Timothy Root, M.D.

Timothy Root, M.D.

Dr. Timothy Root is a practicing ophthalmologist and cataract surgeon in Daytona Beach, Florida. He began cartooning while an undergraduate at Yale University, and continued his medical illustration while earning his medical degree at Columbia University.

Dr. Root has published several medical textbooks, including the popular “OphthoBook.com” which is available for free online and has been downloaded by 300-thousand visitors over the past decade. He is frequently requested to speak at medical schools world wide. Video recordings of his medical lectures are available online and have been watched over four-million times on YouTube … making him one of the most popular eye lecturers in the world.

Tim Root’s quest to make ophthalmology not suck so bad.

Scleral Wall is elastic

Welcome fellow student … or perhaps I should say pupil! You’ve just discovered the coolest website for the beginning eye student. My name is Tim Root, and I built this site to help other students learn about the eye. This website contains video lectures and books that are perfect for the struggling student who needs to learn ophthalmology/optometry as quickly as possible.

It sucks to be a student.

As a medical student, I found ophthalmology intimidating and difficult to grasp. Rather than teach me basics, my preceptors seemed to imply that EVERYTHING was important. This was obviously not true. I remember being sent to the library to spend hours studying the effects of homocysteinemia on the eye – a condition that I haven’t seen ONCE during my residency training or in my busy private practice. An unfocused, tangential approach like this is paralyzing and inefficient for the new student.

My impression of a confused medical student. Maybe I should have used a stock photo.

New students (that’s YOU, right?) need simple explanations. This is especially true when it comes to the eye, as none of your prior education is applicable to the eyeball. How are you supposed to sort the important facts from the dross when you’ve never been exposed to this field before?  

Unfortunately, as a student I simply couldn’t find any good ophthalmology resources. The internet was just starting (no YouTube or Facebook) and the books at my local bookstore were unreadable – written at an advanced level to help senior residents pass their board certifications. These massive tomes were filled with obscure facts bearing little relevance to real life and just weren’t appropriate for a beginner.

Big Book
Most ophthalmology textbooks look like this.

You need simple explanations!

Or at least, I did when I was a student.  There’s nothing as terrifying as the first few months in an ophthalmology clinic.  I was thrown into an exam room and expected to diagnose patients. None of my prior studies had prepared me for this task.  I didn’t know how to use the slit lamp microscope. I wasn’t even sure how to check vision.

Cartoon of confused eye studentAs straightforward as these questions sound, nobody ever writes this basic stuff down. Want to learn about antibiotics for the eye?  Good luck!  Pharmacology textbooks won’t help you – they can teach you about fluoroquinolone inhibition of DNA gyrase … but what medicine do you give for pink eye?

Ocular basics are usually learned the hard way.  Students bumble through the eye clinic for months as they learn through trial and error. A difficult time, indeed, especially with those senior doctors harassing you.

Medicine can be harsh for the uninitiated.

As an ophthalmology resident, I felt bad for the “normal” students rotating through our department. Ophthalmology is woefully untaught in medical schools, and yet we still expect these poor students to know everything.  Some even take pleasure in asking students trivia and watching them squirm and stammer out wrong answers.

Student being abused cartoon

I watched with disappointment as students cycled through our clinics, excited to leave the world of eye disease.  Ophthalmology gets a bad rap in medical school. It’s obtuse.  It’s obscure. The eye is an “island unto itself” that is rarely involved with mainstream medicine.

The Happy Happy Fun Time Book for Easily Bored Students

My first book began as a cheat sheet that I gave to medical students so they wouldn’t feel like idiots in our clinic. I focused on situations we dealt with daily, including the favorite “pimp questions” the attendings liked to ask. Every month a new crop of “ocular noobs” rotated through my department so I expanded the printout into a short booklet of tips and tricks.

The original happy ophthalmology book
The first draft that I gave to medical students.

I called this booklet the Happy Happy Fun Time Guide to Ophthalmology. A silly name perhaps, but students loved it. At least, I think they did.  It’s hard to tell with medical students as savvy trainees quickly learn to feign interest in such things in order to survive.

Either way, the booklet eventually became large enough to call it a “book,” and I published it online under the name OphthoBook.

Despite being self-published, this little textbook is still my best seller. The book is completely “craptastic” – filled with amateurish cartoons, typos, and poor typography. Seriously, I cringe with embarrassment every time I look through it. My newer books are better, but people still love OphthoBook, warts and all.

The book consistently ranks as a top-seller on Amazon and the free PDF has been downloaded over 400-thousand times. It may be the most read beginner ophthalmology book of all time. Not because the book is amazing … but because it is easy, short, and extremely relevant. And free. Did I mention that the PDF is free to download?  

BestSellerDo you love complexity? Or simplicity?

This may be a blunt observation, but I believe students (and people generally) fall into two types:

  1. People who love complexity
  2. People who love simplicity


Most academic professors I’ve met fall into the first category. Academic doctors love the complexity of the human body and happily delve into the minutia of ocular disease. They research complex ways to explain biology and delight in discovering obscure associations.

There is nothing wrong with this – a willingness to embrace complexity is what generates basic science and medical progress.

Unfortunately, introductory textbooks are written by the same academics and follow the same confusing approach. Most textbooks are extremely long, detailed, and spend inordinate time explaining interesting (and obscure) diseases. For example: there are ten different corneal dystrophies. Most are rare and you’ll never see them during your entire career. Nonetheless, beginner textbooks devote entire chapters to these zebras.

If you are a complexity-loving student – more power to you. You will do great in ophthalmology and make major contributions to our field.  I recommend you spend your time studying traditional textbooks on this subject: check out Yanoff, Kanski, and the incredibly dry (but all-inclusive) home study course put out by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Simpletons like me

Rather than search for higher levels of complexity, I prefer to simplify my understanding of the eye into broader frameworks. Metaphor and analogy are my best friends.

       The lens has layers like a peanut M&M candy.   

             The vitreous is like a bowl of Jello dessert that’s been drying out in the sun.

                 The eye is about one inch long … the same length as a gorilla’s penis.

Picture of King Kong's penis - the same size as his eye.
King Kong’s penis is approximately 100 inches (8 feet) long.

These comparisons may seem “easy” but they are extremely useful. Learning ophthalmology is like building a house. You have to establish a basic foundation of knowledge before building higher level concepts.  

