There are plenty of useful programs in the appmosphere (yes, appmosphere) that can help the average college intern when it comes to scheduling, setting reminders, managing projects, and of course, taking notes. Regardless of the type of internship that a student may take on, the variety of generic applications geared towards helping those in both academic and professional pursuits is truly astonishing, and many can even be downloaded free of charge. But when it comes to students pursuing the prestige of a medical degree, these apps may only be of limited use. And the reason is that eventually, every student will have to take a very specialized type of internship that involves working in a hospital setting. This is why Dr. Dale Dangleben decided to begin “enhancing surgical education one app at a time”, creating a variety of tools for use on smartphones and tablets.
The Surgical Intern Survival (SIS) Guide app is one of several created by Dr. Dangleben to meet his goal of providing useful applications to both students and medical professionals, and as every student coming up on their fourth year knows, internships and residency are right around the corner. This means that students who have spent the last few years with their noses buried in books or their hands sorting through cadavers will suddenly be forced into a situation where real, live patients may need their help (or at least real, live doctors and nurses may need help with patients). This frightening prospect could lead to some amount of “stage fright”, whereby an otherwise savvy student somehow forgets everything the moment he or she is confronted with a real world situation that demands medical knowledge and action.
Many students therefore take to carrying pocket-sized cheat sheets. But these bulky compendiums of condensed medical lore are often more trouble than they’re worth, especially in a critical situation. And this is where the SIS Guide comes in handy. It wasn’t long ago that the prospect of putting entire tomes into a pocket-sized device would have been considered a ludicrous proposition. But these days it’s no sweat to compile all the basic knowledge a medical intern needs into an easy-to-navigate app that can quickly help students to call up information on what to look for when monitoring a heart rate, how to apply sutures, or even the ins and outs of hospital etiquette. And sections for formulas and abbreviations will no doubt come in handy when a doctor or nurse is screaming out codes in the midst of a crisis.
But perhaps the most useful feature of this app is the “common floor calls” section that helps students deal with often-seen symptoms like chest pain, labored breathing, and so on. And sections for dictation and documentation can be extremely useful after the fact, once crises have been averted. So whether students are looking to move right into the ER or they wish to take on graduate internships in London, Los Angeles, or other major cities across the globe, this doctor-approved app can provide a useful supplemental tool that puts pertinent information at every medical student’s fingertips.
Thanks to Evan Fischer for this guest post. He is a freelance writer and part-time student at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California.