1. As part of our nonprofit mission, SDN supports medical student publications, websites and blogs. Students with blogs are encouraged to apply for our publisher stipend. It's a small amount to help defray costs and encourage open discussion and exchange of ideas. Contact: [email protected]
  2. It’s Test Prep Week! Visit the Test Prep Forums to learn about test prep products and services, ask questions in test-related AMA threads, take advantage of exclusive SDN member discounts, and enter to win free stuff!
Whether you’re preparing for the USMLE, COMLEX, NBDE or APMLE, Test Prep Week Exhibitors can help you ace your boards!

Recommended PDA References

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by MD'05, Jun 24, 2003.

  1. SDN is made possible through member donations, sponsorships, and our volunteers. Learn about SDN's nonprofit mission.
  1. MD'05

    MD'05 Money Hungry Pervert 7+ Year Member

    Feb 12, 2002
    Hello everyone,

    Does anyone know if a thread on recommended reference titles for the PDA exists on SDN? Unfortunately, the search function has been disabled.

    Specifically, I am trying to gather information on the "must haves" for 3rd year rotations. So if you have a link to the thread or can recommend any software titles for any 3rd year rotation, I would be most grateful!

    Thanks a bunch!!
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. halfway

    halfway New Member

    May 16, 2003
    Yes, I really want to know what to get and there isn't any way right now to see what people have recommended in the past. I really hope some people reply to this thread.

    I have most of the free stuff available on the web, but I am looking to spend a little money on my main reference. I am trying to decide between Pepid, Clinical Medicine Consult, and 5MCC, all of which have been recommended to me.

    Also, I am interested in knowing which medical dictionary is best on the Palm.

    So, please let us know what y'all use and like. Thanks!
  4. Gauss

    Gauss Damnit Jim! 10+ Year Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    go here:

    Drug Reference - Epocrates is good and free
    Antimicrobial - Johns Hopkins abx guide is free
    Med calc - Archimedes is free at Skyscape

    Overall Skyscape programs are really good but costly
    They have WashManual, Ferri, Cecil, 5mcc, etc

    Personally I'd get 5mcc and maybe one more
  5. Jaded Soul

    Jaded Soul Proloxil > Zoloft 7+ Year Member

    Apr 13, 2003

    GO_MEDPEDS Member 7+ Year Member

    Mar 8, 2003
    I am quite a fan of the PDA. There's really nothing more useful than being able to look up tremendous amounts of information quickly. Here are some of the programs I would highly recommend:

    1. 5 Minute Clinical Consult from Skyscape (www.skyscape.com):
    Extremely useful, quick reference to review basics, differentials, diagnosis requirements, and treatment on many major diseases. Expensive, but worth the investment.

    2. Taber's Medical Cyclopedia from Skyscape: Very nice medical dictionary. Stedman's is more complete, but also much larger.

    3. Outlines in Clinical Medicine from Skyscape: This would complete the Trifecta- a very good reference providing information in outline form on a variety of medical conditions and terms.

    4. ePocrates (www.epocrates.com): Really the new standard for prescribing medications. The original version is free, the ePocrates Pro also includes some useful tables, alternative medicines, and has the infectious disease guide (comparable to Sanford's).

    5. John's Hopkins Antibiotic Guide (http://hopkins-abxguide.org):
    A free antibiotic guide on par with Sanford's.

    6. iSilo! (www.isilo.com): A book reader that is the standard for most medical books. After the initial purchase of the program, you may find many free, useful books at www.memoware.com and www.palmgear.com.

    7. Riley Kidometer (www.kidometer.com): Developed by physicians at Riley Hospital in conjunction with Indiana Unversity School of Medicine, this program is a gem for pediatric information.

    8. Shots2003 (www.palmgear.com): Pediatric shot reference.

    9. MedCalc, MedMath, MedRules (www.palmgear.com): Various medical calculators with formulas, criteria, and conversions.

    10. Merck Manual (www.handheldmed.com): Pricy, but very useful medical reference for primary care.

    11. MedRevu Series/Recall Series (http://www.medrevu.com/products/pda.asp):
    Surgical Recall, Pediatrics Recall, Medicine Recall, etc. all available for the PDA.

    There are many more programs available... I would high recommend perusing the medical software section at www.palmgear.com to download some medical freeware. I also recommend purchasing as much external memory as you can afford; the limiting factor for how much information you can have will be the amount you can fit on your PDA!

  7. halfway

    halfway New Member

    May 16, 2003
    Thanks go medpeds,
    Your reply was exactly what I was looking for. I hope more people will list what they have found most useful. I can find a lot of listings on the web regarding what different doctors use, but it is hard to tell what would be useful to me without info from other students like you. Unfortunately, there aren't many Palm users in the class above me at my med school to ask.

