‘Taber’s’ App a Must for Medical Students

There are a lot of expenses associated with pursuing an education in a medical field. First and foremost, there is the cost of tuition, which could run into the tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. But while that is certainly the most pressing financial concern for most students, you could also be shelling out a ton of money for other necessities, with living expenses like a dorm (or student housing), transportation, and of course, books and other materials for class topping the list. So free apps that provide supplemental information can be a godsend. Of course, even paid apps can be desirable if they serve as a substitution for pricy medical texts. And ‘Taber’s Medical Dictionary for Mobile + Web’ may cost more than the average app, but considering what you’ll get for your money it’s a must for any serious medical student.

In truth, the app itself is free to download. But you won’t get far without a paid online account to connect to. So your first order of business is to go to the Unbound Medicine website so that you can open an account. Now, you might be asking yourself why you would shell out $50 for this program, which only provides you with a yearly subscription for the price, when you can simply purchase a paper copy of the same book for 40 bucks and keep it forever. There are actually several reasons why you’re better off getting the digital version and the app, even though it will cost you more.

First, you need to consider ease of use. Would you rather carry around yet another 10-pound tome in your backpack or would you prefer to access all of your medical definitions courtesy of your smartphone or tablet (as well as your computer)? The answer to that should be pretty clear. And considering that you would have to purchase the book annually in any case in order to get the most current information available, you’re really not paying that much more. Further, you can simply look at the extra payout as part of the cost of gaining an education. And then there is all of the additional functionality you get with the app that is not available with your standard print copy.

You can start by using the universal index search, a quick way to gain instant access to the terms you need to know. The app contains 60,000 terms, including 9,000 new or updated entries in the 21st edition, as well as 30,000 audio files to help you with pronunciation, 1,000 hi-res, color pics to illustrate terms and concepts, and even a patient care section that includes 600 entries. Plus, you can create a list of favorites for quick reference. The interface is easy to navigate and the iPad version has been optimized for better picture quality and to allow side-by-side panes for concurrent navigation and reading.

So whether you’re looking at nurse practitioner masters programs or you’re shooting to become a medical doctor, this app can definitely help you to stay apprised of the latest medical terminology, quickly find definitions for words you’re not familiar with, and save any entries that you might need to refer back to later on. It may seem expensive, but in the grand scheme of things, the small additional cost (over print editions) is worth it for the functionality and features you’ll gain. And once you enter the working world you can write off the ongoing cost as a business expense.