In other words … it is HARD to learn new things in isolation.

It’s EASIER to learn things when they are similar to “stuff” you already know.

Medicine is a long road and students know a LOT of basic science … but little of that knowledge is relevant to the eye.  Why not build your ocular foundation upon easy metaphors that anyone can comprehend?  Like the famous football coach Vince Lombardi once said:  You gotta learn the fundamentals!

And the fundamentals are what I like to teach.

My style isn’t for everyone!

I still occasionally come across students who are born complexity-loving academics. These students would rather dive right into the encyclopedic fountain of knowledge and consume traditional textbooks as fast as possible.

More power to you guys … but my way is easier. And a lot funner!


My BackstorySo what else can I say? If you’ve read this far, you must be really bored. Or a potential stalker, so I might as well keep going, right?

Let’s see. I was raised in Daytona Beach, Florida by two middle-class working parents. My father was an accountant for NASCAR who eventually worked for our local community college. My mother worked as a proof-reader and administrator at the same college.

Middle school. Yikes.

I went to public high school as an above-average student. I played trumpet in the band and joined the football team in a misguided attempt to meet girls (it didn’t work). I was an eagle scout and played Dungeons and Dragons with the smart kids in my neighborhood. This did not the impress girls, either. Nor did my high school comic strip Amoeba Pig!  

This one got me in trouble with the principle.

A certain degree of social ineptitude is good for a kid. In my case, it kept me home at nights and I somehow managed to get into Yale for college.

Daytona Boy Visits Yale University

Yale was an interesting experience for a kid like me. Many of my fellow students came from prep schools and the sheer amount of talent was incredible. Half of my roommates were valedictorians, and several of my classmates were Olympic athletes.  I on the other hand, liked to doodle cartoons and not talk to girls.

Cartoon of alligator circumcision
A short-lived cartoon in the Yale Herald … what was I thinking?

Most of the rich* kids came from money and seemed to gravitate toward finance or creative endeavors. They became entrepreneurs, investment bankers, and real estate tycoons.  They probably rule the world right now.

The rest of us “poor kids” went into law and medicine – a difficult but predictable pathway to financial security.

* Poor and rich are used in relative terms, here. The average family income for Yale students was 250k a year. That’s about five times higher than the national average.  

With no other career ambitions I went to medical school in an attempt to find my destiny. It seemed like a good idea.  My parents were proud.

That’s when things went downhill …   

Medical School Really Sucked

I ended up at Columbia University in New York City.

Medical school was pretty awful for me. For one thing, I really was poor at this point. I was out of cash, living week to week off credit cards, sharing a subsidized apartment with two girls (who i was afraid to talk to).

Rare picture of me studying in the Arm and Hammer Library. That portable CD player was high-tech back then.

Despite maxing out my federal and private loans, my mother had to take a second job selling underwear at JC Penney to keep me afloat. I ate a lot of Ramen noodles and I had no friends. My clinic rotations involved some of the nastiest wards in the city. I’m still amazed I didn’t contract tuberculosis.

Teaching hospitals tend to be in the worst part of towns, and I lived in a ghetto. Dog poop on every sidewalk and trash in every gutter. I was nervous to leave my apartment after dark and I fell asleep every night to the sound of car alarms.

My impression of New York

It could have been worse, of course.  I wasn’t living on the streets, and I wasn’t dealing with a terminal illness. But medical school was not what I expected and I went to bed every night with a sick feeling in my gut that I had made a serious mistake.  

It started with Dr. Oz

My medical career didn’t start off well, and it began with my faculty adviser. I was assigned to Mehmet Oz (before he became famous) who was on staff with Columbia’s cardiology department.  

As I remember it, Dr. Oz gave me his business card and told me he was pretty busy. I was to “call him” if I had any problems. I never heard from him again and I was too shy to cold-call a busy cardiologist with my career misgivings.

A few years later Oz went mainstream with his books and eventually “jumped the shark” into the realm of holistic pseudoscience.  But I digest.

I rotated through various specialties with a sense of dread.  Nothing in medicine appealed to me. The coursework was dense and poorly taught. Columbia has some of the best scientists in the world … but a brilliant doctor is NOT the same as a brilliant teacher. I would have preferred the latter.

Clinical rotations were worse –  I’d never worked on a hospital floor before, much less an inner city hospital. These places are cesspits of overworked housestaff and pompous egomaniacs. I was exposed to the most malignant and miserable people on the planet. Attendings belittled me and residents were too busy to teach. Nurses yelled at me for the tiniest infraction. One time a janitor at Harlem Hospital cussed me out. I still don’t know why. Nobody else cared.

I kept my head down and tried to stay invisible. For a sensitive guy like me – medical school was hell.

But what to do?

Time to Quit?

I almost quit, student loans be damned. I would have quit if I could think of anything else I could do. I didn’t want to break my mother’s heart. I’m not the suicidal type (that’s the coward’s route) but if I had to work the rest of my life in one of those hospitals … that would be a fate worse than death for me.

One day the dean of Columbia medical school called me into her office. I was obviously depressed and it was affecting my performance. She asked me if I was “cut out” for medicine. Was this even the right field for me? She told me I needed more hedonism in my life.

What an odd thing to say to a young student. Hedonism? Was I supposed to snort cocaine and party like a rockstar? I couldn’t afford hedonism … even if I wanted it!

hedonism robotApparently, I needed to find another outlet. I was at risk of “burning out’ before I even got started. I needed a project. Something creative to do outside of the hospital to keep me sane.

Medicine is not particularly creative.  

Medical school is the antithesis of creativity. Medicine primarily involves memorization (student), technique mastery (surgeon), and pattern recognition (clinician).

There are very few creative outlets in healthcare outside of research and writing – both activities out of reach for a lowly student.

I didn’t have this problem in college. As an undergraduate, I could sate my creative appetite on various projects – I drew cartoons for the school newspaper and designed flyers for parties and charity events. I took music classes and gave volunteer piano lessons to kids.

I used to watercolor … this is a prototype for a children’s book I wrote in college.

But in medical school?  Forget about it!  Creativity is not a skill set valued in a medical student.

So I looked outside of medicine for opportunities …

A terrible cartoonist is born!

