Wow, I'm really surprised your school doesn't have access to UpToDate...that's a a pretty vital clinical resource. I would start out by petitioning the library to get the license for it. Are there other schools out there that don't have this service available?
I don't think I can answer your question since I'm only a first year and I think 3rd and 4th year are when it would really come in handy. I've used it a handful of times so far this year and have found it to be extremely helpful...it would have taken me hours to pick through individual journal articles to get the same info I got from UpToDate in 10 mins. $200/year is pretty steep, though...I would definitely talk to one of your librarians before spending that money to see if they have a similar resource that you don't know about. At my school, the librarians love to help and are very knowledgable about the best ways to get info.
Not sure where you go to school, Mega, but I just had a brainstorm that you could check the libraries of nearby undergrad institutions (or other med schools) to see if they have an UTD subscription you could use. This might work if you go to school in a bigger city with other schools close by.
We have MDconsult available to us through our school. They say they are working on the uptodate.com access but it doesnt look like it will be happening in the next year.
Andy - I had actually looked into seeing if I could get it from another med school in the state but that doesn't look like it's going to be an option. We just have a near by jr college and I'm not sure if they have a library.
Apparently it's not increadibly uncommon not to have it as several of my other med school friends dont have it.
I am in PBL and when I google for stuff uptodate seems to have stuff that would be great but then I can only get access to the first paragraph of things.
Since you have a PBL curriculum, I think it would be even more to your advantage to buy uptodate, since you are teaching yourself a large part of medical school. The articles are put together by experts in the field, and it is evidence based. When the author is stating his/her expert opinion, it is clearly marked. There are literature references. Plus, it's as easy to use as google, but you get better information.