between optic nerve and lateral rectus muscle, approximately 1 cm (10 mm) anterior to the annulus of Zinn and 1.5-2 cm (15-20 mm) posterior to the globe (1-5).

Phakomatoses: Overview

Phakomatoses are a multidisciplinary category of systemic diseases that is often tested for a multitude of reasons.  Although the incidence of these conditions is fairly low (though chances are you will see at least 1 case of many of these conditions), there are many ocular findings that need to be considered.

I've been debating how to organize this information in a useful manner for review for quite some time.  The subject material is pretty massive, and each condition could easily take several articles (and probably eventually will).  But I wanted to make sure there was a useful review out there on this subject before the written board exam, in case the test covers one of these conditions.

HIV And AIDS

I admit, most of the general medicine categories will be rather broad topics.  Truth be told, the main things you need to know about HIV and AIDS are more geared towards the opportunistic illnesses that arise from the immunodeficient state present in the late stages.  You'll likely see some of those opportunistic conditions pop up in other sections, as we work through each article.

6 Tips For Learning Ophthalmology

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.

Whitnall's Tubercle

The lateral orbital tubercle, or Whitnall's tubercle, is found on the zygomatic bone.  According to the Basic and Clinical Science Course, it is typically around 11 mm inferior to the frontozygomatic suture (the junction between the frontal bone and zygomatic bone) (1), and sits 4-5 mm posterior to the lateral orbital rim around the midline (2).

Reading the BCSC: Fundamentals and Principles of Ophthalmology, Chapter 1

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.

Another Approach To OKAP Study

When I started looking on Google for helpful guides for OKAP or board exam study, a thread on studentdoctor.net was listed towards the top.

In the thread, the original poster presented a very thorough and detailed plan of attack for studying ophthalmology in his (I apologize, I'm assuming that the user is a "he" due to the username) first year of residency (PGY-2), including a specific reading schedule, reviews of textbooks and question banks, with links to different articles for additional reading.  In some ways, it sounds eerily like what I'm trying to put together on this site.