ocean11

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So I never had one during med school b/c I was sooo broke and got by just fine: with pharmacopea and Stanford etc.... but during residency is it essential to have a PDA? or can I get by with just books (which I prefer?)

thanks
 

orientedtoself

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you can get by with just the pocket books. however, i like epocrates- it has dosing information by indication, renal dosing, adverse effects, cost information. plus, i rely on my pda for calculations with medmath! i'm such a dummy when my pda runs out of batteries (which is frequently because my pda is crap).
 

VCMM414

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Definitely not a MUST have, especially if you've never really used it before.
 

DrWBD

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Are they a must have? Not really.

The only real medical app I used for residency on my PDA was ePocrates, which is excellent and free. Everything else can be handled with a few pocket reference books.

The thing I used (and still use today) my PDA the most for is its organizational tools, especially the Calendar software. For me, internship and residency was one of the first times in my life when maximizing efficiency was absolutely necessary. Carrying around your calendar is a great way to ensure you aren't supposed to be meeting your program director at the same time your research attending wants to have a discussion.
 

Finding Chi

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The PDA is nice, but not necessary. I love me some epocrates, but I used to use pocket references, and they are perfectly adequate

The advantage of the PDA is that it is a space saver. Instead of a pocket reference, a pocket calender, a calculator (which I would not actually otherwise carry, but is nice to have), I carry one device. The super swank people now also have the blackberries, opening up even more valuable pocket real estate for the important things... like gum, candy bars and lip gloss:).
 

GreenBean79

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As above posters have said, it's nice to have epocrates + medmath. I have the Z22 palm, which is relatively inexpensive ($90 on amazon), compact, and cute. It doesn't have a whole lot of memory, but plenty for the essentials like epocrates.
 

0382938

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Can anyone comment on the use of the iphone for Epocrates? I currently have a basic palm that I use for Epocrates and am thinking of upgrading to a smartphone, am a long time Mac user, and am aware that Epocrates software is currently not available for iphone. My question is about using the online site tailored for the iphone instead--is it manageable?
 

somethingpositi

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Can anyone comment on the use of the iphone for Epocrates? I currently have a basic palm that I use for Epocrates and am thinking of upgrading to a smartphone, am a long time Mac user, and am aware that Epocrates software is currently not available for iphone. My question is about using the online site tailored for the iphone instead--is it manageable?
ePocrates is releasing a native iPhone application when the new update comes out in June. I expect that most programs that currently exist on PDAs will be ported over to the iPhone within a year or two.
 

jayjay1978

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I bought a palm as a med student since it was the thing to do at the time.

I moved after I finished medical school and I am not even sure where my palm is located. I never used it/needed it throughout residency.

When I need medication help, I resort to micromedex, which has more detailed information, which usually is better and more up-to-date.

As far as medical texts, I have never been able to read off a small palm screen and so I have always relied on nejm, uptodate, other literature sources etc online and I print them if necessary.

at the end of the day, it's a culture/style thing.
 

DrDre311

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Can anyone comment on the use of the iphone for Epocrates? I currently have a basic palm that I use for Epocrates and am thinking of upgrading to a smartphone, am a long time Mac user, and am aware that Epocrates software is currently not available for iphone. My question is about using the online site tailored for the iphone instead--is it manageable?
I have an iPhone. I used to have a PDA (until my car got broken into, and it was stolen along with a bunch of expensive and hard to find plastic surgery books--gotta love the inner city) and Epocrates was much easier to use than the iPhone web "app."

That being said, Epocrates on the iPhone is just fine and perfectly manageable as long as you are connected to a WiFi network. If you can't get WiFi and are relegated to the Edge network for internet, then it's WAY too slow to come up with a quick answer and you might as well just go to a nurse's station and use a computer to look up whatever you need. I will be much happier once the native app comes out and I'm not at the mercy of a good WiFi signal for drug info.