Which Pharm Book For An Intern’s White Coat?

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One of the RookieDoc members shot me an email asking me about the pharmacology references I recommend to carry around in your white coat as an intern or a resident.

Here was a portion of our exchange:

Question:
I noticed you recommended Tarrascon Pocket Pharm – which edition is better, shirt pocket or lab coat pocket? I know the shirt pocket is a lot smaller, but will that be enough? It would be nice not to have to tote around a bigger book…if you could let me know what you think that would be great! Thanks again! I appreciate you getting back to me so quickly.

Answer:
You’re right, it’s better to carry around the smaller book.

  • Heavy stuff in your pockets eventually causes neck pain, back pain & headaches… and it usually takes people 6 months to a year to realize that that’s the problem.
  • Too many sources of information can be distracting.
  • Too many sources of information can be a time suck & leads to inefficiencies.
  • The more you can learn to use the resources around you, without depending on a single resource, the better… this isn’t necessary early on, but eventually, when you’re out in the working world, it will be priceless.
  • Internet access is everywhere – check to see if your program has access to some of the online resources – the online version of ePocrates, UpToDate, etc.
  • If you have a phone or a PDA, I’d skip the book & get ePocrates (even if you just get the free one)
  • Lastly, along the way, stay conscious of those times you say “Darn, I wish I had such&such”. If that occurs more than once, go out and get such&such.
  • Whatever you buy, save the receipt… and submit it for reimbursement if you have an education stipend.

    I hope that helps 🙂

    Dr. Tori
    RookieDoctor.com