After Epocrates and the web, smartphone app needs vary greatly

Knowing full well that one person's "must-have" is another person's waste of time, we present a short rundown from the Medical Smartphones blog of "essential" smartphone apps for med students and residents. "In some ways, I'm tempted to say, here are the essential medical software you need to survive: 1. Epocrates 2. Internet-enabled web browser (this way, you can look everything else up)," writes Dr. Joseph Kim.

He's only somewhat joking there. Kim says young doctors and medical students also "can't live without" medical calculators--included with some versions of the Epocrates drug reference--as well as decision support tool UpToDate, the Merck Manual and 5-Minute Clinical Consult. Others will find apps specific to their level of training, their medical specialty and their smartphone's operating system. With students on clinical rotations, needs, of course, change often. "So my list of 'essentials' is relatively short because the Internet becomes the ultimate 'essential,'" Kim writes.

We do hope Kim was kidding with his parenthetical comment that "by the time you're an attending, you shouldn't be relying on a smartphone, right?" We could go on for days about the inherent fallibility of even the most brilliant, learned human minds, and the need for clinical decision support systems in medicine, but we'll stick to mobile healthcare here.

To see Kim's whole list and some relevant links:
- click through to his Medical Smartphones post