Practice Exams in Emergency Medicine is an evidence based iPad board review app

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Purpose of App Review

How well does this app prepare Emergency Physicians for board examinations?

Introduction

Practice Exams in Emergency Medicine is an app published by Elsevier Australia for physicians preparing for the Australian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) fellowship exam.

I’m reviewing this app as an American EM resident, and looked forward to seeing what differences (if any) there may be on the Australian boards.

User Interface

The app includes one hundred and eighty multiple choice questions split up into three practice tests, each intended to be completed in ninety minutes. Users can take a full length test, or do a “quick quiz” with ten questions selected at random.

For the full length test, a 90 minute timer runs in the top corner. Users can bookmark specific questions to review later using the menu on the top right.

After answering a question in an exam, the user can either choose to move on to the next question, or select “submit” to receive immediate feedback and see the rationale behind the answer.

The answer rationales have clear explanations and cite specific references. If the user chooses to move onto the next question, they don’t receive immediate feedback on their answer, but can review the results when they finish the test.

If left blank, questions are marked incorrect if the user chooses to move on to the next question without answering. The user cannot go back to change any blank or incorrect answers.

Alternatively, the quick quiz tests the user on ten randomly selected questions and provides immediate feedback on each answer.

The user can bookmark specific questions to review again later.

As an American EM resident, I wondered how applicable this resource would be for someone like me that doesn’t know much about Australian medicine. Since most of the resources cited are mainstream EM texts like Rosen’s, Tintinalli’s and Roberts and Hedges, I found that most questions were relevant and appropriately challenging for someone working in the U.S.

Some drugs go by different names (like “adrenalin” instead of “epinephrine”) and some questions specifically ask about Australian populations, but most were similar to American EM board review questions.

Unlike the EMiQ board review app recently reviewed, this app shines for it’s clean interface and appropriately difficult multiple choice questions.

Price:

  • $47.99

Likes:

  • Challenging questions
  • In depth explanations for each answer with extensive references

Dislikes:

  • The user can’t save a partially completed exam to resume at a later time.
  • In addition, the app doesn’t allow multitasking – if the user leaves the app, it completely restarts when they return.
  • Can’t annotate the question with strikeouts, highlights, etc.
  • No system for reporting errors.
  • No multimedia based questions (for example: radiographs or photos)

Healthcare providers that would benefit from the app:

  • EM residents and physicians preparing for board exams.

Conclusions:

  • This app provides 180 challenging EM board review questions with helpful, well cited explanations.
  • Though designed for Australian physicians, this app could be useful for EM physicians in the U.S. as well.

iMedicalApps recommended?

  • Yes

iTunes Link

Rating - 3.75/5
User Interface – 5 – Easy to navigate.
Multimedia usage – 3 – Well designed app; however, no multitasking nor multimedia based questions.
Price – 3 – Moderate price, but within range for board review products.
Real world applicability – 4 – Could be a very helpful board review tool.

Disclaimer:
This post does not establish, nor is it intended to establish, a patient physician relationship with anyone. It does not substitute for professional advice, and does not substitute for an in-person evaluation with your health care provider. It does not provide the definitive statement on the subject addressed. Before using these apps please consult with your own physician or health care provider as to the apps validity and accuracy as this post is not intended to affirm the validity or accuracy of the apps in question. The app(s) mentioned in this post should not be used without discussing the app first with your health care provider.

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