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Do I really need a stethoscope or palm pilot?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by ndi_amaka, Apr 27, 2004.

  1. ndi_amaka

    ndi_amaka Senior Member
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    I saw another thread about things to purchase before starting med school. One of the suggested items was a stethoscope and palm pilot. Is that really necessary since at my school I will get little patient contact in the first 2 yrs? I haven't really grasped the reason why I woul dneed a palm pilot at all. Can someone explain that to me?
     
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  3. ndi_amaka

    ndi_amaka Senior Member
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    I'm thinking about buying some cheap scrubs and clogs for anatomy lab. I don't have access to a hospital where I can snatch them from housekeeping so I think I'll buy a $15 pr off the internet.
     
  4. flighterdoc

    flighterdoc Rocket Scientist
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    If your school is suggesting that you have a palm pilot in BS, they probably have a reason. A stethoscope is probably for physical exam courses.

    What school are you attending?
     
  5. lotanna

    lotanna Child of God
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    girl for my med trip to naija, i got a set of 5(complete set) from the internet, ebay for $15 brand new :)

    palm pilot: even though its more beneficial 3rd yr, i'll still get 1 now, it heeps u organized, and its handy so u can always have access to certain important info
     
  6. flighterdoc

    flighterdoc Rocket Scientist
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    allheart.com, wait for a sale if you don't need them right away, and get more than 1 set - anatomy lab is kind of stinky, and you'd probably not want to do laundry every day.
     
  7. Skrubz

    Skrubz Not your scut monkey
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    since you'll have little patient contact during your first two years, you probably won't need a steth your first two years. my school was different. *shrug*

    as for the PDA, it certainly helps during your third year if you load epocrates and various other med-related programs onto it, though you can do just as well buying the various books if you have an aversion to tech. other than that, it's nice if you're type A and like to schedule your days and have contact info for your friends handy at all times. i don't think it's at all that necessary for your first two years though.
     
  8. ndi_amaka

    ndi_amaka Senior Member
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    I'm going to UT Southwestern. They haven't said anything to us about buying things other than books but looking at other threads, it seems as though it may be necessary.

    So the classes don't usually provide stethoscopes?
     
  9. lotanna

    lotanna Child of God
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    hey u on msn??
     
  10. ndi_amaka

    ndi_amaka Senior Member
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    Oooh. I should check out ebay. I begged my mom to steal some for me but she refused...something about "workplace integrity" :rolleyes:

    I don't even know how to use a palm pilot. I am soooo old school. I will probably get one when I enter 3rd year just so I can have the most up-to-date equipment.

    Yo why did the site shut down? I might pose a question in the Africa forum about feertility rates and over population. I am learning about it in class and the recommended Total fertility rate (The number of kids a woman should have to keep population # stable without increasing) is 2.06. Did a Medline search...igbo women have between 6.7 and 7.2!!! :eek: Yoruba women are even higher. Can Nigeria support this if it continues on 4 or 5 generations??
     
  11. ndi_amaka

    ndi_amaka Senior Member
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    no I'm at the school library. What's the deal?? PM me if it's private.
     
  12. ndi_amaka

    ndi_amaka Senior Member
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    I'm totally old school....what's epocrates?
     
  13. ndi_amaka

    ndi_amaka Senior Member
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    I will definetely check out allheart.com

    What do med students use the palm pilot for?? That's what i'm confused about?? To remember appointments or to look up disease information?
     
  14. lotanna

    lotanna Child of God
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    Girl i've a total of 7 complete sets of scrubs...I'm straiiight, Ebay has always looked out for a sister :D
    Nigeria is already overpopulated and it'll only get worse. The good thing is that the educated ones know better but more still needs to be done.

    Naah its no biggie, wasnt sure if u changed ur msn screenname, was tryin to scroll down my buddy list.
     
  15. ndi_amaka

    ndi_amaka Senior Member
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    Oh yea...i do have a tendency to change my msn sporadically.

    Did you type in "Hospital scrubs" in ebay?
     
  16. lotanna

    lotanna Child of God
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    i just typed in scrubs and kinda monitored the auctions, i got normal colors too like blue and green
     
  17. ndi_amaka

    ndi_amaka Senior Member
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    What are you doing about a stethoscope?
     
  18. lotanna

    lotanna Child of God
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    Ebay baby:D
    I can get a Littman III for about $100(checked completed ebay auctions), check out the thread on stets...
     
  19. flighterdoc

    flighterdoc Rocket Scientist
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    Epocrates is a free PDA application (you can pay for the deluxe version if you want) thats sort of like a PDR - except, its much more usefull.

    You can look up drugs on it, it tells you (simply) the doses, indications, contras, etc. Very, very handy, especially since it's free.

