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.
I'm going to shift gears a little bit and start reviews on some of the other sections. I originally had planned to go in order of the BCSC sections and follow the OKAP content outline, but I realized that of all the sections to cover, General Medicine is one of the smallest sections in terms of content to know. So while I will likely get back to it sometime in the future, I wanted to make sure the key subjects were discussed prior to the test.
There are many facts in the Fundamentals and Principles of Ophthalmology section of the BCSC that will likely be tested as quick recall. I promise, I will eventually provide numerous resources and tools to help remember these facts; for this article, I will try to cover the most important concepts. I am intentionally leaving out details that may be more challenging to test (meaning I have a hard time coming up with a practice question about it).
I admit, this one may be a bit more ambitious than is possible to cover in the span of just one article. Obviously, there are TONS of medications, many of them with very vague side effects. Throughout your career you will most likely see many people referred by another doctor for an eye exam because they were placed on a medication that listed "blurred vision" or "eye problem" as a side effect. Your patients may ask you about this. You also may prescribe some medications that need systemic monitoring. While the OKAP probably won't quiz you over some obscure side effect of some uncommonly used medication, there are definitely some ophthalmic and systemic side effects that we need to know very well. While I will try to discuss the salient points in a coherent manner, detailed information will have to be addressed in other articles. This article will also have overlapping information with the Fundamentals section.
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.