I began drawing cartoons and submitting them to local trade magazines. A large number of trade journals are based out of New York City, and many of them will publish cartoons their readership might enjoy. The bigger ones, such as The New Yorker, are extremely competitive. The smaller journals are much easier to break into.

I had some experience with cartoons, having drawn a short series for my college newspaper, so I began to make submissions. In short order, I made a sale! How exciting! An outlet for my creativity that made money and got me a publication!

It was a small thing, that first check. I only made fifty dollars … but that check was a symbol for me. A sign that I could do something besides general medicine.  Maybe a new career?  Or at least a “side hustle” to keep me sane.

Cartoon of Rubix Cubicle from the Boston Book Review
This cartoon made me $25 … and it ONLY took me four hours to draw!

But most cartoonists live in their mother’s basement. That’s all they can afford.

Freelance cartoon royalties were terrible. A hundred dollars here. A hundred there. It was obvious that I’d never make a living as a cartoonist unless I broke into the big time like the New Yorker or Playboy (not likely).  Even successful cartoonists barely scrape by. Few cartoonists reach syndication status. Charles Schulz I am not.

Plus, I was still knee-deep in my training and hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.

What to do? I needed to build something to stimulate my creative drive and make some money. I turned to the internet.

This was my business card in medical school … what a goober!

My first online business

I started medical school in 1998.  That doesn’t seem like long ago, but the internet was a different beast back then. This was the first time I had an email address and unrestricted access to the internet. Yahoo was the dominant search engine. Google wasn’t around and YouTube hadn’t been invented, yet. Facebook wouldn’t arrive for years.  

However, websites were being born, MySpace was cool, and the dot-com bubble was in full swing!  I learned basic HTML and started my first website, selling glow-in-the-dark paint that my brother mixed in his garage.  I saved money and bought a couple of domain names.

Dot-com names were expensive back then, as ICANN hadn’t yet opened up the field to registrars like GoDaddy.  Domain names cost $70 each through network solutions and Yahoo wanted hundreds of dollars to be listed in their stupid web-directory. That was a lot of cash for a student like me.

Despite my limited capital, I built a website for our glowing paint business and it took off. We made a handsome profit every month. I was in charge of the website and collecting sales and my brother would ship out the paint from his local post office every weekend.

The paint is amazing!!!

Then we started getting orders from overseas. We had to learn shipping and tax laws for mailing flammable paint across borders.  There was the corporate structure, documentation, and tax forms to figure out as well.

One day, a law-firm ordered a bunch of our paint and we got nervous about liability.  Then a Chinese manufacturer copied our web-design and product packaging.  

I realized that physical products were a pain in the butt. Physical goods are expensive, hard to patent and easy to duplicate by competitors.  

The glowing paint business was taking too much of my limited spare time. I was supposed to be learning histology, not writing sales copy and running customer support!

Plus, it was a little dull.  How much copywriting and marketing can you do for glowing paint before you start getting bored with it?  I didn’t want to give up on medicine to become a paint salesman. One of the reasons I went to medical school was in an attempt to have some relevance to my life. To do something meaningful.  

I didn’t think paint would do that for me. So I closed it down and switched to digital products.  

The next creative project … online training videos

As a medical student, I had neither the time nor resources to fully capitalize on the internet.  Still, I found it fascinating as a publishing medium for books and video. My brief foray into cartoon publication taught me that traditional media (print magazines, journals, etc.) was a hard road to success.  Traditional publications employ editors that act as gatekeepers.

But online, you don’t have editors. You can publish anything you want to the internet. Perhaps I could create my own video training course and sell it online!   

I created a website called MightyCoach and made two products – a short video series on how to edit movies using MovieMaker and another on how to use PowerPoint.

You can still see the old website at MightyCoach.com

The PowerPoint course bombed (too much competition) but the video editing series sold quite well.  Enough to bolster my monthly finances and give me some breathing room to study.  The course continued to generate passive income for another eight years, even after I moved on to better things.  

Despite my success, I didn’t think I could hack it teaching software full time. Other websites were popping up that did it better (visit lynda.com) and I was only an expert with a few programs.

This was a problem of scarcity … or a lack of it. Anyone can make a screencapture video. The barriers to entry for basic software instruction is very low – a high school student with a computer could replicate what I had done.

I needed to find a niche that used ALL my skill set that couldn’t be easily duplicated.

Is there a way to combine YOUR TALENTS into a niche YOU can dominate?

Maybe there was a way to combine my burgeoning web/multimedia interests (low barrier to entry) with my medical studies (high barrier of entry). How many doctors could there be who knew how to illustrate, make websites, and edit videos?  

Not many. Not back then.

I decided to become a medical educator.

Columbia’s Informatics Team

I convinced my dean to let me work with Columbia’s informatics team – a group of designers who were responsible for the medical school’s websites, training programs, and multimedia assets.  

For two whole months I got to work in an office with a bunch of “artists” and it was amazing! These designers were happy. They were nice. They didn’t belittle me and they didn’t have a chip on their shoulder. Plus, they got to use their creativity to design things!

Snapshot from an early video recording. I was learning to talk in front of a camera.

I was the first medical student to take an informatics rotation, so I tried to make the most of it. I took online crash courses and taught myself Photoshop, Premiere, Dreamweaver, and Adobe Illustrator.  I improved my HTML skills and learned to edit video using professional software. I worked on my drawing and painting technique.

I was learning to teach, to communicate, to produce … but I was still in search of a meaningful topic to teach about.

Until one day, finally …


In my final year of medical school I rotated through Columbia’s ophthalmology department and I was hooked. I finally found a field of medicine aligned with my interests!

Timothy Root, M.D.
Why can’t these kids read good?

Ophthalmology is pretty neat! The eye exam is fun and you get to use microscopes to examine cool anatomy. Unlike internal medicine, you get to actually SEE what you’re treating.

You get to do delicate surgery. There isn’t a lot of blood involved and you aren’t stuck in the operating room for hours. Surgical results are quick and patients are happy.

You don’t have to give rectal exams or look at people’s genitalia. You don’t have to work in a hospital.

Best of all … nobody ever dies. This was a big deal for me. I was in tears the first time I watched someone gasp to death in the ICU. It still haunts me.

It’s different, too!

Ophthalmology is unlike any other field in medicine.  The eyeball is so different and unconnected from medical school, that most students shy away from it. It’s foreign.  

