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You’re in your last year of medical school and anticipation grows as you eagerly await Match Week. You’ve done your interviews, you can count the number of exams left to study for, and you’re chomping at the bit to finally start treating patients and making some money for once rather than applying for loan after loan. The day has finally arrived and you matched in the program of your dreams and start in July. As the months fly by, excitement builds as you get ready for the move and then about a week before Orientation Day, you begin to panic a little and question if you still remember anything.
Sound familiar to anyone? This cascade is a path traveled by the majority of incoming residents as they make the adjustments to a new system, an increased workload, and the shocking reality of holding a patient’s life in your hands with no safety net to fall back on like in Med school. It is a very unsettling feeling and young residents often doubt themselves time and time again and must utilize a number of resources in order to confirm their suspicions. Even simple management of high blood pressure could result in at least 2 calls to the attending to make sure that you aren’t killing anyone. This young doctors not only have high levels of stress, but also may have one of the highest levels of data usages in the world as they use their smartphones to look up material in order to manage their patients. Here are the top 2 apps that an intern should utilize to make their first year somewhat less stressful.
Number 1: UpToDate
This is the gold-standard application for any resident to have on their phone. Every hospital in the United States should provide free access to their physicians but in the rare event that they don’t, this application is a must-have. After logging in, a user is able to search for a wealth of information regarding the disease in question. You will have access to a list of common symptoms, causes of the disease, epidemiology, differential diagnosis, management options, and follow-up therapy recommendations after a few simple clicks of the screen. This represents a security blanket for any young doctor to help verify their thought process and give them confidence as they deal with the same cases day after day.
This application is updated as new research is released and like the name suggests, it is up-to-date with the current gold-standards of care. What more, a user will be able to maneuver through a number of research studies and statistics and can learn supplemental material necessary to impress during rounding.
The one issue with this application is the cost which is generally over 400$ annually. Even if the total seems steep, it is worth every penny and is absolutely essential to your success during your transition into the hospital setting. This application will provide you with an abundance of information that you can use to impress your attending. It can also be a great tool to use first to either answer a simple question before embarrassing yourself asking the attending for the answer, or giving you enough background information so you can at least have a vague understanding of the process to ask a question and not sound completely inept. I do each of these about 100 times a day so don’t worry, you are not alone!