8 Apps to Help You Make it Through Medical School

Medical school students have it tough – lots to study for, tons of rote memorization, and hundreds upon hundreds of pages to read every single week. Luckily, developers have noticed this problem, and there are plenty of apps out there to help make the average medical student’s life easier. These applications range from detailed, intriguing reference applications to applications that help ease the pain of all the studying require to succeed in medical school.

This roundup contains first and foremost a section dedicated to some of the best reference applications available for students of medicine. Applications range from a medical dictionary to ways to study up on muscles, drugs, and much more. I’ve also included some study and organization tools in the roundup. Knowing how expensive medical school, textbooks and even some of the applications are, I’ve tried to include free alternatives whenever possible. Read on to learn about some of the best applications for medical students on the Mac.

Reference Applications

Grays Anatomy – Student Edition

First up is a classic – the Student Edition of Gray’s Anatomy. Gray’s is a classical medical text that was first published back in the 19th century. Now, the text and illustrations are available for free in the Mac Student Version application. The app contains the complete text, scrollable thumbnails of all 1247 illustrations, bookmarks, and much more. The text is a great reference tool for any student of medicine, and at a cost of nothing it’s definitely a must download.

Price: Free
Requires: OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: Archibald Industries

Visible Body 3D Human Anatomy Atlas

Next up is a great way to learn and explore the human anatomical systems and structures. Visible Body 3D Human Anatomy Atlas is an application featuring fully interactive 3D models of over 2,500 different anatomical structures, including all major organs and systems in both the male and female body. Thumbnails and easy search capabilities ensure that this application is easy-to-use and practical for students, whether you need to brush up on some undergraduate knowledge or are trying to master a system for your current classes.

Price: $39.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later
Developer: Argosy Publishing

Muscle System Pro III

Another great way to master the systems and structures of the human body is through 3D4Medical.com’s great series of applications. Applications such as Muscle System Pro III provide an incredibly detailed way to learn about specific parts of the body. The Muscle System Pro application offers 3D views of parts and pieces, images of insertion and origin points, animations of movements and muscles, quizzes and much more. The applications are incredibly detailed and can be used either to learn or as a reference application when needed. The entire series of applications they provide are all well-worth checking out, depending on your study needs at the time.

Price: $14.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: 3D4Medical.com

Medical Dictionary!

A good medical dictionary is certainly a tool any medical student or professional needs. The ability to condense the dictionary into a digital format, rather than carrying around books, is definitely helpful. Medical Dictionary! is an application featuring over 15,000 terms and detailed explanations as well as a complete list of diseases, drugs, abbreviations and acronyms. The dictionary is also completely offline, so it is available for reference at any time.

Price: $9.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: Aihua Soft

Drugs & Medications

The final application I’ve chosen to include in the reference section is an application by the makers of the Medical Dictionary. This application, however, is known as Drugs & Medications and provides a reference tool featuring over 6000 FDA approved drugs and detailed information. All of the information is available offline, although links are available that go directly to the FDA website for additional information. This is definitely a great way for medical students to learn about the drugs available for use with patients for a variety of symptoms and diseases.

Price: $9.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: Aihua Soft

Study and Productivity Applications


Unfortunately, medical school is full of lectures and classes – and that means lots of documents and powerpoint presentations to look over. This means any good medical student is definitely in need of a good office suite. If you are willing to spend money, there are many options, but if you need a full-fledged office suite that is available for free, check out NeoOffice. This suite is a modification of the OpenOffice.org software made specifically for Macs. The suite provides all of the major office programs, including viable alternatives to Word, Excel, PowerPoint and much more. Definitely worth a try if paying for an office suite (even the student version) isn’t quite in your budget.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.4/10.5 or later (depending upon the version you download)
Developer: Patrick Luby and Ed Peterlin


Medical school students have a lot to remember to do – classes to attend, exams to study for, labs to complete and much more. Thus, a good to-do application is needed. iProcrastinate is a great application designed with students and homework assignments in mind. Utilize the features in the application to track and organize assignments, break down big projects into smaller items, create repeating tasks, and more. The application is available for Mac and iPhone, and soon for the iPad, to ensure that your tasks are synced across your devices.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: Craig Otis


Last but not least is my favorite flash card application for the Mac, iFlash. I haven’t yet found a good, free alternative that supports the features a medical student needs, so I believe it’s best to splurge a bit and invest in an app like iFlash. The app offers all of the great features – ability to add audio and images, unlimited sides for the flash cards, and the ability to print and export the flashcards. iFlash also offers a variety of ways to study, including an interval training system to best help you master the flashcards at hand. There is also an app available for free for the iPhone/iPod Touch so you can easily type up the cards on your computer and then take them to go so you can study no matter your location.

Price: $14.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.4.4 or later
Developer: Loopware


Medical students definitely have it tough – long, sleepless nights full of books and studying. Hopefully, these applications can help to ease the stress of medical school. Whether you need an app to learn the muscles and bones of the body, a way to research medications and terminology, a study application, or just a way to read your professor’s notes, there are many different applications to try out. And these are just apps to help in school – once you get into the hospital itself, there are infinitely more applications.

I’m curious, as always, to hear from you. Do you know of an app that every good medical student should have? Let’s hear from the students themselves! What are your favorite applications to use during your time in medical school?