I found this isolation a boon! Here was a field that I could learn from the “ground up” and be really good at it!  My lackluster medical interest up to this point wouldn’t be a hindrance. I could restart and reboot my medical career. This was a niche I could master and eventually teach.

I dove in and did my best! As I’ve already discussed, there weren’t a lot of great resources for new students, so I had to muddle my way through. I made a lot of mistakes and wasted my limited funds on confusing textbooks from the school’s bookstore.

I ran across a few malignant personalities, but by and large, eye doctors are a happy lot.

I picked ophthalmology very late in my training and so didn’t have much time to line up a residency position. My classmates had spent years studying and preparing for this. They had research papers, chapter publications, and had cozied up to key faculty members. They arranged their “away rotations” in prestigious eye clinics to improve their interview portfolio. I think they even had an ophthalmology club and a support group.  

No such luck for me … I was late to the game and had to scramble into ophthalmology like a drowning man clawing his way onto the last lifeboat! I finally got into a residency position, thank goodness. But if I had known ophthalmology was my destiny, I would have approached medical school much differently and been better prepared.

I would have been happier, too, knowing that there was a light at the end of the tunnel.

Eye Residency Was Awesome

I ended up at an ophthalmology program at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta.  I spent four years in that town and loved it all. Good things happened (I fell in love for the first time), bad things happened (my heart was crushed for the first time), but mostly I grew up and became an eye doctor.

I wear the “long coat” for the first time. Needs ironing.

I had a lot of hiccups learning ophthalmology. It took me some time to get into the groove. I will always be thankful for the preceptors who took me under their wing and gave me a chance to prove myself.

Looking back, I realize that this was one of the happiest times of my life. Residency is a lot better than medical school. You work harder, but at least you have a defined job and expectations. Your performance is no longer determined by your ability to feign interest.  

Augusta was a fun little town.

Lots of canoeing in Augusta.

On weekends we’d canoe down the Savanna river and cook out on the rocks that jutted up from the white water. Tuesday nights were reserved for a tiny little Irish bar where the residents were serenaded by an infectious disease attending. He had the voice of an angel. A drunk, Irish angel.

I finally lost my fear of girls! Turns out I DID need some hedonism in my life!

The camaraderie you build with your fellow residents is powerful thing and you’ll never have anything quite like it ever again. I still miss those days. But you can never go back, can you?

The time I thought it would be cool to dress up as Nacho Libre for Halloween. I … um … purposely gained weight for the part.

What about these days?

I lucked out and joined a great ophthalmology group right out residency. Back in my home town, no less. I’ve been in private practice for nine years now. My group has doubled in size over the past decade. We’ve added optometrists and subspecialists and provide the majority of medical and surgical eye care for the greater Daytona Beach area.

I married my wife Catherine five years ago. She’s a banking lawyer who is much better at confrontation than I am. She has taught me a lot – I rarely pee on the toilet seat anymore. Catherine was a widow when I met her, with a little boy. He is now my son as well and he’s nine years old.  We had another child two years ago. Life is good and I feel blessed to have such a family.  

My family! Move your head back and forth … the baby’s eyes follow you. Creepy, right?

But what about the teaching?

Over the past eight years I’ve written a number of medical books, some geared toward students and others written for my patients. I’m about to release a new series of science fiction books geared toward young adults. I’m not sure if they’re any good, but novel writing has always been on my bucket list of things to try.  Here’s the back cover in case you’re interested (click to enlarge):

The book is basically Iron Man … if Tony Stark was only 12-years old and like fart jokes.

Private practice has given me the opportunity to pursue a ton of fun projects, and my creative hunger has been thoroughly sated. Thanks to the internet, I can leverage my efforts and educate as many students as I want! I have no editors or academic affiliations to worry about, which gives me a great amount of freedom in how I teach.

For example: if I want to dress up like a superhero to explain cranial nerve palsies, I can do so without reprisal from an academic governing board. It’s a wonderful thing being a free agent.

My biggest hurdle these days is finding a healthy work-life balance … a common problem for all professionals, I suppose. I still haven’t figured it out, but I’m trying. Work is good and I enjoy what I do, though grinding through 200+ patient encounters  a week can be exhausting.

Become an eye doctor! “See” the world!

If you are considering a career in this field, I say go for it!  Medicine can be a tough road (it was for me) but it is getting better.  Schools are embracing the online world of “new media” and I believe the quality of medical education is improving every year.  Younger doctors are improving the academic landscape of medical school and the trickle-down culture of abuse is evaporating.  

Looking back, I realize that many of the roadblocks I faced were self-created. Perhaps medical school wasn’t that bad. My tribulations may have been generated from my own self-doubt and quiet nature.

Ultimately, the biggest challenges we face in life are the ones inside of us. I almost missed out on this amazing career. Don’t let your personal doubts hold you back.

Thank you!

I wish you much success in your future endeavors. Whether you become an ophthalmologist, optometrist, or a technician … the eye has a lot to offer us all.  There is much satisfaction to be gained by improving people’s vision.   

Thank you for taking the time to read my story. If you’ve read this far, please feel free to drop me a line sometime. I’d love to hear your story, too.

~ Tim Root


  1. Dear Tim ,
    i like to congratulate you for this nice work.
    iam pediatric ophthalmology fellow and i watch all your clips , its very nice and very helpful. and i enjoy watching all of them
    my best wishes for you were you go
    Fahad alwadani ,MD

  2. Tim,
    What an extraordinarily benevolent person you must be. This is an incredible work. I just finished watching the “Anatomy of the Eye” video, and I’m sure that I’ll watch all of them as I find time.

    I had an Inferior Turbinate Reduction procedure done on me about 15 days ago. During the days immediately following it, I was frequently getting puffs of air coming from the punctum area of my right eye when I blew my nose. I was very worried that the Dr. had punctured something, and I was in serious trouble.

    After reading your answer about how and where the nasolacrimal duct drains, and watching the “Anatomy of the Eye” video, my mind is at ease. I was really, really worried.

    Thank you for your excellent work.

    Karl Martin

  3. Great job Tim. I will be recommending your site to all my students. Billing and coding personnel need to learn the clinical side as well and your information is short, concise and to the point. A great introduction to the topic.

    Like the cartoons.

