Friday, January 25, 2008

Up To Date

I need to find out how to get paid for my product endorsements. Zappos, are you listening?

On a recent post I mentioned Uptodate as a great source for medical information. Most residents trained these days are raised on Uptodate. Currently a subscription costs $495 annually, tho you get to renew for $395. I would have trouble practicing medicine without it.

It started as a great source for primary care docs, but they are adding content constantly and is not endorsed by some specialty societies as well. The information is evidence-based where possible, and well sourced.

I turn to it often, for all those diagnoses or clinical questions that I only run across a few times a year. It's a great refresher. It has all but replaced my textbooks, which are outofdate by the time you get them. I continue to use my sports medicine book, and my derm books, but little else.

It's got some downsides. I don't like the patient handouts - they're written at too high a level for my liking. I don't always love the way that it separates information on conditions. It often has a separate article completely for diagnosis, treatment, etiology, etc. I don't find it useful for derm issues either - I still need to leaf through something and look at pictures often. There are more and more photos, but of course you need to know the condition you are looking up first, which is not always the position that I am in.

All in all, I am a better doctor for Uptodate. While I'm at it, Epocrates on my palm pilot is difficult to live without. For good measure, I also officially endorse Hershey's Nuggets Dark Chocolate with Almonds.

7 comments:

Femail doc said...

Ouch, that is pricey. But that's also high praise, and textbooks are cumbersome, out-of-date, and the print has gotten way too small for these aging eyes to scan in a hurry. I think I'll give it a whirl.

Residents in my day hauled the Washington Manual around. Period. I'm lucky to stay in contact with my stethoscope, reading glasses, a pen, and an rx pad during office hours. My palm pilot is NEVER where I need it.

Anonymous said...

I LOOOOOOOVE UpToDate! I recently graduated from residency and moved from the States to New Zealand to practice for a year. I use it several times every day and it saves my butt over and over again (who remembers what urine test you order to rule out a carcinoid tumor? UpToDate knows! etc). Worth every penny.

Ten out of Ten said...

I haven't had Uptodate since I finished residency, and I miss it. I can usually get by with emedicine and the textbooks, but there have been times unfortunately when they are inadequate.

Also I would like to officially endorse Dunkin Donuts Coffee.

janemariemd said...

I think Dr RW wrote a post a while back about being "UptoDate dependent", and I did too. I like Google Images for dermatology stuff, especially in the exam room with the patient. UptoDate makes it easy to rack up the CME credits, too, although lately I've been feeling I would benefit from a trip away from the office TO a meeting to get some in-depth knowledge.

I remember the Wash Manual--before it was too big to fit in a white-coat pocket! It WAS the Bible. It's still published I think, but I haven't looked at it in years.

Dr. Smak said...

JaneMarie - I remembered those posts, but I didn't remember where I had read them. Being the super tech-savvy doc that I am, I have not been able to figure out how to get CME credit from uptodate, tho I know it's a theoretical possibility.

janemariemd said...

Hi Dr. Smak--after you log in, there's a bar with headings that include "New Search" etc, and "CME" is one of them. Just click on it and follow the directions, it's pretty easy. If you sign in every day and search it like I do, you probably have hundreds of potential CME credits. It makes the rather stiff price worth it I think!

TBTAM said...

YOu know what I love about up to date? NO PHARMA SPONSORSHIP!!! That's whay it costs to use it. A small price to pay, I say, for medical info without the spin.