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An App a Day Keeps the Doctor’s (boredom) Away!

Which apps and podcasts are UBC residents tuned into? The Results are in!

We know UBC residents are always making the most out of their smartphones to learn and help out on the wards. We asked you which apps and podcasts UBC residents are using. The results are in!

When it comes to medical podcasts, there was some local flavor in responders’ favourites, including CrackCast, produced by some UBC Emergency Medicine residents, and the Best Science Medicine Podcast, which is led by James McCormack of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UBC. McCormack and the rest of the Therapeutics Education Collaboration, that hosts the podcast (as well as an accompanying blog), consider themselves “Medication Mythbusters,” promoting the rational, evidence-based practice of medications.

Ever wish you could learn information from a textbook through osmosis? Well some UBC Emergency Medicine residents have come close! These Vancouver Island-based residents systematically cover topics from a major textbook for this specialty, Rosen’s Emergency Medicine. Of the CrackCast podcast, one respondent stated that is provides succinct summaries of the material and has really helped my studying. Other podcasts that served as good resources for the specialty of emergency medicine include EMCrit and EMBasic.

In what should be a surprise to no one, UpToDate is the preferred medical app most cited by respondents. Adapted from the website, respondents benefitted from UpToDate’s breadth and depth of information and ease of use. Equipped with disclosure statements and hyperlinked references, it is seen as a reliable and reputable source. Keep your remote access updated by logging into UpToDate on hospital-networked computer!

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 Other well-known medical apps such as Bugs and Drugs and Medcape were touted as favorites as well. The latter has downloadable content that can be used even when Wi-Fi and data are unavailable.

Residents have to know how to diagnose diseases, perform acute and long-term management, counsel patients and take on many other duties in their different roles. Thanks to a number of medical calculator apps, arithmetic is not one of these duties. MedCalc and Calculate by QxMD were described as go-to apps because of their utility in calculating doses.


If keeping up with the latest medical literature has ever seemed too overwhelming, Read by QxMD brings relevant and trending articles right to your inbox. Every week, you’ll get a list of the latest research in whichever topic you choose. The app provides a friendly interface and access to full articles. A convenient way to stay on top of new medical knowledge!

Few residents will deal with weight-based dosing as much as those in pediatrics. For this reason, PediStat was recognized as a favorite.

It is particularly suitable for fast-paced pediatric environments like the pediatric emergency room.
One neurology resident described the American Academy of Neurology’s Continuum Audio podcast, which “provides hour-long overviews of common clinically relevant neurological topics,” as a way to increase their brain power in neurology that serves as an alternative to reading textbooks.

First Consult, MD on call, and the Canadian Pharmacists Association’s RxTx are general medical apps that can be used by residents in many different specialty programs.

Favorite Podcasts

My favorite medical podcast is CrackCast. It is produced by some UBC Emergency Medicine residents in Victoria, and it systematically covers chapters from Rosen’s, a core Emergency Medicine textbook. It provides succinct summaries of the material and has really helped my studying.

My favourite medical podcast is continuum audio for neurology.  I really like these podcasts because I am a neuro resident and these podcast provide hour long overviews of common, clinically relevant neurological topics.  It a great way to study that doesn’t involve reading another textbook.

Authored by Resident Doctors Nazlee Tabarsi, Bryan Chow, and Bolu Ogunyemi.

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author: Melissa Nilan