• SDN Site Updates

    Hey everyone! The site will be down for approximately 2 hours on Thursday, August 5th for site updates.

frangeo27

Frangeo27
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 15, 2006
55
0
37
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
So it seems like some schools require you to buy one these PDAs. That's fine. But about schools that don't really mention anything about it. Do you think that it's worth it to buy a PDA? And would you buy a PDA separately, or as part of like a smartphone like the Palm Treo that runs Palm OS? Any thoughts on this topic? The field of medicine is becoming increasingly high tech every year and we gotta keep up if we want to become effective and able physicians don't you think?
 

Darkshooter326

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
May 30, 2006
667
1
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
The field of medicine is becoming increasingly high tech every year and we gotta keep up if we want to become effective and able physicians don't you think?

True, but as medical students, we aren't physicians :laugh:

Basically, I really doubt a PDA is necessary as a medical student, so you might as well wait until you actually need one to buy it. Anyways, if during the first few weeks of med school you realize you can't function without a PDA, go get one. But I wouldn't get one without knowing whether you truly need it now or not.:luck:
 
About the Ads

Law2Doc

5K+ Member
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Dec 20, 2004
30,876
10,044
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
Basically, I really doubt a PDA is necessary as a medical student, so you might as well wait until you actually need one to buy it.

In most med schools I am aware of, you will have little use for a PDA in the first two years. You may well find a PDA very useful in 3rd and 4th year of med school, when you will want access to various databases, reference books and a calculator and have limited pocket space or computer access. Some med schools even suggest/make you get one at this time. Since PDA technology changes fairly rapidly, I would advise not buying one until late in the second year. Something you buy as a premed will be a dinosaur before you really need it.
 

psipsina

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jun 24, 2005
1,812
8
N'awlins
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
So originally I was planning on waiting to buy one for 3rd year (which is required and budgeted at my school), but I was doing a preceptorship with an amazing attending and she and her residents all agreed that you should get one early and start learning to use all the reference software etc so you will be good at using it by the time you start graded clinical experiences. I was a bit skeptical but I realized I've spent so much money, really what was a few hundred dollars if it could make third year go a bit smoother? I had a bit of an excess in my second semester check and I bought one. I definitely see what they mean about needing some time to get used to the different programs and what is useful for what. We do a weekly diagnositic case thats on a computer program and I've been using the PDA for that to try to get a feel for which programs I like most. I also had been having a great deal of difficulty keeping track of the day to day stuff like bills and errands, especially in pre-test periods of time, and now its like I have a surrogate brain. It flashes lovely reminders at me at appropriate times when I can actually do something about the task that needs to be done, instead of me remembering that I need to pay the electric bill at 3am the night after it was due. Anyway, this is my experience and the advice that I got from an attending who is in charge of the third year rotations in her departmetn so I thought I'd share.
 

Law2Doc

5K+ Member
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Dec 20, 2004
30,876
10,044
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
I definitely see what they mean about needing some time to get used to the different programs and what is useful for what.

That's a fair point, so I guess it's a trade-off as to how comfortable you are with the PDA versus how technologically up to date you will be. Depends how software-savy you are I suppose. You could probably play with versions of the programs on your computer before you get the PDA, so then it will just be a matter of getting used to the stylus. Either way, I would not consider a PDA as a premed.
 

lord_jeebus

和魂洋才
Moderator Emeritus
15+ Year Member
Jul 12, 2003
5,823
173
GMT+9
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
I bought one for 3rd year and stopped using it after a week. I have a lot more computer access than I anticipated, so the PDA is pretty useless.
 

danielmd06

Neurosomnologist
10+ Year Member
Sep 9, 2006
942
27
Florida
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
I don't think a PDA is something you need as a premedical student or during your first two years of medical school. Plus, by the time you actually reach your residency (or third year of medical school for some) the equipment will be dated. True, you might get some experience working with the software by owning one prior to that point, but you'll pick up the use of them quickly enough when the time comes.

As an intern, I bought a Palm TX and have indeed made some good use of it. Epocrates, Diagnosaurus, and the 5 Minute Clinical Consult are all good to add to your PDA.

My recommendation is to save the $400 for later.
 

