5 Best Ophthalmology Anki Decks (2022 Update)

Ophthalmology is a fascinating area. To excel, you’ll need to be great at the anatomy of the eye, strong on ocular pathology, and definitely know your pharmacology. Memorization is key.

Luckily, thanks to some hard-working ophthalmology residents and student clinicians, you’ve got some great support!

These pre-made Anki decks? Here to save you a big amount of effort, stress, and anxiety ahead of your shelf exams, clinical rotations, or residency beginnings.

The Best Ophthalmology Anki Decks

The 5 decks we’ll be looking at are:

  • BlueAce’s Ophthalmology Anki Deck (best for residents)
  • Eyeguru’s Ophthalmology Anki Decks (extra for residents)
  • Proteoglycan’s Ophtho Deck (best for med school)
  • FutureEyeGuy’s Ophthalmology Anki Deck (best for rapid review)
  • Tim Root’s Ophtho Book Deck (best introduction)

These decks offer different approaches to memorizing some of the more high-yield facts related to ophthalmology. Some are more comprehensive than others, while others are faster to run through.

All are obviously free!

Download them on your computer and open the package files up in your Anki desktop app to get started.

BlueAce’s Ophthalmology Anki Deck

Deck Type:Residency Ophthalmology 
Card Format:Cloze, Basic
Year of Upload:2022
Required Plugins:Hierarchical Tags 2
Download Size:799M
Download Link:BlueAces Opthalmology Anki Deck

Andrew (AKA BlueDude163) has put together what’s possibly the gold standard of all Anki ophthalmology decks.

Designed to be comprehensive for residency, there’s more than enough material here to guide someone from zero knowledge of eyes right through to OKAP/board examinations.

This deck is structured similarly to u/AnkingMed’s STEP decks, with added focus on tags for organizational purposes. Like the aforementioned deck, BlueDude is also committed to regular updates over time (the linked deck is V2 in the series).

This deck is an extension of Ace’s Anki Deck and the expansion part of the OpthoKing Overhaul deck.

It has cards based on the following sources:

  1. OphthoBook basics by Dr. Tim Root (more on this later)
  2. EyeGuru decks (see below)
  3. Kanski deck
  4. Ophthalmology Medical Student Guide by FutureEyeGuy on SDN
  5. OKAPS with material from their open-access AAO powerpoints
  6. WQE ABO
  7. Root Eye Dictionary

Here’s a look at how the deck is structured…

Here are a couple of sample cards…

Download BlueDude’s Opthalmology Anki Deck here

Eyeguru’s Ophthalmology Anki Decks

Deck Type:Residency Ophthalmology 
Cards:13 Decks (1000+ av. card number)
Card Format:Cloze, Basic
Year of Upload:2021
Required Plugins:Hierarchical Tags 2
Download Size:6.28-10 MB
Download Link:Eyeguru Anki Decks

Eyeguru is a specialist ophthalmology learning website designed to teach residency essentials and help ophthalmologists succeed in the clinic and on the boards.

The site itself hosts an excellent 13-part series of individual ophthalmology Anki decks based on the Basic and Clinical Science Course (BCSC) from the American Academy of Ophthalmology. 

There are individual decks for each of the following areas:

  1. Update on General Medicine
  2. Fundamentals and Principles of Ophthalmology 
  3. Clinical Optics
  4. Opthalmic Pathology and Intraocular Tumors
  5. Neuro-ophthalmology
  6. Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus
  7. Oculofacial Plastic and Orbital Surgery
  8. External Disease and Cornea
  9. Uveitis and Ocular Inflammation
  10. Glaucoma
  11. Lens and Cataract
  12. Retina and Vitreous
  13. Refractive Surgery

Each individual deck is broken down into subtopics to help aid your study.

The cards themselves make good use of Anki cloze (missing fields) and minimize the information points to only one or two facts per card.

Here’s an example card from the Clinical Optics deck…

What’s nice about the individual decks is the high level of detail (the number of cards in most decks is 1000+) and the accompanying images.

Here’s another example card from the same deck…

So while I feel, due to the sheer size of the individual decks, these aren’t best targeted at med students, you can still get a lot of functionality out of them by studying topics relevant to your syllabus.

And for residents (or those aiming at residency), they’re invaluable.

Download Eyeguru Anki Decks here

Proteogylcan’s Ophtho Deck

Deck Type:Basic Ophthalmology 
Card Format:Cloze, Basic
Year of Upload:2019
Required Plugins:Hierarchical Tags 2
Download Size:11.9 MB
Download Link:Proteogylcan’s Ophtho Deck

Reddit user Proteoglycan built this deck for their undergrad ophthalmology exams in med school.

Based on Kanski’s Atlas of Opthalmology (and its accompanying self-assessment book), there is some extra detail added from the AAO wiki and a couple of extra sources too.

It’s organized and tagged into the following sections (so you can easily follow along):

  • Exam Techniques
  • Cornea
  • Neuro Ophthalmology
  • Retina Vascular
  • Acquired Macula
  • Eyelid
  • Lacrimal
  • Epi/Sclera
  • Vitreous Opacities
  • Glaucoma
  • Conjunctiva
  • Uveitis
  • Orbit
  • Trauma
  • Hereditary Fundus
  • Dry Eye
  • Strabismus
  • CR Surgery
  • Cataract
  • Retinal Detachment

At 1762 cards it’s a more manageable deck to get through and just the right amount of detail to help do well on a med school elective or rotation.

