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Books, Journals, New Media
December 17, 2003


Author Affiliations

Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; David H. Morse, MS, University of Southern California, Norris Medical Library, Journal Review Editor.

JAMA. 2003;290(23):3142. doi:10.1001/jama.290.23.3142-a

I had the privilege of reviewing the Sabiston Textbook of Surgery, 16th edition, for JAMA 2 years ago.1 Thus, I agreed to evaluate the personal digital assistant (PDA) version of this outstanding text, although, like many fellow septuagenarians, I was not very familiar with using a PDA. I constantly marvel at the proficiency of the interns, residents, and young attendings who use this mysterious device every day. My institution has issued PDAs to all house staff, the majority of whom have already added one of the pocket software versions of a specialty textbook to their existing PDA. Since this is my first experience with this educational tool, I could not compare the Sabiston Pocket Companion to others on the market, but to ensure a more credible review, I recruited one of my junior surgery residents to assist me. When out of the operating room, he constantly uses his PDA to search for educational material, record patient data, post operating procedures, and maintain a short- and long-term schedule of activities for himself and his family.