Purpose of App Review

  • How useful is this app as a replacement of the physical version of the textbook?


McGraw Hill and Usatine Media LLC have released an app version of ABSITE Slayer, a book considered to be one of the best resources for preparing for the American Board of Surgery In-Training examination.

Just like the textbook, the app is based on a question/answer format with high-yield tips to help prepare for the board examination.

Read on for our take on the app.

User Interface

The app starts off with a screen that includes instructions on how to use the app. This is very useful for those who have never used a similar app before.

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The app then opens to a screen that has a listing of the topics covered within the app. These topics are broken up by organ system, exactly like the physical version of the book. The screen also shows how much of the content has been covered by the user.

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Once the user chooses a topic, they are brought to the specific chapter, each of which have numerous questions, tips, and images. Each question is followed by a Reveal Answer button.

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Once the button is clicked, the answer to the specific question is shown. The user also has the option to click on the Answers button at the top of the screen to reveal all of the answers. The app also includes the images found in the textbook and allows the user to view them in full screen which is a great option. The user also has the ability to take notes and make bookmarks.

However, the bookmark option is almost useless since it only allows you to bookmark topics which can be found on the main page anyway. It would be better if specific questions or answers could be bookmarked. Also, there is no ability to highlight text.

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Another thing to note is that the cost of this app is $54.99 while the physical version of the book is available for $47.69 as of the time of this review.


  • $54.99


  • Has the same content as the physical version of the book
  • Having to click a button to reveal an answer is more practical and useful than having to cover the answers while reading the questions as a user may have to with the physical version


  • Cannot highlight, add notes to or bookmark specific questions or answers
  • Cost of the app version of the book is more than the actual book

Healthcare workers that would benefit from the app

  • Surgery residents would find this app useful.


  • This is great for surgery residents to have if they do not want to carry around a book with them while they are on the wards. If they carry an iPad and have free time to review for the board exam, this is a good option.
  • However, the app version has limited functions compared to what a user could do with a physical copy such as the inability to highlight, add notes to a specific point in the text, and bookmark specific questions. Moreover, it is more expensive than the book for some reason.
  • As of publish, there is no Android version available.

Type of Device used to review app–iPad 2
Version of App–1.1

iTunes Link

Rating: (1 to 5 stars) 3.5/5

  1. User Interface: 3/5. Easy to use and navigate. Could improve on functions available such as note taking, bookmarking specific questions/answers and the addition of highlighting.
  2. Multimedia usage: 5/5 – Great images as found in the textbook. Ability to view full screen images is a great advantage of the app.
  3. Price: 2/5. The app costs more than the physical textbook and does not allow the user to do the same tasks that they could do with a physical version such as highlight text. However, the difference in cost is only $7.
  4. Real world applicability: 4/5. This app can be of great use for surgery residents who want to study with their iPads. However, the app does not allow all of the functions that a physical version would include.


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.