    Jeffrey Restuccio, CPC, CPC-H, Coding and Billing Consultant for Eyecare

  4. Dear Tim,
    I’m genior resident of ophthalmology !
    thank U on this (free) website
    very simple lectures in writing & explainations
    But where U are resident ? what’s actually textbooks U use ?
    Best Wishes 4 U

  5. Dear Tim,

    I am a student optometry from Holland and I bumped on your site by google. You did great work with this website its a great and easy to follow, i would say go on with your work and i am sure that i will use your website a lot for easy refreshment.

    Good Job!

  6. dear tim
    thanks a lot you did a great job i would like to congratulat you for this job i am an ophtalmic nurse really you helped me a lot for more understanding and more information i need i wish this site will stay free thank you

  7. Dear Tim,
    will use this valuable source to teach our PA students. You did a such great job.
    May God continue to bless your passion.

    Ng, Hoikee PA-C
    Assistant Professor
    Nova Southeastern University.

  8. tim your effoets are really admirable. i wanted to do these things with medicine.u made eye very easy and understandable i really apprecite ur endeavour. tim please tell me how to download these videos because i donot have internet access at my home please send me these videos to my email address drbilal_g1@yahoo.com. with great regards Muhammad Bilal
    Final year mbbs
    Gomal Medical College

  9. i am a third year medical student from india and i ve seen all ur videos..they r amazing n very useful..thanks n keep up the good work!!!!

  10. Dr. Tim ,
    Thank you so much for sharing your excellent work. As a certified ophthalmic technician with 15 years experience, I have found this site to be extraordinarily helpful when training new staff as well as supplementing my own continued education.


  11. I am a med student from Romania and I have my ophthalmo exam this friday. My teacher’s book is really boring and your videos made me really want to read it, although is truly madly deeply realy boring. I belive you like your job and that makes me think really beautiful things about you as a professional. I would like my teachers to be more like you, I mean I wish teachers to be teachers not only readers, writers and doctors. I think you will become a really good teacher.


  12. Dr. Root,

    Just wanted to say a quick thanks for offering this free and informative website to all of us interested in ophthalmology. As a med student, visiting this site from time to time allows me to keep a general understanding of ophthalmology fresh in my mind, and your approach to explaining the material is one of a kind. I look forward to future works.

  13. I’m an anesthetic registrar. I found your website excellent to brush-up on some of my examining skills. Well done. Your tensilon comment completely cracked me up.

  14. I’m a third year medical student doing a surgical elective in ophtho right now, and it’s been hard finding good basic information on physical exam technique and interpreting findings. Thanks so much for this great resource!

  15. thanks so much for creating this website, I’m in the process of taking my COA, and this website has allow me to become more focus on learning this material. I have read books and even tried other online teaching material but this has been the best so far. I hope u Continue to help upcoming students.


  16. Hi, I’m a med student from Puerto Rico and I found your site looking for something else, and I’ve got to tell you, I love it! you’ve really make these subjects so simple and fun to learn.
    Thanks a lot for taking the time to put this together

  17. You should be a millionare! You’r incredible! I have been in the field since 1993 and I have pretty much taught myself. I have never come across such wonderful teaching material as this. I love to laugh and reading your work as kept me entertained as well as taught me a few things I haven’t yet learned. You have renewed my spirit for this field.

    Kuddos to you for being a wonderful-funny-smart Doctor. Not like the others with no sense of humor. I have spent hundreds of dollars over the years on books. Hundreds….and this was FREE!! This is all I ever needed. Shucks, the newbies out there really have it made!!

    Thanks again for being such and awesome MD!!

    Start charging……

  18. dr tim,

    just the intro will keep you go on..ophthalmology explained in a very uncomplicated way..hope you will continue this endeavor for you are helping lots of people in this profession..God bless..thanks

  19. hey doc!grt job…what’s amazing is that even after u know d subject in such great detail n entirety,u can [and u DO]still simplify it…n it put it across in d most unique of ways..it’s always a pleasure to learn ophtho this way ..

  20. Dear Tim,
    I’m a medicine student from The Netherlands and I’ve learned so much of your video’s. The way you offer the theory is great. I’ll introduce your site to more students in The Netherlands.

  21. Dear Dr. Root,

    I am a 4th year portuguese medical student and I just want to tell you how great and how helpful your website is!
    Thank you so much for making all this for free…
    I wish you all the best and may God bless you.

    Thank you very much,

    Lisa :o)

  22. I think you are wonderful for keeping this up for free. I looked for you on FaceBook, but your not there. It would be cool to be your friend.


  23. Dear Tim,
    I came across your website through a video I watched on youtube… and am I happy I did. Although I haven’t gone through all the material yet, I must say that I am impressed with the work you’ve put into it. Very helpfulfor me as a resident in ophthalmology. Thanks alot and keep up the good work!

    Best wishes,
    Dr. Singh

  24. I am an medical student from Brazil, and I have found this website very very helpful for my residence in ophthalmology. Thank you very much for this material and for making this free !!


  25. Great site..no doubt
    thanks so much Dr Tim for understanding what Jr ophthalmologist needs ..ur site is just amazing & once u get the information it’s pretty hard to forget it 🙂
    God bless

  26. Thanks a lot!
    I used your video for a preparation for an exam in school and it was very helpful + easy to understand, though my mother language is not english…

  27. Dear Dr. Root,

    Thank you so much for creating this incredible resource and making it available to medical students for free! I’m currently taking an ophthalmology elective and your website has been far more useful, engaging, and informative than any textbook I’ve read on the subject. I wish there were similar resources available for all my rotations. Thanks again,


  28. Thanks so much for this amazing website! I’m a PA student and your videos were SO helpful in clearing up ophthalmology. My classmates and professor all appreciate the site.

  29. Thanks so much for this amazing website and helping me to understeand ophthalmology….I’ve been desperately looking for an illustrated, simple yet clear explanation medical book… i’ve never across this type of book…it is fantastic….i like to congratulate TOM for this nice work

  30. Dear Dr. Root,

    Thank you so very much for this wonderful website! I recently started my job as an ophthalmic technician and the ophthobook and videos really helped me. Thanks again.

  31. Dear Tim,
    I don’t know how can I express my feelings for your work.
    I want these videos for me and my students.
    How can I down load these wonderful teaching videos! Or,
    Will you send me through e mail, Please ?

