We’ve compiled the top online medical courses, videos, and apps that students use to improve their knowledge outside of the classroom.
So you finally made it into med school. Congrats! Before you down that bottle of Moet, realize the hard work isn’t behind you—it’s just about to begin.
We know that students need all the help they can get. It seems the students at the top of the class have a secret—many of them relying on a few high-quality online resources to enhance their learning and slash their study time. We are now letting you in on that secret.
Top Paid Platforms
Medmastery is one of the leading medical education platforms used by doctors and practitioners worldwide. They have courses across a wide variety of specialties and focus heavily on helping you develop crucial clinical skills (rather than just teaching dry theory). The learning platform has won a bunch of prestigious awards over the last few years and we can easily see why—their videos are fun and engaging, they offer courses in a wide variety of specialties, and their teachers are some of the most renowned professors and educators in the medical world.
Medmastery also offers full CME accreditation (which will be important when you finally start practicing and need to show that you’re staying up-to-date professionally!). Their courses are structured logically and the content is concise, designed to not overwhelm students but rather equip them with the 20% of skills that will help to solve over 80% of cases—a claim they certainly deliver on. Many medical learning platforms focus on knowledge-acquisition, whereas Medmastery focuses more on building solid foundation skills.
They offer a free trial membership (which gets you free access to chapter 1 of every course) and are currently offering free access to courses that relate to treating COVID-19 through their 1 Million Ventilator Staffing Challenge.
Run by practicing physicians, OnlineMedEd focuses on helping medical school students pass their board exams. The site takes you on a learning journey covering basic sciences (like biochemistry and cell physiology) and an exhaustive list of specialties, including endocrinology, pediatrics, nephrology, cardiology, trauma, and more. It also offers an Intern Boot Camp for students who are about to begin their internship and for those in their residency years.
OnlineMedEd has plenty of case studies to reference and an app to help you study on the go. Overall, this is a great site for integrating everything you learned in medical school and applying it in your first few years of practicing medicine. While the basic version is free, you will need to upgrade your account for access to all of their content and tools.
Picmonic is unique in that it serves as a knowledge-sharing platform as well as a tool to help you memorize important content. Picmonic is short for pictorial mnemonics and the startup uses pictures, images, and other memory devices to help you learn topics faster.
The premise is that if illustrations are wacky and crazy enough, they will permanently stay in your mind. It covers fundamental science courses like anatomy and physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, and epidemiology, among others. Picmonic is not an alternative to the other platforms reviewed here but, rather, a very useful supplement. You can access one free image per day but will need to upgrade your account for unlimited use.
This reference app is one of the most popular apps used by healthcare professionals and with good reason. It offers many important features, including drug interaction checkers, peer-reviewed articles on various diseases, consult monographs, and reviewed guidelines for treatment. This is a handy tool to have installed on your phone, ready to be called upon when needed. Some features of Epocrates are free but you will need to upgrade to gain access to all the tools offered on the app.
As a medical student, you are inundated with so much information that it is difficult to know what is important. Osmosis provides you with the right study techniques to help you retain, understand, and study more efficiently throughout medical school. They offer flashcards, videos, animations, and other tools to help you. The platform offers a free trial but you will need to subscribe to gain access to all features.
Top Free Platforms
There’s nothing like a freebie to get your brain juices flowing. Though it is very important to be cautious when accessing free open access medical education (FOAMED), these resources are quite popular and can offer you some pretty good bang for your (non-existent) buck.
Healio is a great resource for students looking for news and education articles on a variety of specialties such as cardiology, immunology, rheumatology, psychiatry, and more. Though it does place heavy emphasis on acquiring CME points (which will be very useful for when you begin practice) and does not offer structured courses, it does provide access to a rich database of content as well as information on upcoming medical conferences.
The University of Iowa created this free platform in 1996, which is a great resource for student researchers looking for information on a variety of medical topics including diseases and conditions affecting various bodily systems. Dubbed as the “directory of directories,” Hardin MD (the “MD” stands for “Meta Directory”) strives to provide the best lists and directories on information related to health and medicine. The site also contains a medical picture gallery of different conditions to help with diagnoses.
The Merck Manuals is the gold standard in medical learning platforms and offers many free resources important to students, including calculators, drug interaction tools, and research articles, which will help give you a strong foundation in the physiology, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of various diseases. It even has a blog for medical students called Med Student Stories.
This nifty app will help you test your diagnosis and treatment skills in the safety of a game-like environment. Prognosis is a great resource for consolidating your learning and practicing your knowledge.
With his easy to understand and engaging whiteboard animation videos that cover a wide variety of medical topics, Dr. Armando Hasudungan’s medical channel is one of the most popular medical YouTube channels. For bonus content and early access to his videos, you can become a Patron.
For those of you who relied on Khan Academy to get you through school, you will be pleased to know that this behemoth in educational platforms has moved into the medical learning sphere. Khan Academy Medicine offers students a virtual library for lectures on medical conditions, exam prep guides, and practice questions, and is one of the top go-to channels for medical students everywhere.
Do you know of another awesome resource we should include? Let the expert advisors at MedSchoolCoach know and we’ll consider adding it in!