    As far as memory, you are so right. 16MB is sadly small (although I think that was the size of my first computer or something). I just bought a 256MB memory stick (2 sided). It should be fun filling it up.
  8. MD'05

    MD'05 Money Hungry Pervert 7+ Year Member

    Feb 12, 2002
    Yes, thank you everyone (esp. go_medpeds!) for the references. This should get me started. Unfortunately (for my wallet) my school decided to go with PocketPC PDAs so I do not have alot of options for free software. Too bad ePocrates is not written for the PocketPC platform also (hint, hint ;) )
  9. starayamoskva

    starayamoskva Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 8, 2003
    Orlando, FL
    skyscape has archimedes for pocketpc platform for free
    you can get a free beta version of the Tarascon pharmacopia for free at http://www.tarascon.com/

    epocrates is available for the pocket pc but you will have to shell out 50 bucks.

    GO_MEDPEDS Member 7+ Year Member

    Mar 8, 2003
    Depending on your medical school's access, you may be able to get Mobile MicroMedex or the Mobile PDR free for your Pocket PC. I can't guarantee this will work (does at mine...):

    Mobile Micromedex:

    Mobile PDR:

    I would contact whoever is in charge of information technologies/computer informational systems at your school to see if you can get access.

    Also, you may want to find some willing drug reps to see if you can get ePocrates from them... just tell them that you'll only use it to research their products ;)

    Hope this helps out...

  11. Gauss

    Gauss Damnit Jim! 10+ Year Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    archimedes is free for palm too at skyscape - it replaces all those medcalc programs

    Epocrates is crap compared to Lexi-Drugs
    I'd use tarascon over epocrates - beta is free still.
    Mobile PDR is a lumbering behemoth that's worse than epocrates

    5mcc, sanford (only $25!), OCM, Stedman's are good starting points
    Pkt surg, peds, obgyn aren't bad either
  12. md2bny

    md2bny Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 3, 2003
    does any one recommend getting up-to-date for 3rd yr?? and how much is it??
  13. rachaelbb

    rachaelbb Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Sep 7, 2002
    I know this thread is for PDA software Q's, but I have a related issue. I just found out that I'm going to get a PDA as a gift soon, and I'm not sure which one to request. :confused: Something powerful with enough memory (or at least memory can be added) would be useful.

    I've also noticed that there aren't as many freeware downloads available for PocketPC devices, and if this should be reason enough to steer away from choosing one of those in favor of a PalmOS run device.

    If you have any suggestions as to which PDA a med student should purchase, PLEASE help me out. Thanks!
  14. BigBadBix

    BigBadBix Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Aug 29, 2000
    Rachaelbb: I just decided on my first PDA, so I've been doing a lot of research. I had a lot of the same questions as you did, so I'll tell you how I approached it. But take what I say with a grain of salt because I'm definitely not an expert.

    If you can find the time, I would suggest searching on this forum--there are some discussions regarding the PocketPC vs Palm debate. Also, there are links to discussion boards devoted to PDAs & medicine. Some good ones:


    What I did was make a list of the programs I really wanted (using advice from people on message boards, including the very helpful go_medpeds). I wanted just a few main programs to start with, not a bunch of software I never used. Once I'd made that list, I found that all of the ones I wanted cost the same for Palm & Pocket PC. (Except Epocrates, which is 50 bucks for PocketPC & free for Palm. There are some other drug databases for free on Pocket PC, though they may not be as good. I'll have to try them out to decide.) So I figured 50 extra bucks for software if I got a Pocket PC. From what I can tell, new software that comes out is being made for both platforms, but I suppose someone could always choose to make some new freeware for just one or the other.

    When I started comparing the options, I found that my $250 would buy more installed memory (64 MB vs 16 MB) on a Pocket PC compared to a Palm or Sony. I figured the 50 extra bucks on software w/Pocket PC would be canceled out by having to buy more memory if I got a Palm. Also, I've heard programs run more slowly off of expansion cards so having more installed memory seemed preferable.

    Then I just found the ones (from both platforms) with all the features I wanted (voice recording, mp3 player, small size, expandability) and picked the fastest, best-looking one that I could afford. For me, it was an hp ipaq 1910.

    Of course, it's a complicated issue because Palm is much more popular, especially in medicine, and you may have certain features you really want (built in camera, wifi, etc.) which would affect your preferences. Battery life is supposedly not that great w/Pocket PCs. Also, you'll find people who'll say the Pocket PC OS is not as stable as the Palm OS, but it's debatable as far as I can tell.

    Here's a list of some you may want to look at to get started:

    Sony Clie: any model
    Palm: Zire 71, Tungsten T or Tungsten C
    Pocket PC: Dell Axim. HP Ipaq models (lots of them)

    Hope that is somewhat helpful! Let me know if you have any other questions I might be able to help with.

    GO_MEDPEDS Member 7+ Year Member

    Mar 8, 2003
    Yep, this is an ongoing dilemma for new PDA users... it's kind of like the schism between surgeons and internal medicine!

