metallo

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I started 3rd year a couple weeks ago, and I've occasionally been using my iPhone to go online and look up topics during rounds and lectures. I've noticed an attending or lecturer looking at me a few times, and they haven't said anything, but I wonder if they think I'm just texting or doing something else off topic. Anyone else had this happen? Maybe I'm just paranoid, but I feel like doing this with a phone looks worse than if I had a PDA. What do you guys think... should I try not to use my phone in these situations?
 
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SouthernSurgeon

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I started 3rd year a couple weeks ago, and I've occasionally been using my iPhone to go online and look up topics during rounds and lectures. I've noticed an attending or lecturer looking at me a few times, and they haven't said anything, but I wonder if they think I'm just texting or doing something else off topic. Anyone else had this happen? Maybe I'm just paranoid, but I feel like doing this with a phone looks worse than if I had a PDA. What do you guys think... should I try not to use my phone in these situations?
Absolutely do not use a phone/pda/iphone/etc. during rounds. Your attention should be on what is being talked about right then and there. Even if you are using it for a legit reason (epocrates, etc), there is no way for an attending to know that. The assumption will likely be that you are not paying attention and are texting/emailing during rounds. NOT a good impression.

The only time I would use my phone during rounds is if there were some specific question that the team had - in that case I might say "I'll try to look it up on my phone"
 

OncoCaP

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I would avoid using it on rounds unless, perhaps, you are using your iPhone briefly/occasionally to take notes about topics you might want to read up on later (in which case I would let the attending know that this is what you are doing ... otherwise they might think you are texting your gf/bf). Looking up stuff during rounds (even in a book) is just going to decrease your grade because it makes it look like you don't know the answers (they are evaluating your knowledge, not you + iPhone). The only case where I look up things on my iPhone during rounds is when no one on our team knows the answer (including the attending) and the attending really want to know the answer no matter what ..., in which case I will say "I can look it up on my iPhone..." and then provide the answer.
 

group_theory

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Absolutely do not use a phone/pda/iphone/etc. during rounds. Your attention should be on what is being talked about right then and there. Even if you are using it for a legit reason (epocrates, etc), there is no way for an attending to know that. The assumption will likely be that you are not paying attention and are texting/emailing during rounds. NOT a good impression.

Agree with this statement - ABSOLUTELY DO NOT USE YOUR PHONE/PDA DURING ROUNDS. If it is something you are interested in or want to know, you can either ask or look it up later. On rounds, I will have no idea if you are looking up something on 5-minute clinical consult, Epocrates, or updating your facebook status. Also, while you are busying looking up information, you're missing the content of the talk. Essentially you are telling the presenter that you don't care what he/she is talking or trying to teach. Another consequence is that if your attending or residents think you don't care, then why give you more talks and bedside teaching rounds.

Your attending or resident may or may not say something but it will reflect poorly on you (and professionalism is one of the 6 core acgme compentencies that the ACGME is trying to push).


Also, answering the phone during rounds with "Hello. I got time to talk, they're not rounding on my patient right now" is also very bad form. It might lead to the attending sending a strongly worded email to both the clerkship director and dean of clinical education.
 
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agranulocytosis

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Yeah, generally it's not such a good idea to be so dependent on a device/book/whatever for your on-the-spot knowledge. At least that's my philosophy. Plus there's tons of teaching going on during your consultation to your source, whatever it may be (it may be indirect by way of resident-attending interaction).
 

DoctaJay

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Yeah I'm on outpaitent medicine so I don't have rounds but I still had to explain to my attending the first time that I whipped it out that I was looking up a drug, or reading up on a disease, not playing around. After that my attending didn't raise his eyebrows anymore. But I suppose that whipping it out on rounds where you can't speak up and explain yourself is a bad idea.
 

Depakote

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My attending and I were consulting with another attending (younger, looked like he was fresh out of residency) who was using his PDA at the time. On the way back to my attending's office he commented that "I think Dr. _____ was twittering." Since that point, I've made it a point to absolutely avoid touching my PDA when in the same room with him unless I absolutely have to look something up and then I make sure to comment that that's what I'm doing.


