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Are IPad Mini useful/helpful in med school?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by smile8888, May 19, 2014.

  1. smile8888

    smile8888 5+ Year Member

    Apr 14, 2011
    I am thinking about investing in an IPad Mini before the start of medical school because I've heard from multiple current students that it's helpful/useful. What do you guys think? Is it worth it?
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  3. justAstudent

    justAstudent 5+ Year Member

    Apr 12, 2011
    I think the consensus is that tablets become useful during clinical years. I'm debating whether or not to purchase one myself also.
  4. NickNaylor

    NickNaylor Thank You for Smoking Physician Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

    May 22, 2008
    Deep in the heart of Texas
    It would be a nice toy to have on the wards. If you have the money and would use it otherwise then I think it'd be a worthwhile investment at that point. That said, I had a few classmates that did EVERYTHING on their tablets - usually a full-sized iPad - during the preclinical years. Personally I think it's more effort than it's worth in that setting, but you might think otherwise. On the wards, though, it's hugely convenient to be able to have all your books/notes with you in PDF format to read in your downtime. And if you're institution has it enabled, being able to access EPIC or whatever your EMR is is also helpful. You won't be writing notes on your tablet, but it's nice to be able to pull up labs, imaging, etc. on the go without having to find a computer.

    I personally don't have a tablet that I use regularly, but I'd say 10-20% of my classmates have a tablet that they bring with them everyday to the wards.

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  5. Cromulent


    May 19, 2014
    I used a mini for my clinical years and found it useful. Especially if your institution uses an EMR that is iPad accessible. I wouldn't bother for pre-clinical.
  6. shiftingmirage

    shiftingmirage 10+ Year Member

    Sep 2, 2007
    There are a few schools that actually provide them for their students so make sure your school isn't one of them before spending the money on a tablet.
  7. jm192

    jm192 7+ Year Member

    Aug 4, 2009
    Never Neverland
    I bought a full-sized iPad during 2nd year. I've used it mainly for QBanks for board prep.

    As far as wards: A lot of hospitals will have their web portal accessible via tablets. It's a life saver if you realize in hindsight you didn't write down a lab or a lab wasn't back when you last looked. You'll have to look up a lot of things on the fly, and the battery life is far superior to the iPhone if you keep it charged.

    It's also a great for entertainment. I mainly use it for Netflix. I refresh my fantasy football apps through the iPad instead of my phone, and it's easier to use than your laptop while watching a game. When I was on surgery, I carried it in my bag and used the WatchESPN app to catch parts of games when I could.

    The mini is more convenient in that you can fit it into your coat pocket. But, I'm not sure how the battery life compares.
  8. sazerac

    sazerac rye sense of humor 5+ Year Member

    Feb 26, 2012
    I used a full iPad in preclinical (loved it), and the iPad mini is awesome for years 3 and 4. No sense buying them ahead if time, because new models are always showing up.
  9. ksmi117

    ksmi117 GEAUX TIGERS!!! Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

    Mar 15, 2008
    hSDN Alumni
    I love my iPad mini. It's super nice on the wards. Can pull it out to look up stuff or do review questions. Much easier to read than a tiny phone screen and you don't look like you're texting.
  10. Dr. Biology

    Dr. Biology The Nerdiest Super Hero 2+ Year Member

    Mar 6, 2014
    as useful as a regular ipad
  11. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting.... Administrator Physician PhD Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Oct 12, 2004
    I use my ipad mini on the wards all the time. Agree that it might be helpful for an MS3/4 but prob not necessary for the preclinical years. If you're going to use it for charting or taking notes, you should get a bluetooth-compatible keyboard case. I lucked out and got one for $30 on Amazon.
  12. Ventric

    Ventric Physician 7+ Year Member

    Mar 17, 2008
    Pretty useful for third year. I carry mine around in my white coat pretty often. I do flash cards and have the uptodate app on it

    Not really that useful for First and second year IMO.
  13. tantacles

    tantacles Moderator Physician Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

    Sep 28, 2009
    I'd go so far as to say that if you're the type of person who likes to travel light, getting an iPad is a great idea for the pre-clinical years. However, for the pre-clinical years, a regular-sized iPad is probably ideal, especially if you want to take notes on powerpoints.
  14. IncognitoGuy

    IncognitoGuy life of leisure Physician 5+ Year Member

    Jun 24, 2011
    My school gave us iPads (full size) - we use them for exams/quizzes.

    Otherwise, I use it to read textbooks/papers and as a source of entertainment/e-mail checking. I didn't find it useful for note-taking.
  15. MaybeDr

    MaybeDr 2+ Year Member

    Apr 7, 2014
    Based on the fact that the iPad mini lacks digital tracking I wouldn't by one for school if you're planning to actually take notes with it and do things in general. If you're going to get a tablet for school get something with a full OS and digital tracking. If you got the money get the Microsoft Surface Pro 2. It is wildly overpriced.
    Digital tracking= touch defined by stylus, extra drivers to deal with the load, much more precise and not sloppy
    Analog tracking (what the iPad mini has)= touch defined by bulky rubber bulb on the tip of the stylus, sloppy, can cause unintentional signal due to hand movement on screen.

    If don't really care about digital tracking I would still not recommend the iPad mini get an Asus Transformer T100 instead. 32GB memory, full OS, comes with Microsoft office. All together it is 400 dollars. I have own one, it's fantastic. It's almost entirely replaced my 2010 Macbook Pro.

    I've owned an iPad it's just not worth the money.
  16. DK2014

    DK2014 2+ Year Member

    Feb 28, 2014
    Personally, I feel the iPad mini is too small to take notes on. If your intention for an iPad is to take notes on power points or read pdfs/ebooks for long durations (1hour+) at a time, definitely go for the iPad air. I feel the mini is too small to stare at for long periods of time, and too small to be taking notes effectively on and looking at diagrams.

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