Today is a big day all across the country at academic medical centers. It’s the day that 4th year medical students “magically” transition into becoming doctors, with their MD certificates in hand, and are given the title, “intern”. Most of the 4th year medical students who are starting their intern year today have been relaxing on easy rotations the last few months, trying not to think about the pit that will be intern year.
That day is here, and although the editors at iMedicalApps can’t physically hug you and tell you how “it gets better” — we can tell you the critical medical apps you need to survive your intern year.
The apps in our list range from quick reference tools, to medical calculators, to apps that help you learn / run a code. Remember to check out our specialty pages on iMedicalApps as well, accessed by the drop down menu above — they can help guide you in more detail. Next week we’ll publish an article for interns that is more specialty specific.
UpToDate doesn’t need much explaining — the name says it all, and it’s the “go to” for most medical professionals when looking up disease pathology and treatment regimes.
You probably came from an institution that used UpToDate, and since you’re at an academic center, your hospital almost certainly subscribes to UpToDate. What many don’t know is that if your institution subscribes to “UpToDate Anywhere”, it enables you to have a personal UpToDate account on your iPhone. Prior to this, if your institution subscribed to UpToDate, you could only use it in your phone’s browser, and you could not download the app from the App Store or Google Play and use the standalone app.
There is a great chance that your institution subscribes to “UpToDate Anywhere” — so the first thing you should do is download the app, and then read a post where we show you how to set up the app using your academic credentials, so you don’t have to pay the individual subscription price.
Price: subscription cost, but your academic institution enables you access it for free (if they have UpToDate Anywhere)
Drug Reference apps
The best drug reference app out there is Micromedex, not Epocrates. If drug reference apps were basketball players, Micromedex would be Michael Jordan. It has information that academic pharmacists — who are often the gatekeepers of the sanctity of evidence based practices — can trust. It’s my go-to app that I use most often in the clinical setting. If I leave my iPhone at home, I don’t get upset that I left my phone at home. I get upset because I have to then use the online version of Micromedex, instead of their app — which is close to perfection.
For several years Micromedex was free, but they now charge an annual price — it’s $2.99 a year — less than the price of the espresso that you got from Starbucks to keep you awake for that 30 hour shift (no 30 hour shifts for interns). In my opinion, this app is best $2.99 a physician can spend in the App Store.
If you really want to be cheap though — there is a way to get the app for free, similar to UpToDate — because your institution almost certainly subscribes to the app. One of our pharmacy editors has a fantastic graph he made that shows you how to download the app for free using your academic institutions login information.
You can consider Epocrates or Medscape as well — but they aren’t as fast as Micromedex and don’t have the great clinical teaching and toxicology sections — plus, you want speed, and they aren’t as fast.