(BTW. It did look like the other attending, who was between surgeries, was probably doing something recreational on his phone)
 

Rogue Synapse

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On the other other hand, I was once scolded by an attending for not attempting to find the answer to something when I was utterly stumped by his question on rounds. It was a simple question, and I gave a few wrong guesses and then just sort of waited for him to tell me the answer, and he said "well, don't you have one of those PDAs and fingers to use it?" This is probably an exception though - losing points for not whipping out the PDA on rounds.
 

Tiger26

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I use my itouch pretty much everyday on rounds. I made a point of showing the residents some of the great medical apps, so they know what I'm using it for. Regardless, I'm there to learn, so if it helps me look up and learn something when it comes up on rounds, I don't really care what anyone else thinks. Granted, I do it without looking completely obvious, but still, I wouldn't really worry about it.
 

SouthernSurgeon

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I use my itouch pretty much everyday on rounds. I made a point of showing the residents some of the great medical apps, so they know what I'm using it for. Regardless, I'm there to learn, so if it helps me look up and learn something when it comes up on rounds, I don't really care what anyone else thinks. Granted, I do it without looking completely obvious, but still, I wouldn't really worry about it.
I just know that at my school it has been a point of discussion among a number of attendings and course directors. One student last year actually had a comment in their grade about it under "professionalism".
 

lilnoelle

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and I got a positive statement from one of my preceptors about my use of technology
I think its important to get a feel for your attending and residents feelings on the issue before using a smartphone. My current attending uses his a lot, so it was a no brainer for me.
 

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I wouldn't just pick up your phone and look up a random question that you just happen to be wondering about. If your attending asks a question and expects and answer within the next 60 seconds, first I'd try the Red Handbook (forgot the title) or pharmacopoeia. Then, and only then, would I pull out my phone and check Epocrates. And usually, only if the residents have already pulled out theirs or asked me to pull out mine and look it up quickly.

You must make sure they know (without a doubt) that you are doing work and only work on your phone!
 

Cerberus

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Absolutely do not use a phone/pda/iphone/etc. during rounds. Your attention should be on what is being talked about right then and there. Even if you are using it for a legit reason (epocrates, etc), there is no way for an attending to know that. The assumption will likely be that you are not paying attention and are texting/emailing during rounds. NOT a good impression.

The only time I would use my phone during rounds is if there were some specific question that the team had - in that case I might say "I'll try to look it up on my phone"
I disagree. Now I wouldn't pull it out when you are getting pimped but I religiously use my during rounds to look up things that I don't know about and attendings have actually sad positive things about it ("I like that as soon as something comes up during rounds, you've got it pulled it up and have given us an answer"). Of course, I didn't start using it until the end of M3 year and by that point I'd started stopped worrying about whether the attending du jour liked me (something which actually seems to have improved my evals).
 
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SouthernSurgeon

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I disagree. Now I wouldn't pull it out when you are getting pimped but I religiously use my during rounds to look up things that I don't know about and attendings have actually sad positive things about it ("I like that as soon as something comes up during rounds, you've got it pulled it up and have given us an answer"). Of course, I didn't start using it until the end of M3 year and by that point I'd started stopped worrying about whether the attending du jour liked me (something which actually seems to have improved my evals).
I'm more talking about the people who just pull out the phone when the attention isn't on them, or during idle time during rounds. The ones lurking in the back of the rounds team looking at their phone while the attending/resident/other student is talking. If you are trying to use it to answer a specific question that is somewhat different.
 

tfom08

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OK, so nobody here sends txt msgs while on rounds?? I'm the only one?? I mean, who cares if they see you using the phone every once in awhile. One thing I have done though, whether I'm looking something up, or sending a text, or just browsing the internet while an attending does an examination: if you have a stylus on your PDA, use it because it makes you look like you're doing something other than texting. Also, try to look like you are concentrating and/or deep in thought while you use your phone. When you are done doing whatever you just did, if someone noticed you, make sure you finish up by quoting some medical information so that it gives the impression you just looked something up. By doing those simple steps, I've never had any bad comments or funny looks from attendings.
 

a winner is you

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It just depends on your attending/resident. Both of mine during my current rotations regularly use their smartphones, so I've been using mine and never got any weird looks. We'll see when I get my comments back I suppose, but I'm pretty sure they don't care.
 

TopSecret

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The iPhone has some pretty cool games. :thumbup:

[YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcKmvtjzUqg[/YOUTUBE]