NonTradMed

Perpetual Student
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 6, 2004
2,303
12
Somewhere in the middle of nowhere.
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Our school requires one for rotations. Check to see what your school policy is. Students will probably not need one for first two years, but rotations may vary depending on individual school requirement.
 

chad5871

Full Member
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Apr 7, 2006
5,276
11
New York, NY
Status (Visible)
  1. Fellow [Any Field]
My Dad actually won a PDA in a golf tournament. Since he has a smart phone, he gave it to me. It's a Palm T|X Handheld, which has wi-fi built into it. I think that it's great because it allows me to do my online homework when I'm eating lunch in the commons and check my email all day long. Also I have a calendar in it, and it keeps me really organized. Plus I got some sweet games for it! All in all, though, I wouldn't suggest dropping the $300-$400 for a good one until you absolutely need it. For me, it's a nice little gadget to carry around, but I think that it would be wise to wait until you know exactly what kind to get. Plus if you get one now, it will be outdated by the time you get to third year rotations.
 

frangeo27

Frangeo27
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 15, 2006
55
0
37
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
well it seems like the consensus is not to buy one until you truly need it...not even a single person suggested buying one. Good thing I posted this before going to the verizon store and buying a smartphone...
 

DrDrew

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Dec 10, 2006
66
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
I couldn't live without my Treo.


Seriously, it saves me so much...I never forget to pay a bill, a friends/parents birthday, etc. Or what I prolly use the most is when someone asks "Hey what are you doing on March 14th cuz I have an extra ticket to a game (or w/e else)" Even thought it's only the middle of Jan I know if I have an exam that day/the next day/ etc so I know if I'll be able to swing the free time or not!

Plus having access to my email 24/7 is amazing. I waste 0 minutes a day reading email. I just read it when I'm waiting for a class to start, or when I'm walking etc. Right there is at least 30-60 min a day :)...(I get LOT of email and no spam...)
 

C.P. Jones

Catface Majigger
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 9, 2005
2,107
3
Status (Visible)
i was also highly considering this. i spoke to some docs in my lab, and they all recommended it even for just being a student; however, i decided that it's really not worth it b/c it will be dated when i would really "need" it, if i do. but i may end up getting the samsung smartphone w/ windows OS b/c it may be free w/ my new every 2 discount and my work discount if they combine it, in which case then i can't pass it up!!! but if not, i'd prefer just having a small phone instead of lugging around a pda so i can "get used to it"....you'll learn quickly enough when you need it. but, i do hope the discount works out so that i will get it anyway :)

here's a question, everyone seems to get the palms for medical programs....do the windows and mac (for iphone) OSs not have these medical programs? I personally think i would rather have an OS that will be compatible w/ my computer.
 
About the Ads

C.P. Jones

Catface Majigger
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 9, 2005
2,107
3
Status (Visible)
i'm just waiting for the iPhone!!!!!!!!!!

i thought about that...i'm on a family plan and would have to wait until november for the entire family contract to be up to move it to cingular, in which case i could get the iphone, which i'm assuming would drop to around 3-400 w/ 2 yr contract.....nonetheless....i think that's a bit pricey w/ a contract...and having cingular...and i don't think it would be a durable hospital-intensively used device.

ok, i know i'm being dorky.....but the other day i went into a coffee shop and saw a couple ppl using white macs and another w/ a toshiba or something. so then i realized....wow, Apple IS the evil empire...think about it, first microsoft is the bad one and apple takes over being all "individualisitic"...and look at it now!!! everyone has the same white laptop! aaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!! i hope no one actually understands the parallel i'm making :laugh: :rolleyes:
 

Vox Animo

Runs with Scissors
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 28, 2006
1,285
2
Midwest
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
So it seems like some schools require you to buy one these PDAs. That's fine. But about schools that don't really mention anything about it. Do you think that it's worth it to buy a PDA? And would you buy a PDA separately, or as part of like a smartphone like the Palm Treo that runs Palm OS? Any thoughts on this topic? The field of medicine is becoming increasingly high tech every year and we gotta keep up if we want to become effective and able physicians don't you think?

The PDA is probably just going to tempt you to play solitaire during class.

:D
 

MdPach

New Member
10+ Year Member
Feb 6, 2007
6
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
When I went to visit a med school and listened to the lecture and all the host said that in the med school you'd get a laptop the first year the one that swivels around and a PDA second year, both are put into your tuition.
 

psipsina

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jun 24, 2005
1,812
8
N'awlins
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
That's a fair point, so I guess it's a trade-off as to how comfortable you are with the PDA versus how technologically up to date you will be. Depends how software-savy you are I suppose. You could probably play with versions of the programs on your computer before you get the PDA, so then it will just be a matter of getting used to the stylus. Either way, I would not consider a PDA as a premed.

