The IM Essentials Flashcards app is produced by the American College of Physicians (ACP) as a mobile version of their IM Essentials curriculum for medical students, in flashcard format.

User Interface

The app opens to a title screen and then to a list of 11 categories which serves as the home screen.


Clicking on any of the categories opens up a sub-menu that breaks the category down into various subcategories. Numbers on the side indicate how many flashcards are in each subcategory.


The first time you try to view a flashcard, it asks if you want to take a tour of the app features which I found pretty useful. The tour is only available the first time you view flashcards and after that it disappears and there doesn’t seem to be any way of seeing it again.


So lets suppose I want to review cardiovascular medicine. I wanted to review all the various chapters so I clicked on ‘all chapters’.


Clicking ‘get started’ brings you to the first flashcard and you can view the answer by swiping right to left.

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While viewing the answer if you swipe upwards it turns the screen momentarily green and marks the question as correct or if you swipe downwards the screen turns red and marks the question as incorrect. This highlights the 2 dots at the bottom of the screen either red or green depending on correct or incorrect and moves you onto the next flashcard.

If you tap anywhere on the screen while viewing a flashcard, it will turn the screen dark and bring you to another menu.


In this menu there are several buttons and a link to more explanations. Looking at the buttons left to right there is a home screen button to go back to the category screen; a star to save the question as a favorite; 2 buttons for marking the question as right or wrong and then 2 buttons for moving onto the next or previous flashcard.

There is a blue tab for further explanation of the answer and tapping this opens a browser window and takes you to the IM Essentials online website.


An online subscription to IM Essentials is needed to access this part.

All starred questions will be visible in a starred question category which appears at the top of the homescreen once there is at least 1 question starred.


Tapping the homescreen button while in the middle of a deck brings you to a result page. This can also be accessed by tapping the all chapters subheading in each category.


This tells us how many questions were completed and what percentage were correct. There are also options to resume the deck, retry only the incorrect flashcards and reset the deck.

Evidence and literature used to support the app
Based off IM Essentials which is produced by the American College of Physicians and is reviewed and edited by over 90 internal medicine physicians.

Healthcare providers that would benefit from this app

  • Residents and medical students.
  • All residents and all medical students, especially those doing their internal medicine clerkships,  will benefit from this app.
  • Price
    • Free on iOS and Android
    • Free
    • Very easy to navigate
    • Ability to monitor progress and customize
    • Evidence based and backed by a reputable institution
  • Dislikes


  • Overall

    Free, easy to navigate and being able to monitor progress makes this a great app. Add in the ability to customize the flashcards to your liking, linked with IM Essentials online and backed by a reputable institution like the ACP, makes this a must-have medical app for all medical students and resident physicians.

  • Overall Score
  • User Interface
  • Multimedia Usage
  • Price
  • Real World Applicability
  • Device Used For Review

    iPad mini with retina display

  • Available for DownloadAndroidiPhone