Computers, Apps, and Other Study Resources

Cathay

🚂Train Driver🚆
Emeritus Staff
Starting medicine 2020 and my old high school laptop needs replacing. Are there any recommendations regarding specific brands and models that are popular among current med students? Thanks!
Rather than brands and models "popular among current med students"... I'd think more about size & weight (how big and therefore heavy a laptop will you want to carry?) and of course battery life. Laptops are pretty generic stuff, so you just gotta find the right size, weight, and battery life for you - and shop around for a good price!

Oh also it may end up being a typical student dilemma of laptop vs iPad vs Surface Pro vs other tablet vs other tablet-laptop hybrid etc etc.

To pre-empt a further question: you'll see a bunch of macbooks at uni - it's NOT even a med thing, just uni in general you see a lot of macbooks. Do not, I repeat, do not feel like you need one of those to "be productive" or "do well".
 

Benjamin

ICU Reg (JCU)
Emeritus Staff
Starting medicine 2020 and my old high school laptop needs replacing. Are there any recommendations regarding specific brands and models that are popular among current med students? Thanks!

This might sound ridiculous but honestly a refurbished 2013 macbook air is still probably one of the best laptops you can buy for the money if all you are doing is studying. They have essentially no moving parts, are unbreakable, normal USB ports and if the battery has been replaced recently will have enough battery to get you through an entire day without any issues. I have tried to upgrade from mine several times but have had no success in finding a good replacement.
 

Clubs

Member
Something that gained alittle bit on interest in regards to future applications even just as a learning tool that I've found is medical holodeck. Been really interesting especially if you have friends or know anyone with access to a VR headset as a learning tool.
 

ponyswordz

Adelaide BDS (2020-2024)
Valued Member
Having finished first-year physiotherapy (where human anatomy is heavily emphasised) and preparing to commence first-year dentistry, I hope to bring some insight into some potential resources that would be helpful for anyone planning on doing anatomy as a unit or subject in university. As a reflection of my experiences, I found anatomy to be almost like a second language. It is very intimidating during the first 3 or so weeks when you are trying to get used to what study patterns work for you and also getting used to the new fancy words which are used to name the different anatomical structures. However, as time progresses, you begin to notice a lot of mnemonics (eg. Harry Potter abbreviation for memorising the 12 cranial nerves), analogies (triangles are used a lot :p - eg. femoral triangle, ant/post neck triangle, inguinal triangle, etc.) and definitions of Latin words (eg. coracoid process: coracoid means crow's beak whilst process means sticking out so combining the 2 words would equate to the pointy bit sticking out forward near the top of the shoulder / acromion process: acromion sounds like apex so combining the 2 words would equate to the pointy bit at the very top of the shoulder). Once you get a feel for these terms, you will have a smooth transition into anatomy going forth.

I have also been through several resources and I plan on highlighting the resources that worked best for ME (1 textbook, 1 website link and 1 online app) that propelled my success and interest in anatomy.

Textbook
The textbook Mcminn & Abraham's Clinical Atlas of Human Anatomy is an absolute must to have when studying for Anatomy. The book is extremely extensive with many photos of graphic images with regards to wet specimens that you will be dealing with which gives you so much of a simulation of the prosections/dissections that you will be doing in class. This helped me prepare for my spot tests because wet lab sessions are very valuable periods of learning time which unfortunately are very hard to reschedule. Believe me, after 2-3 or so weeks, you will forget a lot of things from previous wet lab sessions and this book is a great way to rehash and bring back to memory those concepts. The textbook also had a lot of text box descriptions which always had a lot of miscellaneous information (not covered in lectures but always came up in MCQ).

Website Link
Another really great aid which I recommend watching before and after your wet lab sessions would be the dissection/prosection videos from the University of Wisconsin - School of Medicine Faculty (Gross Anatomy Dissections - SMPH Video Library) This link is really great as it explores a lot of nifty tricks, mnemonics, analogies and step-by-step VISUAL guides on how to dissect specimens in accordance to muscle attachments. An immense help for me when preparing for spot tests as well and really understanding how the processes of our body are governed by these anatomical structures.

