Everyday Family Medicine Apps

Several of these apps remain on my phone today, getting used daily or weekly. The others are useful, but not as frequently used. They run the gamut from a full handbook to a simple single purpose calculator, but all came in useful at one time or another. If you’re looking for info on medications or antibiotics you’ll need to see our other post. Now, let’s dive in to my everyday family medicine apps.

UCSF Hospitalist Handbook

Think of this as a much more useful version of the Pocket Medicine (AKA the purple book) your IM attending insisted you buy. Available via AgileMD, it’s well worth the $20 price tag. A great resource for middle-of-the-night (or just before rounds) to confirm a plan or remind yourself of a full differential. UCSF provides this to their housestaff for a reason. If you’re averse to the ease of searching such an app, the paper version of this would be the Tarascon pink book, which is about the same cost and is small enough for a pocket.


Go ahead and make an account, this is definitely an everyday family medicine app. There’s going to be calculations you simply cannot remember, even though you do them frequently. This website and phone app are invaluable on hospital nights, when exhausted, or just wanting to be sure you haven’t screwed up a quick calculation you already know. 


Great for clinic, this tool searches USPSTF guidelines based on your patient’s age and a few other criteria. Helpful to be sure you’re not missing a screening service you should be offering at an annual physical, and easy to use if you’re chart prepping in the morning. Our new EHR supposedly does this service, but has yet to be right in my patients, so I still use the app a few times every month.

Apps for Clinic

ASCVD Risk Calculator – Explaining isn’t as good as showing. Let your patient SEE how much lower their heart attack or stroke risk is if they quit smoking or make another lifestyle change. It helps more than you realize.

CDC Vaccine – Pick an age and scroll. If you need the nitty-gritty details I find it’s often easier to pull it up on my computer in clinic, however I am required to carry it in and out of each patient room. If this is not your case, using the phone app may be easier.

Which P-vax?The PneumoVaccines app is one of MANY made by Dr. Joshua Steinberg, and it’s worth checking out his iphone store. I simply cannot remember when they get 23 vs 13. Thank you, app maker, for saving my sanity, and telling me the proper indications for each based on age. The CDC also has their own version.

Eye Chart – Sometimes you end up in the ED or on the floor with a patient having a new eye complaint. Do a quick check with this free app that awesomly randomizes the letters so you can be sure it’s not their memory giving them better results on the second eye you test.

Concussion – From a group of neurologists a nice little app for field-side evaluation of sports concussion. Also works well in the urgent care/ED setting or when you get a surprising acute clinic visit, although the recommendation is to use the SCAT 5 app.

LactMed – See the OB and pediatrics post for more on this!

UpToDate – If your residency pays for this service you can create a free account and login every 2 months to have access from your phone. WORTH IT.

Google – Obviously not an app, but there’s nothing wrong with a quick web search if you have a question and you didn’t find a good answer in UpToDate or one of the other resources at hand. By now you should know what results are trust worthy and what aren’t (but if you don’t, no worries, we’ll have some future posts about how to find answers on your own)


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Last updated: 2019-10-19