Most essential app for Physician Residents is not medical and is free

When my peers at Wake Forest University and other residency programs ask me about the top medical apps to download, I give them my usual list of reference apps such as Medscape and Micromedex.

I also mention a certain free cloud storage app as a good way to organize and increase efficiency in learning — essential in Residency training.

What I’ve become accustomed to are peers coming back and thanking me for not only the medical apps I recommended, but telling me how the most essential app in their arsenal has become the cloud storage app I recommend.

The app in question is Evernote.

We’ve written extensively on Evernote before. It’s a great cloud storage app that enables physicians to store relevant medical literature and store it across a variety of devices.

In the post-PC era, Evernote’s utility has only increased. Evernote is even being used by attending physicians to store key medical literature that can be shared with anyone who has an Evernote account — reference our post on Dr. Michele Lin’s extensive collection of Paucis Verdis — a venerable storage of knowledge that is free and available on any mobile device with Evernote.

Evernote is a must have app for Resident Physicians.

One of the hardest things to do as a Resident is to find time to learn amongst all the hours you work. In medical school we’re used to studying massive amounts of hours in a quiet setting without significant clinical responsibilities. Resident life is completely the opposite. In Residency we are expected to work 80 hours a week and still find time to learn in our “free time”.

With Evernote, you’re able to maximize your time, which I’ll show with my below workflow.

1) Improving learning:

When I come across something I need to read more about, but am in the middle of seeing patients or in rounds, I create a quick note in Evernote. When I have some free time, I go back to the note and write more details. Imagine doing this before Evernote. You would have to write down something you need to learn on paper or some “to-do” list — not efficient. When I’m in the Emergency room, I usually have an Evernote tab open in a browser and can quickly type what I need to learn more about, or, I can easily make a note using the iPhone app.

2) Taking notes:

Evernote has become my go to resource for taking notes during lectures, journal clubs, and conferences. I can use my laptop or any of my mobile devices — knowing all my notes will sync across every platform.

3) Medical Reference:

I’ve been using Evernote for almost a year now, and instead of having to go to UpToDate, I can pull up my personal notes on Evernote that I have filled out. This allows me to pull up content significantly easier than fishing around other medical references, and also enable me to reinforce what I know.

The beauty of Evernote is it’s device agnostic, and can also be accessed using a web browser. It’s also free, with the option of paying for their premium services. So the next time one of your Resident peers asks you which medical app they should download — make sure Evernote is one of them.

Details on how to use Evernote and in-depth Discussion

Author:

Iltifat Husain, MD

Founder, Editor-in-Chief of iMedicalApps.com. Emergency Medicine Faculty and Director of Mobile App curriculum at Wake Forest School of Medicine.

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6 Responses to Most essential app for Physician Residents is not medical and is free

  1. Kathy August 13, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    Evernote is essential for ANY physician, resident or practicing. (It’s pretty great for mothers trying to keep track of stuff as well).

  2. Iltifat Husain, MD August 13, 2012 at 7:12 pm #

    Agreed, how do you use Evernote?

  3. clindell April 18, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

    The only problem is it’s in the cloud. You can’t keep HIPPA or PHI data in the cloud. It’s not safe and you have no idea who has access to it even if they tell you it’s safe.

    • Iltifat Husain, MD April 18, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

      You shouldn’t be storing any HIPAA or PHI data in Evernote. The purpose of Evernote is for personal medical notes — no patient information should be stored.

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