Helgi David Björnsson, MD, a YO member of the OSN Europe Edition Board, focuses his blog on online resources for learning and sharing information and ideas in ophthalmology. Each month, one website or other digital resource will be presented and explored in depth.

Questions and comments are welcome.

BLOG: Online training course helpful in evaluating optic disc changes

Evaluating the progression of glaucoma can be very challenging for residents. In recent years, we have obtained new imaging techniques to assist us with this, but careful observation of optic disc changes still remains an important part of the examination. The changes are often subtle, making it easy for the untrained eye to miss important clues that would change the course of treatment.

Luckily, there is a free online course that is designed to help you with just that - the Training Course for the Appraisal of Sequential Optic Disc Stereophotos by Thierry Zeyen, MD. In this interactive course you start by going through 50 cases showing optic disc photos taken at base line and at a later date. Then you have to choose between two options, Change or No change, one case at a time. The first round is a bit frustrating because you do not get any feedback about if you were right or wrong, but this first round helps you to understand how minor these changes can be. After completing the first round, you proceed to a video with Prof. Zeyen explaining the principles of the examination. Thereafter, you continue to the second round with the same 50 cases, but this time around, you get instant feedback after each case, informing you if you were right or wrong while also explaining the findings. I found the second round very useful, helping me to focus more precisely on what to look for. After completing each round, you are presented with a table showing you your score, and I could see a clear improvement in the second round in my case.

This course is great for anyone getting started with glaucoma evaluations, providing you with a simulation training that a traditional textbook could never do. It is free of charge and takes about 1 to 2 hours to complete. It is Flash based, meaning it will not work on most phones and tablets.