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