Buying a new tablet with a laptop? Any other technological recommendations?


Full Member
Jun 25, 2019
  1. MD/PhD Student
    Starting my first MD/PhD classes really soon, and I've heard a lot of people saying that a tablet is necessary for med school and for reading research papers on the go. My laptop has served me well for college, but it's not small and portable like a tablet is. Would people recommend getting a tablet alongside my laptop? Is there any software/app I should worry about getting?


    Full Member
    5+ Year Member
    Jun 10, 2016
    1. MD/PhD Student
      My school issues 2-in-1 laptops that are cool, but a lot of us never really use the full tablet aspect. Some people have iPads and swear by them, but most of us don't. Do whatever you think will work best for you–everyone has their own learning style. There are a fair number of threads on this subject in the MD forum if you want more varied and detailed opinions. I think that it's probably not necessary, but it wouldn't be unreasonable to buy one if you think that it will genuinely help you learn.

      I still buy hard copies of textbooks though, so I guess I'm a boomer in millennial clothing and you can take my opinion for what it's worth. Good luck!
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      Full Member
      2+ Year Member
      Apr 5, 2018
      1. MD/PhD Student
        It will depend a bit on your class structure and requirements. For preclinical, I enjoyed having a 2-in-1 with a stylus so that I could type most things but draw when it was more efficient (histology, anatomy, radiology). For the wards, I only used my own computer when there wasn't a hospital desktop around and I never had it on rounds. Some people recommend a small iPad for rounds, but I never felt like it would have been helpful.

        The above will suit you fine and is what most people do. But, if you're someone who studies at home, I would highly recommend getting a bigger desk with desktop of some sort, or at least a laptop that allows you to connect a big monitor. I decided to finally get a desktop when I was stuck at home for COVID, and my efficiency has skyrocketed by being able to work on a bigger screen while simultaneously being able to use my laptop. Things like streaming lectures while taking notes, watching Pathoma while organizing your Anki deck, etc. are far easier with some kind of two screen setup. Again, not a requirement, and I did just fine in preclinical without this setup, but now that I have it I wish that I had done it earlier.
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