Remote access to medical references
Working remotely often means doing without many things. This can be medical equipment, diagnostics, reference books, air conditioning and hot water. Fortunately, most locations on the planet now can feature “web access” through several methods including satellite connections. Remote web access is costly, sometimes unreliable and costly (deliberately mentioned twice). With web access one can visit a multitude of sites to search for medical reference material. The key is having access to medical references without relying on the internet. The other key is having as much information as you can have with the greatest ease of carrying.
Problems and solutions
I am a believer in redundancy. The famous saying goes “two is one and one is none”. Accessing online medial references is great but what do you do if you have a power issue, connection problems or are in a location such as a canyon that prohibits satellite line-of-sight? Also, this information is targeted at mortals like me who constantly look things up, read voraciously and study continuously. Practitioners who do not use medical references, know everything and do not study are exempt from these problems.
After testing and trialing many devices I have settled on a Kindle reader, iPad and iPod. My reading platform is Amazon’s Kindle and I also make use of Documents to Go for pdf and word documents. Each device performs a different function and purpose.
Good: Amazing battery life, better for reading outside in daylight, lightweight
Bad: Hard to read “large sized documents”, hard to use hyperlinks
Good: Amazing display especially indoors, easy to search through, easy to read, web browser, 10 hour battery life
Bad: Expensive, 10 hour battery life, fragile
Good: very portable, runs kindle software
Bad: hard to read/study on, least battery life of all three
Books I have for remote medical practice on my ebook reader
- Improvised Medicine by Kenneth Iserson
- Special Operations Forces Medical Handbook
- Pfenninger and Fowler’s Procedures for Primary Care: Expert Consult (Pfenninger, Pfenniger and Fowler’s Procedures for Primary Care, Expert Consult)
- Cecil Medicine: Expert Consult Premium Edition (Cecil Textbook of Medicine)
- Clinical Dermatology (Clinical Dermatology (Habif))
- Sports Medicine: Study Guide and Review for Boards
- Netter’s Clinical Anatomy E-Book
- The Johns Hopkins Manual of Gynecology and Obstetrics
- Zollinger’s Atlas of Surgical Operations, Ninth Edition
- Manson’s Tropical Diseases
- The Travel and Tropical Medicine Manual
- Emergency Orthopedics, Sixth Edition
- CURRENT Diagnosis and Treatment Surgery: Thirteenth Edition
- CURRENT Procedures Surgery
- The Harriet Lane Handbook: Mobile Medicine Series
- Tintinalli’s Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide, Seventh Edition
- Basics of Anesthesia: Expert Consult
- Oxford American Handbook of Emergency Medicine
- Family Medicine : Ambulatory Care and Prevention, Fifth Edition
- Wilderness Medicine: Expert Consult Premium Edition
- CDC Health Information for International Travel 2012 : The Yellow Book
- Medicine for Mountaineering: And Other Wilderness Activitites
- Various Tarascon Books
Now this is simply what I carry when I go off to a remote site. I also believe that there may be better textbooks available than what I have in ebook form. However, not all books are available as an ebook. Often times, I work for 1-2 weeks in a remote area, frequently without decent internet access. These textbooks are what I have found useful to help in diagnosis, treatment and management.
As for power: Power Monkey is all you need to know!
I would be interested in learning what other books people advise or are carrying on their jobs! Please let me know other creative ideas you might have for using medical references in remote locations including power solutions, readers, technology devices, etc.