Yeah I pretty much resigned myself to the possibility of having to buy a new one if the one I have is too dated in the next two years. I think if you get one before 3rd year you have to be ok with this possibility. If nothing else I'm much more organized than I was pre-PDA (which is a feat, as I am pretty over organized without it) and its nice during my brain fried test week situations to have a gizmo that beeps at me and reminds me of outside world comittments like bills and peoples birthdays and whatnot. I've also been bringing it with me to the volunteer clinical experiences we have during first year and its been quite useful.
 

shantster

Eye protection!
10+ Year Member
Feb 10, 2005
2,472
0
36
Wherever life takes me...
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
I got one last year for Christmas and I'm so attached to it that I forget if I have to be somewhere or do something if it's not listed on it.

If you are concerned about the money, look for one that does other things that you'd want. I didn't have an mp3 player at that time so I made sure that I got one that had Windows Mobile on it so that I could use media player. I figured that it was not that much more than what I'd spend on an iPod anyway. I also have wireless on it, which is becoming offered more often at hotels, etc. for free. It's nice to have that with you on vacation rather than taking your entire labtop with you for email.
 

Chulito

El feucho
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Oct 22, 2006
1,031
6
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
I got one last year for Christmas and I'm so attached to it that I forget if I have to be somewhere or do something if it's not listed on it.

If you are concerned about the money, look for one that does other things that you'd want. I didn't have an mp3 player at that time so I made sure that I got one that had Windows Mobile on it so that I could use media player. I figured that it was not that much more than what I'd spend on an iPod anyway. I also have wireless on it, which is becoming offered more often at hotels, etc. for free. It's nice to have that with you on vacation rather than taking your entire labtop with you for email.

I've been seeing this word on SDN lately. Is it just a variant of laptop that I've not been aware of? Is it regional? Help me understand.
 

Chulito

El feucho
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Oct 22, 2006
1,031
6
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
i was also highly considering this. i spoke to some docs in my lab, and they all recommended it even for just being a student; however, i decided that it's really not worth it b/c it will be dated when i would really "need" it, if i do. but i may end up getting the samsung smartphone w/ windows OS b/c it may be free w/ my new every 2 discount and my work discount if they combine it, in which case then i can't pass it up!!! but if not, i'd prefer just having a small phone instead of lugging around a pda so i can "get used to it"....you'll learn quickly enough when you need it. but, i do hope the discount works out so that i will get it anyway :)

here's a question, everyone seems to get the palms for medical programs....do the windows and mac (for iphone) OSs not have these medical programs? I personally think i would rather have an OS that will be compatible w/ my computer.

I'm curious about this too. I've been considering the Dash with T-Mobile (Windows OS), but if none of the medically useful software works on it, then I don't know that it would be worth it.
 

t33sg1rl

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Sep 2, 2004
350
1
Ohio
Status (Visible)
If your school requires PDAs at any point, you might be better off waiting until you have to buy, because the school will probably a) be able to get you a discount and b) pre-load the software and train you on how to use it. At my school, if we want to get our own, we can, but we would have to buy and load all the software ourselves, and tech support will not support on any make and model but the official school-sanctioned PDA. Something to think about.
 

Auron

Cruisin' the Cosmos
10+ Year Member
Jan 21, 2007
896
2
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Dental
You really don't need a PDA until you start clinical rotations in med school Why? Because the reason med schools require or recommend them in the first place is because of the many medical programs available - and they are both invaluable and more effecient compared to carrying all those books in your white coat.

I plan on buying one in med school, only when its really needed - plus I just have to the latest and greatest technology, and don't want to use old tech.

Yeah, I'm a technology phile/guru :D
 

notdeadyet

Still in California
15+ Year Member
Jul 23, 2004
11,777
1,995
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
here's a question, everyone seems to get the palms for medical programs....do the windows and mac (for iphone) OSs not have these medical programs? I personally think i would rather have an OS that will be compatible w/ my computer.
There used to be a lot more software available for the Palm OS since it was open source and the OS was ubiquitous with PocketPC slowly playing catch up.

Now you'll find most major apps are also available on PocketPC, though there's lots of homegrown stuff Palm only.

Smart phones are fun, but due to the interface, I'd question how practical they would be for a lot of the med apps (I mean the phones that happen to run a PocketPC OS, not the PocketPCs that happen to also work as a phone).
 

Chulito

El feucho
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Oct 22, 2006
1,031
6
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
There used to be a lot more software available for the Palm OS since it was open source and the OS was ubiquitous with PocketPC slowly playing catch up.

Now you'll find most major apps are also available on PocketPC, though there's lots of homegrown stuff Palm only.

