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Online tool preps residents for OKAP exams

Interactive Q & A format keeps relevant information at users fingertips

Dr. Stern
When Gus Stern, MD, and Sidney Chang, MD, were studying for their Ophthalmic Knowledge Assessment Program (OKAP) examinations during residency, they always felt like the review books they were using were outdated.

"We really wanted a more contemporary knowledge base," Dr. Stern said. "We struggled to create our own multiple-choice questions and really saw a need."

The two went on to fellowships and private practice, but never forgot their vision for something better. About a year ago, they finally started working on a Web site to help ophthalmic trainees study, and it went live in August.

Dr. Chang
Their joint creation,, uses an interactive question-and-answer format that helps subscribers prepare for their OKAPs, written boards, and other exams.

"It has thousands of questions on all aspects of ophthalmology, and it simulates the real exam better than any other study tool, including being timed," Dr. Stern said. "It is easy to navigate and gives you instant feedback with detailed explanations about the correct answers. It really lets you use your study time well."

Figure 1 The new ophthalmology board review Web site enables residents to prepare for a variety of examinations. It also can be used by ophthalmologists looking to sharpen their knowledge.
Users can select the number of questions they would like to answer in each session. They also can see how their results rank against other users, so they know how their scores will compare.

Constant updating

Figure 2 As shown in this product demonstration, the interactive format allows users to mix and match questions.
Also, as Dr. Stern, who now has a private practice in Houston specializing in cornea, and Dr. Chang, who practices glaucoma and comprehensive ophthalmology in Hawaii, wanted so much during residency, the material is never out of date.

"We work on it a few hours each night after the kids are in bed to update it, and we have contributors from many areas who help us keep it current in their field of expertise," he said.

Among some of the contributors:

  • Raquel Goldhardt, MD, an assistant professor of ophthalmology at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and VA hospital in Miami who specializes in retinal diseases and uveitis.
  • Peter Kastl, MD, PhD, a professor of ophthalmology at Tulane University, New Orleans, whose areas of clinical expertise include cataract, refractive, and corneal surgery. He also is editor-in-chief of "Contact Lenses: The CLAO Guide to Basic Science and Clinical Practice."
  • Kevin Kirchner, MD, an oculoplastics fellow in Warren, MI.
  • Lisa Leishman, MD, an ocular pathology fellow at the Moran Eye Center (under the tutelage of Nick Mamalis, MD), Salt Lake City.
  • Nick Mamalis, MD, director of the ophthalmic pathology laboratory at the Moran Eye Center.
  • Collin McClelland, MD, a neuro-ophthalmology fellow at Scheie Eye Institute in Philadelphia.
  • Craig Swartz, PhD, a researcher and instructor at Texas State University, San Marcos, where he teaches physics, including optics.

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