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Website helps ophthalmology trainees prepare for exams

The online-study tool uses an interactive, question-and-answer format that simulates an actual examination.
Ophthoquestions uses feedback from subscribers to constantly revise and optimise didactic materials.
The site has been steadily gaining worldwide recognition as the go-to online resource for studying and preparing for ophthalmology examinations. There are now about 5,000 total OphthoQuestions users, with about 80 per cent from the United States, 10 per cent from Britain and the other 10 per cent from the rest of the world.
It is hoped to grow the subscriber base in Australia as it is considered the website would be extrely helpful for trainees as they prepare for their examinations while also helping th in everyday clinical duties.
Fees are $US169.99 for six months and $199.99 for 12 months and can be paid direct online.
There are glowing testimonials on the OphthoQuestions website.
All of the questions are made by recently-board-certified ophthalmologists or trainees who are very familiar with the test.
One of the reasons behind the creation of the website was the feeling that a lot of question books and banks had old and unreliable material made by individuals who passed the examination 20-30 years ago. A lot of questions were either too esoteric or too easy.
All of the questions in the test bank are on highly-testable material. No one exactly knows what questions will appear on the examination.
Due to the comprehensive nature of the website, it is inevitable that some of the material covered may also be found elsewhere.
Questions are continually added or roved based on the website’s advisory panel’s recommendations and feedback from users.
The test engine simulates the real examination with its timer and testing format. That offers a large advantage over print questions because it prepares trainees for what the test will really be like.
The website has a huge pool of questions for a stand-alone study aid or as a supplent to other preparatory materials.
Unlike textbooks or some websites mired in bureaucracy, the testing engine and question bank are constantly improving. Feedback is taken seriously and recommendations are implented in a timely manner.
Test results are never shared with any third-party entity, such as training staff, other trainees or prospective ployers.
OphthoQuestions can provides users with an historical performance of how they are doing compared to other trainees or practising ophthalmologists, so that they know what topics to improve upon.
The website was developed by two ophthalmologists in the United States – Drs Gus Stern and Sidney Chang, who were studying for their Ophthalmic Knowledge Assessment Program (OKAP) examination during residency and felt that the review books they were using were outdated.
Seeking a more contporary knowledge base, they struggled to create their own multiple-choice questions and really saw a need.
They went on to fellowships and private practice, but never forgot their vision for something better.
Eventually, they began working on a website to help trainees study and their joint creation was OphthoQuestions, using an interactive question-and-answer format that helps subscribers prepare for all manner of examinations.
It is easy to navigate and gives instant feedback with detailed explanations about the correct answers, with illustrations where necessary.
Users can select the number of questions they would like to answer in each session. They can also see how their results rank against other users, so they know how their scores compare.
Dr Stern Dr Chang are now practising physicians at Maryland Vision Institute in Hagerstown, Maryland.
The material is constantly updated by both of th as well as by contributors from many areas who help th to keep it current in their field of expertise.
In addition, users have the option of posting comments about particular questions if they disagree with an answer or see any type of probl. Those e-mails are then sent to the contributors with a back-end link that takes th directly to the question in the database. The information is verified and corrected if necessary.
“Review books can’t do that,” Dr Stern said.
All previous test results and cumulative performance are stored for users, even if they do not have an active subscription, so they can resume access to th later.

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