Online App
Complete Anatomy (Complete Anatomy | advanced 3D anatomy platform) is the literal bible of learning that made me really enjoy anatomy due to how customisable the features are in viewing the human body models through a 3D perspective. There are so many functions to isolate different muscles, biological structures, bones and learn about each structure separately which makes the learning really engaging. Whilst this is a paid program which costs a decent amount (around $24.99 + $46.99 USD) for both Android Phone and Windows (Individual - Lifetime License), it is well worth the price in allowing me to view anatomy from a whole new perspective rather than as a grind (which can feel like it at times when you have to remember like 10,000 ligaments, muscles, muscle actions, origins/insertions, etc.).

Other Resources
1) TeachMeAnatomy: In my opinion, it does oversimplify anatomy to some extent but it is very concise. As such, I would not recommend using it as a first-time learning tool but rather as a revision utility to finetune important things that you may forget about anatomy. A brilliant free resource nevertheless.
2) Kaplan Anatomy Colouring Book: Haven't used this myself personally but many of the smart anatomy peers in my classes said that it helped immensely with their memorisation of different muscle groups and attachments.
3) Skull/vertebrae/skeleton models: If your university provides this as a resource (eg. I know UQ's Biological Sciences Library has this for sure), definitely use these as a supplementary tool for study. If anything, hands-on is downright the best way to learn anatomy. When you get to the wet labs, don't be the person who never puts their gloves on -> be the person who is always asking questions and always feeling around the wet specimens

Might update this if any new ideas pop up in my mind or if anyone else wants to add onto the list, PM me :)
 
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Fili

Dentistry Student 🦷
Moderator
During my biomed degree, I found that this website was really useful for anatomy as well.


It helps to see the models in 3D and the best part is that it's all FREE. All you need is an internet browser.

I would use it when the anatomy library with their models were closed and I wanted to study more. I would then find a google image online of the certain body part and put it into anki via image occlusion. I found this helpful as you're pretty much studying as you make the anki anyways + I did not want to pay for any resources I didn't need to.

Since I'll be studying dentistry this year, I'll probably need to study more anatomy again. However, I doubt I'll pay for any anatomy resources since I like making my own anki anyways and find that doing so helps with the memorization process.
 

Dusk

Member
Hi guys, this
There are quite a bit of Uni deals for laptops lately (e.g. the free beats headphones if you buy a mac from the apple store) etc. I was wondering if these types of deals may be given by the Uni themselves once we enter? Do uni's do this? Just wondering whether I should buy a new Mac now or wait till im in uni for any other discounts that the uni may provide...
Thanks for the help!
 

LMG!

MBBS IV
Administrator
Hi guys, this
There are quite a bit of Uni deals for laptops lately (e.g. the free beats headphones if you buy a mac from the apple store) etc. I was wondering if these types of deals may be given by the Uni themselves once we enter? Do uni's do this? Just wondering whether I should buy a new Mac now or wait till im in uni for any other discounts that the uni may provide...
Thanks for the help!

If you’re after a new model Mac, then I doubt you’ll do much better than apple’s own student discount*. I’ve never experienced a Uni offering deals on Macs.

*assuming they still offer this (it’s what I used to buy mine a few years ago).
 

Dusk

Member
Thank you LMG! Do you guys think that getting 128GB of storage is enough or is 256GB recommended? (this if for Macbooks)
 

ucatboy

MD II
Valued Member
Thank you LMG! Do you guys think that getting 128GB of storage is enough or is 256GB recommended? (this if for Macbooks)
If you're JUST using it for work-related purposes, 128 GB is enough. But if you plan on storing any movies, games etc., definitely go for the 256 GB. You're probs gonna be using your computer for the next 5 or so years, so definitely plan ahead as the storage for the MacBook is soldered onto the motherboard and cannot be upgraded.
 
