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With thousands of new peer-reviewed ophthalmology articles published each year- not to mention the multitude of conferences, workshops, and webinars – it is becoming increasingly difficult for ophthalmologists to keep up with the vast and ever-increasing pool of ophthalmic knowledge. To accomplish this challenging task we are, more than ever before, in need of effective methods to organize and retain information.

 

Mind mapping is a graphical method of summarizing and organizing information. In a mind map, concepts or pieces of information are connected to each other in a hierarchical manner similar to the way our brains process and store information.

 

As a method of note-taking, mind mapping has several major advantage to conventional linear note-taking for organizing, learning, and memorizing information:

  • Instead of long phrases or sentences, mind mapping relies on key words or key concepts, significantly reducing the number of words required to relay the information.

  • Learning new information and remembering past information rely heavily on the brain’s ability to create connections between ideas. Through emphasizing associations, mind maps allow better understanding and retention of information.

  • Reviewing mind map notes is much faster than reviewing conventional linear notes.

  • The visual and graphic structure of mind maps improves recall of information and memorization. By remembering the location of an idea in a mind map, you can “see” its surrounding ideas in your mind, a process referred to as “spatial mnemonics”.

  • The graphic and hierarchical structure of mind maps makes them a more effective tool for organizing concepts and ideas, thus allowing a more simplified representation of complex information.

 

The mind maps on this website are summaries of ophthalmology topics based on the Basic and Clinical Science Course published by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. These mind maps are intended as a study guide for ophthalmology residents and as a source of review for ophthalmologists and other eye-related health care professionals. Although the American Academy of Ophthalmology has kindly permitted me to use their material, they have not in any way endorsed or approved the information contained in these mind maps.

 

Shifting from conventional linear method of note-taking to mind mapping may not be initially easy for some readers but I believe the effort is worth it. I hope you find these mind maps useful. Please email me your suggestions for improving the website and the mind maps.

 

Arman Mashayekhi, MD

Associate Professor of Ophthalmology

Oncology Service

Wills Eye Hospital

Thomas Jefferson University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania