Eyetextbook.com will evolve into an evidence based educational tool designed to fill a void in Canadian medical education. The end-product will be an online standardized ophthalmology curriculum for medical students. Phase 1 will be the creation of the content library; Phase 2 will be the conversion of the content to e-modules. For Phase 1, the site’s content will be written by medical students at an appropriate level for fellow medical students. The initiative will encourage medical students across Canada to compose a concise clinical publication with close mentorship from a practicing ophthalmologist serving as a “Clinical Advisor”. By being involved in the website’s production, students will develop research skills, demonstrate diversity in their CaRMS applications, highlight the talents of medical students, and advance clinical knowledge in ophthalmology. Regardless of a medical student’s specialty interest, publishing to Eyetextbook.com will be an excellent learning opportunity. The pre-assigned topics will be derived from the International Council in Ophthalmology’s learning objectives for medical students. Submission formats will include: Narrative Review, Bottom Line clinical trial review, Virtual Patient case, and possibly others. The contributions will be reviewed by the Peer Review Board for accuracy and appropriateness for medical education.
For Phase 2, the website’s content will be re-organized to create a curriculum and modules for students to learn ophthalmology efficiently. The Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology Medical Student Educators group will be consulted with regards to selecting the appropriate student-publications so that focused e-modules can be designed. The goal of the curriculum will be to teach medical students about Ophthalmology in an efficient and convenient manner so that it is standardized across all medical schools with modules. Upon completion of the online curriculum, medical students will also be encouraged to work in a clinical ophthalmology setting and gain exposure to a list of common ocular pathology available on the website. Eyetextbook.com will also be a useful free reference resource for daily clinical use for medical students during their electives. Because the website will be available in a mobile format, and will be transformed into a downloadable SmartPhone Application, students can learn Ophthalmology anywhere and anytime.
I, Sourabh Arora, started Eyetextbook.com during 2nd year of medical school. My friend Shawn Dason created 2 websites, Surgerytextbook.com and Urologytextbook.com and explained that his goal was to share some evidence based information for medical students. Through our discussion, I started to realize that during medical school, our knowledge in Ophthalmology was not very standardized, and we each felt it could be more comprehensive. After discussing with friends at other medical schools, they were in agreement. So, I started Eyetextbook.com to fulfill an important need for an ophthalmology resource targeting medical students, and wanted to apply McMaster’s ideals of being evidence-based. Furthermore, I thought it would be nice to foster more collaboration and research skills development for medical students, so I created a system whereby students who were interested could publish on the website, with the guidance of a practicing ophthalmologist.
At this stage, I am still preparing the Advisory Board and Peer-review Board. However over the next few months, I hope to begin a major promotions campaign and begin involving medical students across Canada who want to develop their research skills, and knowledge in Ophthalmology. I anticipate uniting all the respective Ophthalmology Interest Groups through the project. I hope that those who have a passion for educating others, and developing research skills will join the task of creating a student-written, evidence-based, free online resource, so future generations can learn ophthalmology conveniently, efficiently, and have a lot of fun doing it!