Smart phones are fun, but due to the interface, I'd question how practical they would be for a lot of the med apps (I mean the phones that happen to run a PocketPC OS, not the PocketPCs that happen to also work as a phone).

Hmmm, what do you mean? I've never had a PDA or a smart phone so I'm very naive. The Dash seems pretty versatile and functional. It has Wi-Fi built in, so access to the net is easy and fast. It runs Windows OS. What do you think may not work? What should I ask them at the store?
 

notdeadyet

Still in California
15+ Year Member
Jul 23, 2004
11,777
1,995
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
What do you think may not work? What should I ask them at the store?
I don't know about that particular phone, but I'd be leery of any phone that doesn't have a stylus or QWERTY keyboard (folks tend to be very loyal to one or the other). Many smart phones run PocketPC and have versions of Outlook on them, but the problem is that the only text input is done via the standard cellphone method. That's way slow and painful for entering in search terms and whatnot.

Besides which, I think many of those types of phones would not be able to run DB-esque programs like many of the med ones anyway.

My recommendation would be to find a list of what folks consider important med school PDA software to have (there are dozens of lists floating on SDN for this), then check to see if they'll run on a PDA you're interested in.
 

lord_jeebus

和魂洋才
Moderator Emeritus
15+ Year Member
Jul 12, 2003
5,823
173
GMT+9
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
they are both invaluable and more effecient compared to carrying all those books in your white coat.

That's what I thought - but for efficiency my Tarascon Pharmacopoeia, Sanford Guide and Maxwell's beat my TX every time. So now my TX stays at home.

Any info too detailed for a pocket book can wait until I get to a computer.
 

Auron

Cruisin' the Cosmos
10+ Year Member
Jan 21, 2007
896
2
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Dental
That's what I thought - but for efficiency my Tarascon Pharmacopoeia, Sanford Guide and Maxwell's beat my TX every time. So now my TX stays at home.

Any info too detailed for a pocket book can wait until I get to a computer.

How are pocket books more efficient than a PDA. I've used medical software on a palm and pocket pc, and I could find anything I wanted in seconds - much faster and tidier than a pocket book, and I like less weight and more space.
 

medgator

Persona Non Grata
15+ Year Member
Sep 20, 2004
8,130
6,066
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
I don't think a PDA is something you need as a premedical student or during your first two years of medical school. Plus, by the time you actually reach your residency (or third year of medical school for some) the equipment will be dated. True, you might get some experience working with the software by owning one prior to that point, but you'll pick up the use of them quickly enough when the time comes.

As an intern, I bought a Palm TX and have indeed made some good use of it. Epocrates, Diagnosaurus, and the 5 Minute Clinical Consult are all good to add to your PDA.

My recommendation is to save the $400 for later.

Id agree with that. I would wait til the beginning of 3rd year to get one. They definitely come in handy during your rotations, whether it be the inpatient wards or outpatient clinics. Along with those other programs mentioned, The Johns Hopkins Antibiotics Guide (FREE on the web) is very helpful during med, peds, surg, and FP rotations. For example, Its handy to look up a syndrome (5MCC) quickly before seeing patient, or finding out what a medication costs (Epocrates) if you are thinking about suggesting it to your patient in an outpatient clinic. The JH antibiotics guide crossreferences bug, drug, and syndrome and is much easier to use (I think) than Sanford.

As an intern, you may get a PDA free as part of your internship (I got one - a TX). Nonetheless, I thought it was helpful to have one during clinical rotations in med school, so I would buy one right before 3rd year. It'll probably just gather dust your first 2 yrs.
 

vector2

It's not what you know, it's what you can prove.
10+ Year Member
Dec 26, 2006
5,379
10,338
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
My roommate bought a PDA sometime in his first year. It's now nearing the end of his 2nd year and he's used the PDA a grand total of 3 times.
 

Dr.TobiasFünke

Full Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jul 25, 2006
621
0
New York, NY
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
So it seems like some schools require you to buy one these PDAs. That's fine. But about schools that don't really mention anything about it. Do you think that it's worth it to buy a PDA? And would you buy a PDA separately, or as part of like a smartphone like the Palm Treo that runs Palm OS? Any thoughts on this topic? The field of medicine is becoming increasingly high tech every year and we gotta keep up if we want to become effective and able physicians don't you think?

NO! You likely wont need it till 3rd year. Dont buy ANYTHING until you are told you need it (even of you are told you need it talk to classes above you to see if you really need it or when you really need it) else you way drop a lot of money you didnt need to OR in the case of a PDA over an obsolete two y.o. POS by the time you hit 3rd year.
 
About the Ads
This thread is more than 14 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.