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.
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.
This review is somewhat multi-disciplinary in nature. As you wrap up your reviews, one of the things I found useful was to create tons of different lists. Regardless of which test you're studying for, there are many questions that are organized differently than how one might go about learning a particular disease. As such, I started making lists of different ways to group otherwise disparate diseases that might show up as a test question, or at least help me remember a specific feature of the disease.
Dr. James G. Chelnis contributed an article to the American Academy of Ophthalmology listing 9 very useful resources for OKAP and board exam review. His article can be found here (this may be member-only content).
I don't have any critiques of the resources he lists; from what I can tell, there is no specific order to his recommendations. If you used all 9 resources, I suspect you would do very well.
Out of that list, I personally used the following resources when I studied for the OKAP and board exams:
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.