During your clinical rotations, it’s always nice to have a pocket pharmacopedia with you, and a reference handbook, and a calculator, and a pen light, and your textbooks… but unfortunately there are only so many things you can fit in the pockets of your white coat. Luckily, the iPhone and other smart handheld devices have applications that can replace all of these, and it’s no wonder it has become almost a must-have among med students. Here are some of the most useful apps I have discovered during my clinical rotations.
This drug reference is the app I have used most during rotations. You can search for any drug by generic or brand name, and look up its dosing, mechanism of action, contraindications, adverse effects, trade names, and much more. Another feature it has that other drug reference apps don’t is its section on “clinical education” for each drug you look up — this section tells you what to inform your patients about the drug you prescribe them. The drug information on Micromedex is completely downloaded onto your phone (unlike Epocrates, which requires internet connection to look up stuff), and therefore has no loading time and is a lot faster than Epocrates. The best part is it’s all free!
This medical reference app is the other of my favorite medical apps (besides Micromedex)… what’s not to like? First, it tells you in good detail (with journal references) everything you need to know about different diseases and conditions and their managements. Second, all the information is downloaded onto your phone, meaning no loading time (unlike Epocrates). Third, it’s free! It constantly updates itself with the most up-to-date information, and acts as great reading and studying material.
This is exactly what it sounds like.. it turns your iPhone into a flashlight, utilizing your iPhone camera’s flash. One of my internal medicine attendings used this app to test for pupillary reflex on the eye, and it works well. While having an actual pen light is still handier than pressing a whole bunch of buttons on your phone to open up this app, it’s still handy to have on those days when you forget your pen light or if it runs out of batteries. Or perhaps if you don’t have a pen light, this app can also simply be just as useful. The app is free.
There’s no doubt medicine has lots of equations, algorithms, and risk assessments, and you may use a few of them during your rotations. This app is used by many of the doctors I rotated with, and helps them make decisions on the management of patients. This app is also free!
As a student, textbooks and board review books are always helpful. If you are an ebook type of person, the Kindle app is great to have. Many of the med school textbooks and board review books cannot be found on Apple’s iBooks store. However, on Amazon’s Kindle store, many of the med school books are available, which you can buy and download. You can also put personal documents and free pdf ebooks and such on the Kindle app as well. On the ebooks, you can highlight, write notes, and search through your books for keywords.
While I have not rotated in OB/GYN yet, I have already heard of how useful this app is. Perfect Wheel is a great app for those on their OB/GYN rotations, and replaces a paper wheel used to calculate gestation. It gives thorough results, and it’s fast. It costs $1.99.
If you know of any more, feel free to add them here!