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So, I’m a 4th year medical student. For the longest time in medical school, I thought I was going into Family Medicine. Third year changed that. You’re just exposed to so much. I realized I liked becoming the specialist, working with my hands, having both longitudinal and case-based relationships, and working in an outpatient setting. After exploring several fields, I realized that Ophthalmology was a perfect fit. I love so much about the field, and am working to get involved in a variety of projects at Kellogg Eye Center leading up to applying this fall.

The project that I’d like to share with you brings my premedical experience into my new career. In my former life, I would build websites, do public relations, and practice brand marketing for a number of nonprofits and businesses. In my present experience, I realized that it was difficult to discover which ophthalmology resources in terms of books, videos, podcasts, and match information are most recommended. At first, I surveyed recently-matched medical students and residents just to answer my own curiosity. Then, I decided to publish the results.

The final product — although by its very nature, a work in progress — is It is an ophthalmology resource for medical students that contains “near-peer” recommendations. Near-peer is a concept that I’ve really appreciated here at Michigan. It means learning from people who have recently experienced what you are about to experience, so preclinical medical students ask clinical medical students how to study for sequences, boards, exams and get access to study guides, for example. Clinical trunk students can ask branch students about which electives are interesting, and so forth. My website continues that tradition, presenting the resources that recently-matched students and residents suggest to clinical medical students interested in Ophthalmology.

I’m happy that I’ve been able to combine medicine, marketing and web development together for this project. Going forward, the plan is for Michigan’s Ophthalmology Student Interest Group to update the site each year with new podcasts, videos and other recommendations.

Good luck to you in your medical adventures — and don’t forget to ask near-peers for advice.