    Thanks a lot.

    Dr. S A Moktad Razu
    Asst Prof of Ophthalmology
    Jalalabad Ragib Rabeya Medical College, Sylhet, Bangladesh.

  32. Thanks so much for this easy to understand format. As an outpatient coder for a hospital I found this very helpful in explaining the anatomy and disease of the eye. It was exactly what I needed to fully comprehend what was happening to the patient so that I can understand how the physician was treating them to correctly code each case. Thanks so much…you may have more of a market out there then you thought! Coding education regarding the eye and its diseases and procedures isn’t easy to find! Anytime you want to travel to Illinois to educate coders I have plenty of willing participants! Thanks again!


  33. Dr. Root,
    This website is brilliant. I am doing a senior student elective in ophtho and it is my primary resource. I find it especially useful because I am not entering ophtho as a specialty, but I want to be able to communicate with them clearly when I consult from the ED. I’ve never found the subject matter so relatable before. Thank you.

  34. Dear Tim,

    I cannot thank you enough!! As a medical student I am currently studying for finals. Your very visual methods and humour make learning about the eye (and particularly CN palsies) both understandable and interesting.

    Thanks so much, keep up the excellent work. Will recommend the site to my friends.

  35. Dear Tim,
    Thank you for your superb presentation which I found after undergoing eye surgery recently. I spent 40 years of my life in teaching and in developing instructional materials for college students, and therefor I am all the more impressed with your excellent work. Keep it up!

  36. I started 4 hours ago watching the videos and i can’t stop, i just can NOT!.

    I read the pdf chapter and then watch the video.

    It’s more entertaining than watching last’s Dr House season!

    I really thank you all this material.


    Diego, from south america.

    Bye!, lecture 9 is wating for me.

  37. Dear Tim,
    as obviously many others before I am impressed by your work and unbelievably lucky to have found it 1 week before my final ophtha oral exams for the swiss “staatsexamen”.
    You are not just a great presenter, but the structure of you’re texts and videos is just outstanding.
    So thank you very very much!

  38. Dear Tim, this is indeed a great thing you did. Wish the other specialties would do the same. I love the way you present it that even non-doctors would be able to understand them. And the pictures and videos showing actual cases, very informative and really get to appreciate the field and the study. Congratulations on a job well done and indeed you have done good to A LOT of people both doctors and non-doctors. Thanks a whole lot and again, congratulations!!!!

  39. Thank you so much for such concise and factual knowledge. Your explanations are simple and helpful to a beginner. I am
    using your work as a training tool to suppliment my one-on-one training with new ophthalmic assistants in our office.

    I also found your flashcard questions a good review for myself despite the fact that I am a COT. Thank you!

  40. Hi Tim,

    Can I just say that you have absolutely saved my ass. I have a 4 week ophtho rotation coming up and was panicking about how to learn the material – you’re website has definitely given me a massive leg up! Congrats and thanks.

    London, UK

  41. Dear Tim,
    Thanks so much for this material. it was really so magnanimous of you to put this up free. i was getting painful double vision from trying to read an approach to diplopia but ur neuro-opthalmo lecture saved my ass.
    i’m in my final year and i was fretting +++
    hope this stays free! all the best to you


  42. Dear Sir,
    I’m a 3rd year medical student in India. I would like to thank you & congratulate you again for such a wonderful portal of Ophthal knowledge!
    Every word that you utter definitely ‘sinks in’, trust me!;D

    Raviteja Innamuri
    Kasturba Medical College, Manipal

  43. I have to say this one super resource. I’m a student in my ophthalmology rotation and this is pretty invaluable! I cannot commend it enough!

  44. Thank you or your impressive work! The cartoons are really cute and funny. It is really kind that you are providing all this for free. Thanks again.

  45. This is a terrific resource. I am a long-practicing pediatrician and have wished for exactly this kind of resource. It has been a very nice review for me, and is perfect as a teaching tool for a subset of parents who wish to learn more about various topics including this particularly difficult one. I know everyone out here shares my experience that you are a gifted teacher. Thank you for your selflessness in sharing this with the community.

  46. I’m a practising optometrist from Sydney, Australia. I’m amazed at how simple and fun you’ve made the material. Wish I had this during Uni !

    Keep up the awesome work 🙂

  47. I am a 4th year MBBS student from LUMHS Pakistan, i was looking for something which covers the basics of ophthalmology and your lectures and videos saved me, amazing work. Thank u so much for this site and i must appreciate all the hard work u put in it
    God bless 🙂

  48. sir iam a ist year ms student from india i found ur work extremely useful.u just simplified ophthal.hope ull continue the same..thank u sooooooooooo much

  49. hi dr tim, From Perú, congratulations for this web site, it will be useful for our students and optometrist here. I´ll share this page for them. I.ll be sure they like this.
    Thank you for making teaching easier.

  50. Thank you so much! Your website is amazing! I’m a med student and I use it to prepare for my exams!
    Btw, do you know if there are other textbook of that kind for other medical subjects? (like dermatology, orthopedics, etc.) that would help me a lot 😉

  51. Dr. Tim,
    great piece of work!Very well conceived .May I make a few corrections- the superior rectus is an adductor – brings the eye towards the nose .And so is the inferior rectus.The obliques are abductors -the superior oblique is actually called the “cheating muscle”!.It takes the eye down and out.BUT testing of the superior and inferior rectus is done in the out position , because in this position the obliques can’t elevate or depress the eye.
    Also in your example of the patient with diplopia and hearing loss ,you mentioned 7th nerve involvement-shouldn’t be 8th nerve?

  52. i am a pharmacy student and the information here helped me a lot to understand some infections .
    that is a great effort ,thanks a lot.

  53. Hello Tim,

    I am an Optometrist from Philippines. I will be taking a licensure exam with the Department of Health in Dubai to legally practice my profession there. As for now I am having self review and I am thankful to found your videos in youtube and went to your website to check other videos and lectures.

    Congratulations for a great job, and thank you so much.

    Best Regards,


  54. Hi Tim.
    Greetings from Northern Ireland.
    I’ve learnt more watching your lectures in one afternoon than 3 years at University! The Simple way you explain binocular vision anomalies and everything else for that matter is truly refreshing!

