Now that I’m in my third year of medical school and starting placements, I’ve been getting lots of recommendations for apps to download and I wanted to share them. I’ve previously written about all my favourite online resources for medical students, but this post is all about apps you’ll what to have on your phone. These apps are great to check stuff on the go, or do some quick review. So, here are my top 9 apps for medical students.
MDCalc is an app that contains different scoring systems, medical equations, and algorithms. When there are so many different scoring systems that are used in medicine it can be hard to remember them all let alone what the components are. With MDCalc you can pull up the scoring system, input the info and it scores it for you. It’s really simple to use and each score will tell you when to use it and what the nexts steps are.
This one is specific to medical students in the UK. You’ll probably be familiar with the BNF but if you’re not, the BNF is the British National Formulary, which provides health care professional with information on medications and guidance on prescribing. The app is really easy to navigate, and makes it easy if you want to quickly look up a drug. The main plus of having the BNF over just looking up the website on your phone is that once you have the app downloaded you can access the BNF when you’re offline.
Right breathe was recommended to me by a junior doctor I was with on a ward. It is a data base for the different inhalers that are available in the uk. It lists the different inhalers, what they contain, and shows a picture of what the inhaler looks like.
BMJ Best Practice
Again, this app is more specific to medical students in the UK but you may still find it useful for studying if you are based somewhere else. BMJ best practice is evidence based guidance on investigations, diagnosis, and treatment of different conditions. You can search both by condition and symptom, or browse by specialty. For each condition it summarizes what it is, what to look for in the history and examination, and the investigations and management.
360 Medics is designed to be an all-in-one app that brings together different tools and resources. The app has a newsfeed to help keep you up to date on relevant medical news, which you can tailor to your specialty and a drug database which links to the BNF. It also has a tools section which links out to other resources like NICE guidelines, geeky medics and can be searched by specialty. The tools section makes it easy to access other resources without have to remember all the different websites and apps that are out there. Although I don’t use them much it, also contains an in-app drive to store files, as well as a to-do list.
Flora is a focus timer app that I use to keep myself on track when I’m studying. It allows you to set a focus timer, during which it grows a plant, if you leave the app before the timer is up it kills your plant. It is surprisingly motivating, and helps me to keep from getting distracted by my phone. It also allows you to set a break timer which will automatically start when your focus timer is up. I use the pomodoro method so my timers are set to 25 min focus and 5 minutes break, or you could do 50 minutes focus 10 minutes break.
Download it for iOS
ToDoist is a digital to-do list which keeps on top of everything I need to do. I use it to organize both my school stuff and my life in general. Its really intuitive to use, and you can sort your to-do lists as different projects, and assign items deadlines and different priorities. You also can link it to your Google calendar so that items with deadlines will show up there.
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If there is any paid app you are going to buy ANKI is the one you should get. Although it is a more expensive app ($24.99), think of it as about the same amount you’d spend on a dinner out. ANKI mobile makes it really easy to review on the go, I can pull out my phone on the bus and get some studying done while I’m on my way somewhere.
Although free to download, to get any use of the Geeky Medics app you need to subscribe for £11.99 a year. Geeky medics is a great resource for clinical skills, and their website is free to use. The app makes is easier to pull things up on the go, or when you don’t have easy access to a computer.
I hope you find some of these apps useful in your studies! Let me know know in the comments which apps you’ve tried or if I’ve missed any that you like to use.