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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Mark R Hutchinson, MD (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: This CD-ROM for a PDA provides a quick reference for sports medicine and arthroscopy information from one of the prime references in orthopedics.
Purpose: The purpose of this format is to make the content of Techniques in Orthopaedics readily available on a personal palm pilot when the book or computer version is not immediately available. This is a worthy objective, especially for residents in training who may be on call and may not have quick access to their reference books. When it works, it provides a reference in a single selected subfield of orthopedics.
Audience: The product is targeted to all orthopedic surgeons in practice and in training. However, the users should already be computer savvy and have a relatively high usage of their PDA for data collection, storage, and information. It seems best targeted at residents in training but could serve as a quick reference to all orthopedists. The problem is that this application does not cover all orthopedics, only sports and arthroscopy. The credibility of the authors is beyond question.
Features: The information is of good quality, but the publication limits the user's ability to have a single reference available on a PDA for a broad range of orthopedics. Clearly, sports trained physicians would not need the reference, while generalists would like a reference not only on sports but on foot and ankle, hand, tumors, etc., readily available on their PDA. I found the installation difficult and it actually altered the performance of my Dell Inspiron 8000 and my PDA until I reconfigured things to make it work properly. Installation should be error free and simple.
Assessment: The new wave of available information has progressed from requiring visiting a library to find a book, to the age of the computer and the Internet. Now with enough memory on a PDA, one can have the text of a favorite reference available in the palm of your hand. This is an admirable concept; however, if I need to learn something thoroughly I still seek out the text and if I need to research a project or a problem I will complement it with an Internet search.