  55. Dr.Tim
    I’m an intern and preparing for ophthalmology residency exam with only 2 weeks left and this is the best site to cover most of the topics,
    thank you very much for your accomplishment
    congratulation and wish you the best

  56. Dear dr Tim
    I am an ophthalmologist from india,presently working as lecturer in a medical university in malaysia.I have found ur lectures&videos superb.U r gr8 teacher.Thankyou very much 4this website.

  57. Dear Dr. Tim,

    I am an ophthalmic assistant in new jersey. I stumbled across this website and i was so into the videos and the way that you explained everything. I literally stood up the whole night and watched every single video on your site.
    Thank you!….

  58. Hi, Doctor Tim

    I just wanted to thank you for your marvelous videos, its helping me through my first ophtalmo class.

    Blessings from Mexico

  59. Dear Tim,
    I really enjoyed your videos during my exam preparation. Thank you a lot and please continue with your online lectures!

  60. Dear Dr ROOT,

    I would like to tell you how much your books and videos were helpfull.
    I work in an Optician Training Service.
    Every day, i give your website to the opticians who wants to understand optometry in an easy way.
    For my part I took back my retinoscop full of dust and start training dynamic skiascopy.

    Best regards from Paris, FRANCE.

    Krimo DAIRI.

  61. LOVE this! Would love to have you lecture at one my meetings-either at our annual meeting, which is held in conjunction with the AAO’s annual meeting, or at one of my 16 regional meetings this year-I have one in Orlando, June 22 & 23, in conjunction with the FSO meeting! Please contact me!! Thanks.

  62. Hi Tim,

    I am a neurologist in the UK and have been using your website for the last few years. It is nothing short of brilliant – no neurology textbook comes close to it….and I’ve been a doctor for a decade so I’ve read a few! The cartoons and videos are simply genius – I recommend your lectures to all my students and every time I pick an extraocular palsy I have you to thank!


  63. Hi Tim, just wanted to thank you for your amazing work. I’m a med student (just about to become a full MD)from Argentina and your videos made me understand and love ophthalmology. No textbook is as good as your lectures.
    Congrats for your work and its success, you really deserve it!
    Best wishes


  64. the videos are so good i neednt read my text book…im an undergrad from india going for my opthal exam and the truth is opthal was never so interesting.. u sure made it more fun :).. thanks a lot and do keep making more videos


  66. sir i s.k tiwari from India is medical student of ancient medicine and surgery of India(AYURVEDA).I can say just about to you that you provided everything in the short.nothing is dropped .I have to say something about you that you are amazing

  67. dear tim

    thank you very much for producing these excellent resources and for making available to so many for free

    they have really helped me

    best wishes

  68. hello tim,
    i am preparing for my masters in opthalmology and i happened to see your online book and lectures . i read through the entire lectures in couple of hours and i realised that may be if your objective was to introduce ophthalmology making the subject easy and interesting you not only succeeded in your attempt but you have done a great job. Congratulations

  69. See that long list of countries that have thankful medical students you just saved from failing? Add Sudan to that list. Thank you for this website, thank you for the videos… and I’ll buy your book when I can. Thank you again, you’re awesome (and cute!).

  70. respected sir
    i don’t know where to ask a question so i am writing it in your comment box…
    may u please tell me why can’t i use a retinoscope to do ophthalmoscopy and vice versa

    i have tried many online and offline resources but could not understand… please e-mail me if u see this and like to reply… thank you sir

  71. hi im a trainee contact lens student from the uk. i have to say how amazed i am to find such an awesome and informative website that has helped with most of my queries!!! is there anything on keratometry???

  72. Hi Tim,

    I’m a fourth year medical student and I would like to thank you for creating this site! You’re an incredible teacher…probably the best in all my four years of medical school lol! I’m using this site to study for my optho exam and your explanations are so well written! If only my profs had such passion in their work as you do, which is clearly seen through your teaching!

    Thank you once again!


  73. I’m reviewing for my final Canadian medical school exam, and this is an invaluable resource for ophthalmology review! Thanks for this great review!

  74. Hello Tim,

    I must confess that you are God sent! You are simply amazing and an expert in basic education.

    Pls kindly post video of how to effectively use the BINOCULAR INDIRECT OPHTHALMOSCOPE. This technique is confusing to me.

    Pls TIM help kindly as I enjoyed the tips on SLIM LAMP BIOMICROSCOPY and others!

    Thanks in advance sir!

  75. Hi Tim

    You should be given the title Sir………. 🙂

    Thank you so much for what you have provided. It has helped me a lot in my studies. Our lectures could never teach and explain like the way you do. I am so grateful to you. You are the reason for not giving up my degree and passing my exams. Please keep up the great work.

    Thanks again Sir Tim.

  76. Hey Tim,
    Remember that great complexities comprise of simple fragments. You’ve gone a great job here reminding us of those basics which we so often forget.
    My heartiest compliments!

  77. I’m a french resident in ophthalmology and I think the medicine needs more passionate people like you! Thanks a lot!

  78. Hi, qualified in 2008!!

    so wish i had read your material few years back as it would have really helped! However im still finding it brilliantly educational and entertaining to read even now!

    fantastic keep it up


  79. Dr. Tim,
    You’re website was incredibly helpful to me as a technician. It was on a level I could really grasp. Thanks so much for all your videos, espec especially the retinoscopy lecture! Several of our Dr.’s had tried to explain the concept to me without success, and after watching your video I got it immediatley. You are a great teacher! Thanks again!


  80. thank you so much dr. Tim……
    I had struggled a lot in ophthalmology and i was a sucker at this subject before i found this… really thank you a million tons…god bless you

  81. Hi Tim
    So pleased to see ur website and downloaded all the pdfs and videos atonce.u r doing a great service for medicine without monetary motive.The best thing i find in ur lectures is your focused approach on the basics and an uncanny approach unlike our boring class lectures.Stay blessed.Hope you do great in future

  82. Hello Tim

    I am so glad to come across your videos. They are great! I am preparing for the MRCPCH Paeds exam in UK and was struggling with eye tests. The lectures were so interesting, simple, every step made sense. Thanks a zillion.

    By the way if you don’t mind just another compliment to pass on, my friend here adores your look!! He feels you look like Tom Crusie!! lol!

    thanks again!

