As 3rd year is drawing to a close, I was reflecting on how I’m grateful that I grew up in the technology age. Smartphones and applications have made such an amazing impact on how we seek and interpret information. When I was on rotations, physicians would always comment on how they would carry these books around as med students and sit there and sift through pages to find the information pertinent to patient care. Can you imagine doing that now? I can’t even fathom having to carry a book around let alone spend time searching through it! I definitely wouldn’t have the patience for it.
It’s crazy how the vast databases of knowledge are right at our fingertips! For instance, when I was looking up the appropriate treatment for community acquired pneumonia, I just take out my phone and pull up Merck Manual Professional (the app of course!). Fortunately, there was an excellent article on the topic, complete with a table on how to treat community-acquired pneumonia. Now it’s not about how long it takes me to find the information, it’s about whether the internet is working properly!!
I have a whole host of apps that I use to help me on rotations. UpToDate, Merck Manual Professional, MDCalc, Wikipedia, etc, are but a few apps that are loaded on my phone. If I find that I have a clinical question, I can just navigate to PubMed or Google Scholar, and start looking for the primary literature! Not only that, I can then download the paper and read it on my smartphone/tablet! What an age to be in!