When it comes to preparing for the surgical boards, one of the recommended tips is to do as many past questions as possible to prepare yourself.

The release of Schwartz’s Principles of Surgery ABSITE and Board Review app allows surgery residents to prepare for their certification exams using their mobile device.

Read on to see how the mobile version stacks up against the traditional paper text.





Featuring chapters that correspond directly to the classic Schwartz’s Principles of Surgery, this powerful app delivers more than 1,100 questions that are likely to appear on the American Board of Surgery in-training exam and the surgery board exam.


Each section has been divided into two categories: Basic Science and Clinical in order to test all aspects of a candidate’s understanding. Users can choose whether they want to do individual questions or go through each chapter sequentially.


Each question is presented in a straightforward manner with a simple multiple choice interface. Selecting an answer will either be highlighted correct or incorrect and a detailed description of the answer will be given below. Images and tables that are in the original text have been transferred well to the mobile version and show no sign of poor quality.


There are many advantages to making question textbooks digital and mobile. For starters, users can access all the content independent of location. Secondly it is possible to bookmark certain questions for later review. Thirdly, you can get real-time analysis of your statistics and identify areas of weakness using the built in statistics. Finally, you can write notes as you progress through the book and review them as you go along.



One powerful feature is the ability to search for a specific word within the Question/Answer/Image. This can be used to quickly build knowledge in areas of weakness. It works especially well when complemented by the Create New Test feature which allows you to create customised test using bookmarks/notes or other criteria. I was disappointed to see there is no iPhone 5 version available. Overall the user interface is straightforward and simple to use, allowing the user to focus on the content.


  • $69.99


  • Ability to view statistics in real time
  • Ability to create customised tests based on various criteria
  • Simple straightforward user interface
  • All questions available offline


  • No iPhone 5 version


  • This is a decent yet pricey conversion of a useful question review book for any surgeon preparing for boards. The combination of high yield content with a simple user interface means that this app is a great purchase for those who would rather prepare off their mobile device.

iMedicalApps recommended?

  • Yes

iTunes Link

Rating: (1 to 5 stars) 4 stars
User Interface: 4
Multimedia usage: 3
Price: 2
Real world applicability: 4

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 inp​erson 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.