Sunday, July 28, 2013

Why I Needed an iPad (and You Might, Too)

First: I am not receiving any form of payment or incentive from Apple and I have no conflicts of interest to report.

If you're about to start med school, I encourage you to think about getting an iPad now, before class starts. I waited until a week or two into school, but I could have just bought one right away. I pretty much knew I needed one on the first day, but I was afraid it would be a waste of money (more thoughts on the expense to come). My undergrad routine of using ~6 highlighters was waaaaaay too slow for med school lectures. But I still needed to be able to highlight, take notes, etc. 

If you learn better when you can physically take notes, I highly recommend a tablet. 

If you have a photographic memory, stop reading my blog because you make me mad.

What about the cost? Okay, so at our school (and most) we can get our syllabi as free PDFs or we can pay to print/buy printed copies. The syllabi start to get pretty expensive to print. (I'm pretty sure we calculated that the ROI on an iPad was less than 1 semester.) 

[In case you don't already know about syllabi, in med school the syllabus is the textbook. Your lecturers actually write their lectures for the syllabus and it (usually) includes all testable material. For classes like Biochemistry & Gross Anatomy, we had one syllabus per block (about 150-200 pages) for three blocks.]

I also got the wifi-only iPad (not 3G), because I knew I'd mostly use it at home or school. Plus you can still use Dropbox, iAnnotate, etc. without Internet access; it just syncs the next time you're online. So with wifi-only, plus the Apple student discount, it really wasn't too bad.

One other reason my iPad saved my life: you always have your books with you. (This may be good or bad, depending how much of a psycho you are about studying.) But I love that I always have my iPad and therefore always have my syllabi. This means I can study while I wait at the doctor, sit on the bus, when my friend is late for dinner, etc. It's impossible to carry around 3+ syllabi everywhere. (I also walked home from school fairly often and an iPad is much more portable than 800 sheets of paper, in case you didn't know.)

So, think about it. You will not die if you "wait and see" like I did, but it would have saved me a little stress to have decided in advance. 

Please feel free to ask questions, as always:


  1. Plus, like Angry Birds HD

    1. Here, here! And Twitter, FB, etc. for when a lecturer is going too slow or someone asks a terrible questions.

  2. I got my iPad in my third year, and I take it everywhere. It saves my life on numerous occasions.

    1. I think 3rd year I may upgrade to a 3G iPad. Any rec?


Questions? Comments?