  83. This website is fantastic- by far the most approachable learning resource online I’ve come across as a medical student. Thanks to this, I’m actually learning some ophthalmology, which is otherwise hard to do during a very very minimal focus in our curriculum. I think it’s amazing that this is available for free, and I’ll bet I’m not the only one who is extremely grateful for this. Thanks!

  84. Hi!
    I am an American going to med school in Sweden, and I just wanted to thank you so much for this website! This book is great, I am going to tell everyone I know about it. (Too bad I found it at the end of my rotation, before the exam though!)

  85. Dear Tim,
    During my sixth year of medical school I had a 1 week ophthalmology rotation, which is when I realized I want to be an ophthalmologist. I had also realized I have zero knowledge of ophthalmology. One week was barely enough to figure out which side of the slit lamp to sit on…
    I started reading some books on the subject, but it was all a bit overwhelming.
    Finally I came across your website, which is just a perfect intro to ophthalmology, that medical schools seem to neglect including. Having the author being funny and cute is just an added bonus..
    Thank you so much for the huge investment of time and effort you must have made to create this!
    Hoping our appreciation is somewhat a reward.


  86. Hi Dr. Root,
    I just wanted to thank you for putting this together and making it available for everyone. I have been dealing with recurrent optic neuritis, VI nerve palsy and some other seemingly random eye problems for the past 8 years and have never found a resource as simple, comprehensive, and easy to understand as your textbook. It has been terrifying at times because some of my doctors have not explained things to me very well or take it for granted that I know more about these conditions than I do, which is what led me to research on my own and learn as much as I can. I also appreciate the light-hearted approach as the underlying diseases and conditions associated with eye disorders can be serious enough. Thank you for helping me understand some of this stuff; it will help as I try to find the major cause/underlying diagnosis that is causing my weird vision issues. Knowledge is power!! 🙂

    Rhian C.
    Kauai, Hawaii

  87. Dear Dr.Tim,

    This the best ever way to learn any thing , not only medicine…simplify the stuff , make videos and add some jokes to make the hard stupid science be so funny and interesting …..that was i exactly looking for

    U R the best………

    Kind regards from Egypt

    Haytham Soliman

  88. dear dr.tim,
    thank u for this site..it is very informative.
    i am from pakistan and the books uv syggested are not available here.. how can i order them?..
    thank u

  89. Dear Dr. Root, I am a medical translator in China mainland and attracted to this interesting book. What do you think of a Chinese version of this book? Maybe we can discuss it via e-mail. Thank you.

  90. Love the blog….but I have to scroll through 4 years of comments each time I go on it. Is there a way to flip it so comments go newest to oldest?

  91. @Maurice: I’ve debated flipping the comments before, but will probably keep it the same for now. If you are interested in being notified of new comments on a page (so you don’t have to scroll down to check) you can subscribe to comments with the checkbox below next time you comment on a page. Thanks for writing!

  92. Wow why can’t all med school resources be like this. I actually learned something during two weeks of an Ophtho rotation thanks to this. Please start a medical school

  93. Dr. Tim, i don’t know how much I could thank you for making your fantastic work available to this world, for FREE !

    I always wanted to learn the subject in a very interesting manner exactly like you depict it !

    The only big words i could say are – ‘Faith in Humanity – Restored !!’

    Forever in your debt. 🙂

  94. Tim,
    I am an EMT/Paramedic instructor and have always had trouble finding eye injury pictures that truly can show my students individual injuries (a red injured eye looks like every other red injured eye to us)Your eye trauma video is going to make a difference to trauma patients in middle Tennessee. Thanks

  95. WOW! I am a pathology resident and feared the ophtalmo chapter… until I came accross your work! I wish I had discovered these erlier!

    You have a talent in teaching and presenting the material that is a level above some of the best lectures I’ve had! A true inspiration as a doctor, professor and human being for allowing access to the material free and with ease for anyone with intrest.

    Keep up the awesome work!
    Thank you.

  96. Sir…i saw ur videos on you tube..they are amazing…planning to go through more of ur stuff…they are really helping me out..i feel so much thankful to u for having created them in such a simplified and interesting manner

  97. Ophthalmology was genuinely my most hated subject in medical school until I came across your book and videos. Absolutely phenomenal work – one of the best ways I have learnt medicine so far!

  98. DEAR


  99. Dr Tim im a medical student from Libya and i really loved ur pretty easy way in learning i was struggling in ophthalmology and i spent useless time but now and because of u im on the right track ^^

  100. Thank you for making this book available.I am learning a lot about my lifelong retinopathies. I have learned much along the way, but am able to learn so much more regarding the pathology, tests and treatments, through your publication. I wish there was some mention of sickle cell retinopathies. As our retinopathies are similar to those of diabetics, this is still a valuable reference. Thank you so much.

  101. This web page is very interesting and I enjoy learning from the videos. I am not a an ophthalmology student, I am an optometry student. Yet, the contents are relevant and useful. Thank you

  102. I can not thank you enough for your kindness and for all the effort that you have put in. You will always be in my heart everytime I look into a patient’s eyes.

    You have changed my life in ophthalmology aspect.

    May you continue the good work and may God bless you.

  103. I now join the legions who have discovered this ” secret of learning ophthalmology

    One of my UWI ( Trinidad) optometry interns introduced me to this site, as I was looking for a way to help train our community DRS… in Basic EYE assessments

    Keep the wonderful learning method going ..

    Should anyone who finds this site ” suffer” anymore in ophthalmology/optometry ?I think not…


  104. I came across your site while preparing a lecture on eye conditions for a group of GPs in training (in Australia). What a great site! I’m going to include it on the list of resources I recommend to them. Thank you.

  105. Thx Dr. Tim Root, I am a new resident of ophthalmology, I am so happy for your kindness to share your knowledge to us!

  106. I am an Ophthalmologist in practice for 40 years +
    I teach med students and Eye residents in a Ophthalmic EW.
    This morning in the EW a PA student told me about your site. I was blown away by your simplicity, clarity, focus on basics, and of course graphics. The combo of online text- book, graphics, humour and video are the best, most easily retained, digested intro+ that I have come seen. Congratulations!!!

  107. THANKYOU Dr Root!
    I am a newly qualified optometrist from the UK.. I’ve used your videos over the past few years over and over again! Their so simple and entertaining to watch! Love it! Continue your amazing work 🙂


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here