    For antibiotics though, I like the Johns-Hopkins ABx guide (also free), you put the diag in and it tells you the best options.

    There's also a bunch of other medical application software available, more for the Palm than the other platforms.

    They're mostly for the wards and beyond..

    However, I like my PDA (I've had one for 8 years now, wow), for all sorts of other things. My phone book, schedule, lists, notes, all sorts of stuff.

    There's a thread or two that discusses PDA's, I favor the Palm operating system, and right now the Palm Tungsten-E device but there are others, with good and bad points. For the $200 a Palm would cost, it's a pretty good deal.
     
  20. Skrubz

    Skrubz Not your scut monkey
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    One of the other very handy things to Epocrates is the tool that lets you input a bunch of drugs and then checks for interactions.

    In addition to the JH abx guide mentioned by flighterdoc, some people load various references onto their PDAs (5 minute clinical consult, merck manual, harrison's, yada yada yada). I also have notes/memos about electrolyte replacement protocols and a long list of differential diagnoses for various complaints.

    and you can get games too, which can be nice if you're stuck in a boring conference with no way to escape. ;)
     
  21. Harrie

    Harrie Senior Member
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    At UTSW you won't need a stethescope first year. Your class will order instruments halfway into 1st year in a group order so you get a discount.

    I would recommend not buying a PDA first year unless you really think you'll use it. I waited because PDAs are like computers...by the time you buy it there is a newer, better model out that you want to buy. If you buy it before first year, you'll want a new one by third year.
     
  22. bgibney

    bgibney Member
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    To the OP,

    If you have a clinical dx class you will probably need a stethoscope.

    As for the palm pilot...I have one, many of my classmates don't (I'm an M1). I use mine for scheduling, contacts, tasks and some medical apps. Currently I use 5 min Clinical Consult to get a quick look up on any diseases that are mentioned in class/notes but not discussed at length. I have stedmans concise as I find that I am always looking up words. I also have a collection of medline abstracts for journals, as I am interested in doing some research and find that keeping up with current publications is helpful.

    Hope that helps, but in the end I guess it is really a matter of personal taste.
     
  23. ndi_amaka

    ndi_amaka Senior Member
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    Thanks for the advice!
     
  24. 8744

    8744 Guest

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    Don't get sucked into buying an opthalmascope or and otoscope. If you need one, you will generally not need it until third year and almost every room in every clinic in our hospital has one on the wall and I'm sure your hospital is the same.

    An otoscope is handy but you can get a small one for about sixty bucks which clips to a pocket and is almost as good as higher priced models. The problem with an otoscope/opthalmascope is that you have to carry it around so you have it when you need it. If you set it down and turn around when you look back it will be gone, either stolen or borrowed.

    Carrying it might not sound like a big deal now but trust me, the average medical student's white coat looks more like a flak jacket then a coat because of all the books, reference cards, tools, and the like stuffed into every pocket. Carrying eight pounds of gear in your coat can get to be a drag. (The PDA is doing a lot to reduce the load of medical students)


    A good Stethescope is useful and about the only expensive piece of equipment you should get. A reflex hammer and a tuning fork are useful, too, but these are either cheap or given away.

    I don't think you will need a PDA for first and second year or even for third and fourth year. They are useful, but if you get a pocket PDR, a Sanford Guide, and a good pocket book for the rotation you are currently on you will probably be as well equipped as you need to be. I used the the Mont Reid Surgical handbook for surgery and I carry my Washington Manual for medicine rotations. (I had a PDA but I sold it.)

    I am not a luddite. You will certainly not regret buyng a PDA at the start of third year and Epocrates and Five Minute Clinical Consult are really useful. You just might not want to spend the three hundred dollars or so to equip yourself when you can get a suite of pocket books for a hundred dollars.

    Plus, I like reading off of pages better then I like reading off of a tiny screen.
     
  25. GeddyLee

    GeddyLee Bad-ass Guitarist
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    Dude...your gonna be a doctor, your gonna need a stethoscope, so I say...go ahead and buy one! You can get a fantastic model for under $200. You can safely dismiss the idea of buying the otoscope and direct ophthalmoscope. You can probably also safely dismiss the idea of buying a PDA. It sounded like a great idea, more so for clinical years, but yet, not a necessity. At best, it will lighten your load from a couple of books. If your lucky, you can have it sterilized and play video games during those 8 hour whipple procedures!
     
  26. Vincristine

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    my instant thoughts: your stethoscope does get outdated unlike a PDA, if your school recommends you need one, get one now -- you'll need it later anyway. However, you'll likely have some notice as to when you'll actually need it (i.e. you will not walk in on your first day needing your stethoscope) so you can probably wait until you hear more.
     

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