In my experience as a medical student, some of my best advice came from people one, two or three years ahead of me in training. My medical school (#goblue) was excellent at facilitating a culture of collaboration amongst the students. We have an internal wiki page for class notes and tips, hold seminars for one another, engage in structured near-peer teaching, and host interest group activities in a variety of topics and specialties. Some of my friends started Medical Student Grand Rounds to engage in sharing on a larger stage and actually coach one-another in making excellent oral presentations. Others started Michigan Journal of Medicine to support one another in research. We started a meditation course, countless lunch-and-learn sessions, and each year second year students publish a survey-based compendium of insights and recommendations for the first year students. I could go on and on about ways in which my classmates try to support their peers. I've had innumerable conversations with my peers and near-peers that have left me inspired with great new ideas or a clear path forward. After all, how besides my peers would I have become immersed in Pathoma, First Aid and UWorld for a month?
What I'd really like to do with Pre-Ophtho.com is make this a forum for passing along exactly this type of experience: that of helping the "next guy up." It's not necessarily the best or most enlightened point of view, but there's a strange sense of comfort in knowing that someone has most immediately been in your shoes. So in the spirit of my medical school class' wiki, I've created the Pre-Ophtho Facebook Group, which can be found but whose members must be approved in order to view/interact with content. My hope is that this setting will allow M3/M4s who are seriously considering ophthalmology an opportunity to gain experience and strength from students who are walking the same path with them, and from trainees immediately up that same very road.