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Medical Student Perspectives: How to Create a Low-Budget Medical School Survival Toolkit on Your iPhone: Essential iPhone Apps for Medical Students

Are you interested in making medical school a little easier? Would you like to use some of the best medical iPhone apps? Here are some of the most essential iPhone apps for medical students on a tight budget. The methods of searching for these apps included limiting to English language-based apps, limiting to apps under $1.00, sorting by app popularity, and selecting apps with potential benefit to medical students. Below are some of the most essential iPhone apps for medical students.

ACP Doctor's Dilemma™ Mobile is based on the popular American College of Physicians (ACP) national Jeopardy-like medical quiz competition held each year at the annual Internal Medicine Meeting. New categories and questions are created each month to extend the app’s replay value. Well-timed study breaks are important, and this app can be a good break to challenge yourself or a friend to a game of medical knowledge. Cost: Free

Check out the other mobile apps that ACP offers.

dropboxDropbox is a way to instantly sync your documents on your school computer, home computer, friend’s computer, and iPhone. You no longer need to carry a USB drive or e-mail yourself files when you have this app. Review your notes or PowerPoint lectures directly on your iPhone. You first start with 2 free GB of memory, but you can increase the online storage to 8 free GB. Cost: Free

EMS Tracker is made specifically for Emergency Medical Technicians, but this app can be modified to your needs. The home screen records the time while seeing a patient. This screen can also be modified to suit your own medical provider situation. The second screen holds a place for your patient’s vital signs (blood pressure, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, body temperature, and blood glucose level). The event list screen provides a summary of all the information you recorded while working-up your patient. Cost: Free

If you do not speak Spanish or do not have a Spanish translator on-site, then use the Med-Spanish app. It provides helpful translations of English medical phrases to Español. For some phrases Med-Spanish can produce a pre-recorded Spanish message to communicate with your patients. Besides general introductions, Med-Spanish provides English to Spanish phrases that facilitate obtaining medical histories and physical exams. It can also be used as a quick resource if your school offers a Medical Spanish elective. Cost: Free

MedCalc is probably one of the most versatile medical apps on the iPhone. This is the only app that is going cost you money in this toolkit, but it is well worth the investment. It is still cheaper than most pocket medical reference books. MedCalc gives you easy access to complicated formulas. Along with having the capabilities to calculate an A-a O2 gradient, the Henderson-Hasselbach equation, and sensitivity/specificity, MedCalc also includes other features such as a dermatome map, a Snellen eye chart, several unit conversions, and more than 150 calculations/utilities. Cost: $0.99

For more validated medical information download Medical Reference. This application by the University of Maryland Medical Center provides information on symptoms, injury, disease, surgery, nutrition, special topics, poison, and medical tests. Cost: Free

Medscape is a medical information app you can use if your iPhone is unable to connect to the internet. You also have the option to download more than 40,000 clinical reference articles directly into your phone. This is a WebMD app that can be used for point-of-care service that includes information on procedures and protocols. Just like another popular app Epocrates, Medscape provides drug information including dosing, indications, drug interactions, adverse effects, contraindications, and mechanism of action. This can be a useful program while studying for pharmacology or while you are working in the hospital. Cost: Free

The Neuromind app provides a listing of neurological scores and assessment tools, but you probably will not use most these resources unless you are a neurology or neurosurgery resident. However, click on the “Other” tab, and you can view convenient images to assist you with your neuroanatomy courses or to better demonstrate neurological information to some of your patients. Cost: Free

Wikipedia is a staple resource for many students. Wikipedia is a multilingual, web-based, free-content encyclopedia. Download this app for convenient access to this supplemental learning tool to any medical education. However, since Wikipedia content is continuously being created and updated, be aware that some content can contain misinformation. Cost: Free

Ryan Estaris
Council of Student Members, Southern Region Representative
Louisiana State University – New Orleans School of Medicine, Class of 2013
E-mail: restar@lsuhsc.edu

Disclaimer: The list does not necessarily constitute endorsement by ACP and/or CSM for any of the following products. The following is not a comprehensive list of all apps appropriate for medical students. The accuracy and reliability of each app has not been evaluated. All medical information should be independently verified through consulting a licensed health care provider. All information regarding the apps including description, availability and price is subject to change without notice.

Back to July 2011 Issue of IMpact

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