Here are a couple of examples of the cards found inside the deck. They make excellent use of diagnostic imaging and animations.

Download Proteogylcan’s Ophtho Deck here

FutureEyeGuy’s Ophthalmology Anki Deck

Deck Type:Basic Ophthalmology 
Card Format:Cloze, Basic, Image Occlusion
Year of Upload:2019
Required Plugins:N/A
Download Size:9.7 MB
Download Link:FutureEyeGuy’s Ophthalmology Anki Deck

FutureEyeGuy put this deck together to help medical students perform well on their ophthalmology rotations.

Put together from a compilation of resources and broken up into subspecialties, this is a compact deck that’s perfect for helping memorize the most high-yield points you’ll likely need to know.

The cards are a good combination of cloze-format and image occlusion, making them suitable for reviewing eye anatomy and quickly running through major ocular-related pathologies.

Here are a couple of flashcard examples from inside the deck…

Download FutureEyeGuy’s Ophthalmology Anki Deck here

Tim Root’s Ophtho Book Deck

Deck Type:Basic Ophthalmology 
Card Format:Cloze
Year of Upload:2020
Required Plugins:N/A
Download Size:9.7 MB
Download Link:Tim Root’s Ophtho Book Deck

Reddit user u/zeke901405 put together this deck, focusing on “Virtual Eye Professor” Tim Root’s popular OphthoBook (which you can read for free online here).

The deck is handily tagged by each of the book’s chapters making it very easy to use.

Here’s a rundown of the topics you’ll find inside the deck:

  • Eye history and physical
  • Anatomy of the eye
  • Introduction to glaucoma
  • Beginner’s guide to the retina
  • Eye infections
  • Introduction to Neuro-ophthalmology
  • Pediatric ophthalmology
  • Common eye trauma
  • Introduction to optics
  • Introduction to the lens and cataract surgery
  • Review questions

At 841 cards, this is one of the fastest yet most high-yield introductions/reviews of ophtho you’ll get on the web.

Here are a couple of examples of how simply the cards are formatted…

Download Tim Root’s Ophtho Book Deck here

Additional Information On Ophthalmology Anki Decks

Depending on what level of study you’re at, and how deep you want to go, it could be an idea to review the anatomy of the eye first before beginning any ophthalmology rotation.

Check out the following deck recommendations to get started below…

Related: 7 Best Anatomy Anki Decks: Learn Anatomy Fast (2021)

Additionally, you can get through a lot of eye-related pathology, pharmacology, and microbiology via studying from the relevant cards in Anking’s latest version of Zanki.

To find out more about this deck check out the following article…

Related: What Is The Best Anki Deck For Step 1?

And for the really dedicated, the guys at Eyes For Ears (resident ophthalmologists), have an excellent podcast series on different areas of the specialty. They even have accompanying Anki decks for certain episodes too.

Make sure you check them out!

Recommended Ophthalmology Flashcard Resources

There aren’t any dedicated ophthalmology flashcard decks available in analog format (at least, none worth recommending anyway). Best stick with digital ones!

Recommended Ophthalmology Textbook Resource

As recommended before, Tim Root’s free online OpthoBook is a great place to review or go over the highest yield principles in the specialty. You can read it online for free or pick up a paperback version here.

The gold standard book for residents (or anyone else that wants to study the specialty in greater detail) is the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Illustrated Manual of Ophthalmology.

Kanski’s Clinical Ophthalmology, as mentioned, is probably the most used by med students passing through clinical rotations.

Related Ophthalmology Flashcard Questions

Top Tips For Using Anki Ophthalmology Flashcard Decks

  • When editing or adding to your decks keep one fact to a card: Ophthalmology is very visual so its important to keep information separated out.
  • Don’t just rely on flashcards for mastering the content: Practice with lots of questions banks. Tim Root, again, has a good 300-plus MCQ question bank resource for mastering ophtho. There’s also the the site ophthoquestions.com, a 4523 high-quality question database, for more targeted practice.

Why Use An Anki Ophthalmology Deck?

  • Excellent free resource
  • Saves time making your own cards while covering the most high yield principles

Where To Find More Anki Ophthalmology Decks

The best place to find existing and new, upcoming Anki Ophthalmology decks is the r/medicalschoolanki community. There are new decks in the works that are always looking for collaborative help.

Using the search function there can uncover hidden gems that otherwise aren’t featured on the community sidebar along with all other popular subject-specific Anki decks.

Related Anki Questions

If you’re not familiar with Anki, I recommend checking out The Anking YouTube channel.

This offers many useful tutorials and tips for Anki users. It’s primarily designed for med students but the content is just as good for students in other fields.


Here’s a good primer (as well as a good intro on what they offer) below…

How Do I Add Plugins To Anki?

You can plugins, such as the hierarchical tags and image occlusion ones mentioned in some of the decks above, by going to tools add-ons > get add-ons

Alternatively, press ctrl + shift + A on your keyboard.

From there, go to “browse add-ons” and copy the code of the plugin you want into the field here. For hierarchical tags, it’s 594329229.

It’s that easy.

Why Do I Have To Go To Reddit/Ankiweb To Download?

Reddit/Ankiweb is where these decks are uploaded and shared. The original users deserve accreditation and the opportunity to be thanked for their hard work.

The files for these decks are hosted in these threads created by the deck’s creator.

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