Medical Encyclopedia puts a virtual doctor on call

Paging Doctor iPhone. The University of Maryland Medical Center has assembled 50,000 pages of in-depth information for the tremendously useful and accessible Medical Encyclopedia Application. Information is organized by symptom, injury, test and poison, as well as a variety of other categories and special topics.

App organization is an example of great bedside manner. You can go from the high-level view to the specific in easy, coherent steps.

Entries are written in plain language and illustrations are instructive.  An excerpt: “Human bites are usually caused by one human biting another.”  Drill deeper, and you’ll probably find scholarly citations and peer review. It toggles easily from English to Spanish and has traveler-specific advice, including diets that are appropriate to new surroundings.

The site offers full disclosure, including a note on the last time each article was reviewed for accuracy and currency.

Finally, this app allows you to ask University of Maryland Medical Center physicians specific questions.  Let’s say you are reading the latest on “forehead lifts” and wondering if your forehead is sagging beyond what is desirable. You can jump on this app and ask a doctor.  He will furrow his brow… and, maybe, yours.

And if you are adventurous, you can find webcasts of surgical procedures that will amaze your friends.  We recommend charging them a quarter each to watch anything involving the spine.

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