Medical school students have one of the toughest jobs around: learning how to prevent, diagnose, and treat illness in high-stakes situations (sometimes even life or death). They need all the help they can get. Since memorization has traditionally been a huge part of medical school, smartphones and tablets have already come to play a huge role in modern medical treatment, allowing instant access to accurate data, calculations, and references. Yes, the smartphone is an indispensable part of modern medicine. Here are our picks for the Top 10 Best study Apps for Medical Students, including Brainscape for iOS, Android, or web.
Free (in-app purchases) – iOS
If you need assistance with medical calculations (from the simplest to the most complex), MedCalc can be a huge help. The database contains more than 300 formulas, scales, scores, and classifications in neurology, obstetrics, pediatrics, anesthesiology, respiratory, renal, EBM, electrolytes, and many more. MedCalc is perfect for quick reference and can’t be beat at the price.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive medical app, Lexicomp is a great place to start. With databases for drug information and interactions, dosing, OTCs and natural products, lab and diagnostic procedures, toxicology, and even dental, Lexicomp provides comprehensive reference information. The service is subscription-based, and can be expensive, but institutions often have subscriptions and database access can be purchased one at a time.
Need to test your diagnosis, testing, and treatment skills? Check out Prognosis; it’s like a game for med school students that allows you to test yourself and then learn from your mistakes in a risk-free environment. Prognosis will help you develop your decision-making skills using real-world patient examples, and then provides full breakdowns of patient conditions and how your efforts compared to the ideal treatment. And don’t worry — despite the cartoonish icon, the information in this app is medically accurate and completely dependable!
Another top-notch medical reference app, Epocrates is used by over 1 million healthcare professionals on a daily basis. Providers report saving up to 20 minutes a day with this app. It’s fully featured, allowing you to check drug interactions, consult peer-reviewed information on diseases, consult monographs about alternative medicine, and review guidelines for treatment and care. Epocrates even allows secure HIPAA-compliant text messaging with colleagues or care teams.
Med school students need to study. A lot. One of the best tools for that is Brainscape, a online flashcards system that uses a unique confidence-based repetition method to increase learning speed. Users can make their own decks and share them with classmates, which makes it a great collaborative study tool for learning drugs, diseases, hormones, or any other data-dense subject. There is also an MCAT study subject (created in partnership with Next Step Test Prep) for those who are preparing for med school.
CT scans take a great deal of training to read correctly, which is why many medical students spend hours staring at screens, referencing books, and trying to figure out what they are seeing. Radiology 2.0 aims to help with this by providing an interactive education in radiology. Extensive discussions follow each case to explain what you are seeing and the meaning behind it. This app uses many images (over 7,000!) to help you learn to interpret CT scans correctly. It’s a godsend for med school students!
This fascinating, beautifully animated app shows you every muscle, joint, and bone in the human body in stunning 3D detail. One hundred and forty five muscles are listed by name, action, origin, insertion, nerve supply, and comments in the app. Seven 3D models allow you to control and manipulate the major bones and joints, viewing how the muscles contract and how joints move on an internal level. Built-in quizzes help you master anatomy in a flash, and along with embedded videos and photos, they make this app a must-have for medical school — and for athletes too.
Free – iOS
This app uses neuroimaging information based on T1 MRI images to help you learn about the brain MRI field and neuroanatomy in general. Automatic segmentation helps to produce an atlas of neuroimages for the student to study. Tools let you zoom in, identify structures, make notes, and more. It’s like an MRI tutor in your pocket! Perfect for anyone in the neurosciences.
Free – iOS
Littman is a 3M-owned company that creates medical-grade stethoscopes, and the SoundBuilder app has the same purpose (albeit with an educational twist): improving the auscultation skills of students and practicing clinicians. 14 lessons provide an education in key heart sounds using text, a virtual mannequin, dynamic waveforms, and a 3D animation of a heart in action. Headphones are definitely recommended, since the difference between a healthy heart and a problematic one can be hard to pin down!
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