Health IS Technology Blog

What Are the Top Apps for Medical Students?


"About 88% of medical students reported owning a smart device and had medical apps installed on their smart devices. Most students reported positive perceptions towards medical apps and agreed they have a positive impact on their studies and clinical practice." ~ Journal of Mobile Technology in Medicine

Healthcare professional using a mobile device

How Have Apps Influenced Academic Medicine?

If you’re considering or currently studying medicine and are seeking some technology-related resources to give yourself a competitive advantage, you could start taking advantage of the amazing opportunities digital apps present. Mobile phones, tablets, and wearable technology have had a significant impact on the way that the academic medicine community gains access to and shares information, particularly with the proliferation of digital applications or "apps" for future and current medical students. Not only do these apps help to keep medical students in sync with others in the medical community for collaboration but also connected to huge volumes of valuable study and lifestyle tools.

Never again, must your learning experiences be restricted to predetermined time frames within the confines of the classroom. Through the Internet, students across the globe can access information at anytime, and with mobile phones that data can be accessed from anywhere. Whether you’re aiming to diligently study during some down time in the dorm or waiting in line at the supermarket, the opportunity to learn something new is never further than your fingertips. And when you’re juggling biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and various lab coursework, alongside the demands of everyday life, this can prove to be very valuable.

  • In short, mobile technology and apps make continuous learning a given for the modern med. student trying to stay on his or her toes. Skip ahead for for a list of top rated apps

Generally speaking, technology isn’t amazing simply because it digitizes and saves some paper. It’s amazing because it can make information both easily accessible and exceptionally personal for users. This is particularly true for mobile applications because you can access them on-campus, on-the-go. That means that you can choose where and how you tune in and engage in learning, which is directly relevant and meaningful to your unique academic and lifestyle goals. Ultimately, this can help you to stay ahead of the competition and better prepare for your academic career.

  • Another factor that makes apps appealing is the ability to personalize your learning experience, in and outside of the classroom 

"In one of the United Kingdom healthcare regions, an online survey about the use of smartphone apps was completed by 257 medical students and 131 junior doctors. 79% of medical students owned a smartphone with the majority having 1 to 5 medical apps, followed by 6 to 11, and few up to 15 apps or more. The most popular apps used among medical students were disease diagnosis and management, as well as drug reference apps. Future app ideas were suggested by the students and included apps linked to the student’s respective organizations. For example, apps that integrate their timetable, lectures, and modules objectives in a way that tells them: ‘Where they should be and when’ as well as ‘what they should be learning’ on the go and without having to stop." ~ Weill Cornell Medicine

What Apps Help Students w/ MCAT Test Prep?

USF requires students to take the Medical College Admission Test a.k.a. the MCAT in order to be considered for admission to MD (i.e. medical doctor) programs, for which each student should research and prepare for with care. That said, there are a wealth of useful applications that can aid in your test preparation process as you go about your daily routines on and off-campus. Google Play for example, offers a number of these apps for free. The list below has some of the top rated apps based on the reviews of users who have already tested them firsthand. Consider them as bonus study tools. 

Healthcare professionals on a laptop

"September isn't just a time for back-to-school shopping. For premed students, it is also the last month in which the Medical College Admission Test is offered. It is common for students to hire private tutors, sign up with test preparation companies or buy study guides to prepare for the test. But mobile apps offer yet another option to help students study. They let students review information on the go and are often offered at a fraction of the price of face-to-face tutoring." ~ USNews

Top Rated MCAT Apps for Future Med. Students:

MCAT Practice, Prep Flashcards (4.5 Stars from 50 Reviewers)

MCAT 2016 Mastery (4.25 Stars from 287 Reviewers)

Ready4 MCAT (4 Stars from 254 Reviewers)

What Apps Are Medical Students Using for School?

The school year is well underway and that means that the time and phone space that you've dedicated to popular games like, Pokemon Go should be replaced with some of the tech tools you can use to succeed in school. Whether you're need some help balancing a hectic schedule and monitoring your diet or if you're seeking inexpensive studying solutions, there are a variety of digital resources that can help. If you’re already a student focused on a medical major, then you may want to explore some of the apps that are already available for you. These apps offer everything from a convenient access to the latest medical news and publications to flashcards, atlases, and multimedia resources to help you with your studies (e.g. vocabulary, anatomically accurate models of the human body, etc.). They're also a lot of fun! 

Highly Rated Educational Apps for Medical Students:

  • Medscape Mobile (4.4 Stars from 43,449 Reviewers)
    • Resource: Medical news, calculators, tools, disease, and drug and information
  • Human Anatomy Atlas (4.3 Stars from 1,886 Reviewers)
    • Resource: 3D anatomical human bodies with clear animations and explanations
  • Brainscape via iTunes (4 Stars from 73 Reviewers, All Versions: 4.5 Stars from 5,849)
    • Resource: Find, share, create, and time color-coded flashcards with multimedia
  • IM (i.e. Internal Medicine) Essential Flashcards (4.5 Stars from 42 Reviewers)
    • Resource: Find and create flashcards to study medical topics anytime, on-the-go

USF Health Information Systems is a comprehensive technology group serving the needs of the Academic Research and Clinical missions. We partner with our customers to deliver agile responsive technology solutions that drive business value and make life better for our students and patients. Be informed at all times by visiting health.usf.edu/is/. You can connect directly via phone by calling (813) 974-6288 or by sending us an email via support@health.usf.edu, after hours.

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Bekah Witten
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Bekah is the content writer for the University of South Florida's Health Information Systems, and a recent graduate from the University of Tampa.