By: Brian Wells, MSM, MPH

Medical Educator is a  a free app in Apple’s App Store (iTunes link), with the goal described as to “help your chances of passing … your OSCE medical student exam finals.” Although the exams in the UK medical schools are country-specific, the range of resources exposed by this app may be of interest to medical students in other countries. The content of the app, as per its description includes

  • Latest blogs, covering free revision
    • Overall Score
    • User Interface
    • Multimedia Usage
    • Price
    • Real World Applicability
    resources,, med student tools, current medical student affairs, comment and debate
  • Free podcasts featuring case histories, and advice on differential diagnosis
  • Practical video guides covering tips and medical procedures you need to learn as a medical student
  • Live twitter feed for daily conversations with Medical Educator

The app surfaces a large and varied amount information from the web. However, the lack of topic categories could make it hard to find items of specific interest. Read on to see learn more about this app dedicated to helping medical students pass their qualifying exams.

As can be seen from the screenshots below, the application features links to an RSS feed, YouTube videos, Podcasts and a Twitter feed from the Medical Educator website.

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The News tab is a link to the RSS feed from the Medical Educator Blog and contains a variety of stories related to medicine or student-related issues. The news seems relatively general with a mix of stories such as Google Body, Question of the Day and a piece of the implications of WikiLeaks for electronic patient records.

The Videos tab contains a media RSS feed of the site’s YouTube videos. These videos are intended to provide instruction on procedures, patient interviews and other topics of medical interest. Example topics for this portion of the application include a demo on cannula insertion, a demo on performing an ABG and tips for medical interviews. The videos that I watched were good and provided running dialog as well as demonstration of the procedure.

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The Podcasts tab contains a media RSS feed of audio files again geared toward medical education. Currently listed topics (12/16/2010) include patient history and differential diagnosis of mid cough, the abdominal exam and renal function and eGFR, among others. The podcasts are typically short, ranging from just a few to several minutes. The application does support Apple’s iOS multitasking so podcasts will continue to run if the user chooses to switch to another application while listening to the audio.

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The Tweets tab contains a Twitter feed from the site’s Twitter account. This is much the same as most Twitter feeds linked to a website. The tweets contain links to sites related to the parent site’s topics. However, for non-UK users, some of the tweets will not be particularly useful as they are geared toward the UK audience. For example, tweets related to UK medical student debt and the UK Resuscitation Council guidelines.

On a design note, the application itself is reminiscent of an application produced by another UK website, Appcookr.com. Each of the tabs is linked to a RSS or media feed with a Category folder as the fifth tab.

What I would like to see in future updates

In future versions, I would like to see news, podcasts and videos categorized into topic categories so that the user can focus their search and find relevant information. For example, if I only want to listen to podcasts on nephrology, I would currently have to scroll through all podcasts until I found the ones I wanted. I think this tweak would make Medical Educator a much stronger and more useful application.

Conclusion

Overall, I would have a hard time giving the application a poor rating because it is free but I would also hesitate to give it an outstanding rating. Overall, it is certainly worth checking out for the videos and to skim the news and podcasts for topics of interest.

Brian Wells is currently a 3rd year medical at St. George’s University School of Medicine, he blogs at The Voice of Reason.