Computer choice

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by mevannorden, May 12, 1999.

  1. mevannorden

    mevannorden Member
    10+ Year Member

    Mar 20, 1999
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    This question is for third and fourth year students (or residents) that travelled some for third and fourth year. I am considering buying a laptop before the beginning of my third year. I think it would be most convenient for traveling, etc. I have been told, however, that I would be sorry if I bought a laptop, as they are much more of a hassle for everyday use. I was wondering what kind of accommodations were provided by rotation sites that provided housing. Do the rooms even have a space for a desktop computer? Would there ever be a need to use my own computer at the hospital or clinic? Any advice on laptop vs. desktop would be appreciated.
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  2. Lee

    Lee Sleestack
    Staff Member Administrator Verified Expert 15+ Year Member

    Dec 31, 1999
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    Attending Physician

    I used a Mac PowerBook when I was a third and fourth year medical student. I did a lot of away rotations, and I took the PB wherever I went. When I was doing local rotations, I plugged the computer into a full-sized monitor and keyboard at home -- and it was just like having a desktop. I never had any problems, and I was very happy I had a laptop during those years.

    If you are at a facility that has housing provided, you'll need to determine the saftey of your housing, and if you'll feel comfortable leaving your computer there while you're in the hospital. Most places will have a desk, phone-jack, and a power outlet -- what more do you need?

    I would recommend getting a security cable, so that you can lock-down your laptop. And installing password protection software to prevent access to your computer when you're gone. You may also consider getting a phone-jack checker -- they determine whether the jack you are about to plug your modem into is a digital jack or a standard analog phone jack. Plugging a standard modem into a digital jack may result in a fried modem. I always checked, but never encountered any digital phone jacks.

    As for a specific computer -- I'd recommend getting the fastest computer you can afford (I had purchased the fastest mac available in 1995, but by 1998 it was too slow -- I had a friend that got a lower end mac at the same time, but he outgrew it in just a year).

    As for which platform to use, I now use windows as my primary platform because there is more software available than for mac.

    I hope that helps!


    Lee Burnett, DO

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