Thank you LMG! Do you guys think that getting 128GB of storage is enough or is 256GB recommended? (this if for Macbooks)
Many universities give a ridiculous amount of free online storage (Like terabytes of free onedrive storage), so 128GB is definitely enough for any laptop
 

Jace

Member
Hi Everyone, I really want to share a resource called Picmonic that I've been using for a couple months now that I've noticed it isn't mentioned on MSO. It is an American company that essentially turns medical facts (also available for nursing, pharmacy etc.) you have to remember into pictures and stories. It takes advantage of our ability to more easily remember pictures and stories as well as spaced repetition to revise. It has saved me a lot of time trying to remember information and doesn't feel like studying! Also there is a 8% difference in my test scores after using it for a couple weeks (may be a fluke though hahaha). It's definitely not for everyone though because it is a paid resource (but they let you create a free account to test it out.), but I think the money I spent on this was more worth it than any textbook I bought. It is also aimed at remembering in the long term and not suppose to be for cramming before an exam.

I do have a referral link for 20% off (Links posted with Moderator permission): Picmonic for Medicine: Master High Yield Information Faster., but disclaimer although I am not affiliated with them I do benefit if people sign up by earning free time on Picmonic, though I'm posting this mainly for the 20% off if people are interested. Otherwise here is the normal link to Picmonic if you just want to check it out: Why Students Use Picmonic to Improve Memory Retention for School Exams
 
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Kezza

Kevin
Thank you very much ucatboy!! 256GB is good for the long run then:)
No Dont do this - you can literally buy a 512gb usb which you can leave permanently in your macbook for $50 and spend what you would have spent on the SSD upgrade on ram if you really want to future proof yourself.

Note: I do graphic design as part of my work and 128GB on my macbook is more then enough once you factor in external storage and cloud

I'm a fan of the iPad Pro for Med students - But i'd wait until March 2020 for the new one.
 

ucatboy

MD II
Valued Member
No Dont do this - you can literally buy a 512gb usb which you can leave permanently in your macbook for $50 and spend what you would have spent on the SSD upgrade on ram if you really want to future proof yourself.

Note: I do graphic design as part of my work and 128GB on my macbook is more then enough once you factor in external storage and cloud

I'm a fan of the iPad Pro for Med students - But i'd wait until March 2020 for the new one.
Where on earth are you buying a 512 GB USB stick that's not only Type-C but also miniature enough to not stick out of the already small USB port? B r u h

Not to mention the security concerns - someone could steal all of your files simply by unplugging your USB.
 

garmonbozia

Membered Value
Valued Member
I'm a fan of the iPad Pro for Med students - But i'd wait until March 2020 for the new one.
Ehh IDK about that (for the current model at least). The iPad Pro is indeed useful for drawing diagrams and taking notes, but I found almost immediately that I preferred writing with an actual pen on actual paper. My main issue is with its usability as a primary device. Sure, there are iPadOS versions of lots of desktop programs (Office, Docs, etc) but these are incredibly clunky to use and don't have half the features of the "full" versions - not to mention the fact that importing files in and out of different apps (which you'll spend 50% of your time on, given how slow it is) is a real pain because the system architecture is simply not built around a file manager. If the iPad Pro was a device more like the Surface (i.e. fully-fledged desktop operating system, integrated laptop functionality) I would wholeheartedly recommend it, but as it stands it's simply not ready for use as a replacement for a laptop.

Edit: Not to mention that it’s hella expensive - the iPad itself will set you back at least $1230, and if you buy the Pencil and Smart Keyboard Folio that adds another $470 to the cost. So $1700 for a tablet that can’t do what a laptop can.
 
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Kezza

Kevin
Where on earth are you buying a 512 GB USB stick that's not only Type-C but also miniature enough to not stick out of the already small USB port? B r u h

Not to mention the security concerns - someone could steal all of your files simply by unplugging your USB.
I was referring to usb 3 not usb c - although as for security, you could say the same for any bit of storage you don't encrypt or password-protect.
 
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