    Here's my two cents...

    I'll start off by saying that I own an Palm Tungsten|T and am quite happy with it. It is small, durable, and doesn't have anything "extra" on it to cause problems (keyboards, cameras, etc.)... although that makes it a little more utilitarian and certainly not as much fun!

    Pocket PC's are very fast, no doubt, and have very elegant screens with nice durability and software than feels very much like your desktop computer. Unfortunately, battery life is an issue, as well as the amount of software available for the Pocket PC. Palm has just been much more prolific than the Pocket PC, and although much of the software may not be of quite the same caliber, it is certainly quite usable. There is also much more freeware available for the Palm... www.palmgear.com has several very good medical programs that are totally free, whereas I have been hardpressed to find many free programs for the Pocket PC.

    Style is really the major difference between the two. The Palm developers have gone through great lengths to make many of the Windows Desktop programs compatible with the Palm Handhleds, but using a Palm/Clie/etc. still has a very different feel than using a Pocket PC. I have found that most people who are do not rely heavily on their PDA are much happier with the Pocket PCs, for I think the standard software is just a little more appealing to people used to Windows and not used to PDAs.

    As for speed, I've really found that Palm Handhelds can be very quick when you utilize such programs as Silverscreen/ZLauncher/XLauncher to enable quicker loading of programs and McPhling to have a quick pop-up menu of useful programs (all can be found at www.palmgear.com). I really do think that Palm's are more versatile and more stable, but I do admit to being biased.

    So, I think the best thing to do is to find people who have both types of PDA and get a feel for them. You must decide what you would be most comfortable with in terms of:
    1. Size (Clie's are very impressive, but rather bulky, as are many Pocket PCs)
    2. Battery Duration (are you one to forget to charge your batter, or do you use your PDA constantly and require longer battery length)
    3. Entertainment (all PDAs have some sort of MP3 player, but Pocket PCs do use Windows Media Player and may be more familiar in that sense. Clie's and the Zire 71 have digital cameras, but you must realize that these are not high quality pictures- but pretty good. Also, there are many more games available for the Palm OS, but Pocket PC is beginning to invest in more high quality games).
    4. Wireless capabilities (Pocket PCs have really begun to integrate both BlueTooth and Wi Fi for wireless capabilities. This is becoming available with the Palm Tungsten series and newest Clie's).
    5. Sharing programs (Ahem... you may find many of your colleagues are better able to share Palm programs than Pocket PC programs...)

    Well, just a few things to think about. I really do recommend getting a feel for the different PDAs before purchasing one. Also make sure to protect it well (try to find a warranty that protects you against scratches or screen damage... many won't).

  16. rachaelbb

    rachaelbb Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Sep 7, 2002
    Thanks so much for your input and advice. I'm going to do some more research on the websites you've recommended, and also try to actually get my hands on some models to test them out in the near future.
  17. Scrubbs

    Scrubbs Chisellers beware! 7+ Year Member

    Feb 28, 2003
    Up-to-Date is a fantastic resource! Many hospitals already have access, so you may not need to buy it. I have no clue what the cost is, but I managed to pirate the discs from a resident 3rd year... very useful! :thumbup: :thumbup:
  18. hunny0987

    hunny0987 Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 26, 2003
    I have the most difficult time trying to get UptoDate for my PocketPC. First of all, its only compatible with PocketPC. Second, you need a 1GB CF II card which cost me about 200 bucks. And you need a media reader to connect the CF card to your computer..another 30 bucks. So once I finally got all the hardware, the first version of UptoDate for PocketPC (which is free if you have an account) had a bug on it. It took them about three weeks to get me a new bug-free version which now they realize is not compatible with 2003 POcketPCs!!! So they told me theyde get me new version in about a month and I'm still waiting. It's been a totally agonizing and costly experience. Maybe the rest of you will have better luck.
  19. psi1467

    psi1467 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 4, 2000
    I'm a PDA virgin. So I was wondering if anyone knows whether you can beam programs from pocketpc's and palms back and forth to one another. Many of the people around the hospital seem to have palms, and I don't want to get a pocketpc if I won't be able to obtain potentially valuable info from them. Thanks in advance.
  20. gwyn779

    gwyn779 stargazer 7+ Year Member

    Just a small addition to the pockectPC vs. Palm debate:
    my school provides pocketPCs for our family med rotation and during our orientation to them, I got the chance to compare them first-hand with my palm, loaded w/ the same software. They provide new toshibas, can't remember the specific model, but I have a palm m505. The pocketPC ran more, not less, slowly. The orientation also included what to do WHEN, not if, the thing freezes up and you lose your information. I've had my palm for 2 years and it's never lost information. While pocketPCs come with more memory, it's because they need more memory. For everything.
    Anyway, that's my experience. Up until now, I was ambivalent about the two, but now I love my palm so much more.

Share This Page