Third Year Medical Student Mobile Device Requirement

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Third Year Medical Student Mobile Device Requirement

Mobile devices are useful tools in a variety of clinical settings. They provide quick access to reference materials and medical applications. All third year medical students are required to own one of the recommended mobile devices. The entire Student Source site has been optimized for mobile iOS devices. For more resources see our Mobile Medicine site.

Mobile Devices were made a requirement several years ago to make them eligible to be included in financial aid packages. We found that over 90% of all third year students were buying them on their own before the requirement.  By making them required, up to $250 toward the purchase of a mobile device may be covered by financial aid.

If you will be purchasing a new mobile device we recommend the following models:


  • Model: Apple iPod Touch 8 GB or greater
  • Operating System: 4.3 or later
  • Approximate cost: $250
  • Model: iPad Mini 16 GB or greater
  • Operating System: 6 or later
  • Approximate cost: $300 for WiFi only, $430 WiFi + Cell


  • Model: 4S, 5, 5S, 5C with 8 GB or greater
  • Operating System: 4.3 or later
  • Approximate cost: $0-200 plus monthly calling plan fees

The Major Differences:

The iPod Touch, iPad, and iPhone use the same operating system and can run the same software. All have WiFi built in, and have identical capabilities for playing music, videos and podcasts. The iPhone is also a cell phone, and is available on AT&T, Sprint and Verizon networks. The iPad Mini is available with optional cell data service, with a monthly plan. The iPhone and cellular iPad allows you to check mail and surf the web over a cell phone connection, as well as a WiFi connection. All models work equally well for medical applications.

Should I get the models with more memory?

All models of  iPod Touch, iPad and iPhone models are available with more memory. Eight GB is fine for running medical applications. The only reason to consider the higher capacity models is if you want to store large amounts of music or video on your device.

Where to Buy:

iPod Touches and iPad Minis are available at all Apple retail locations, including Cavalier Computers, Walmart and Best Buy. iPhones are available only through AT&T retail locationsVerizon, SprintWalmart, Best Buy and Apple's online store.

How much are iPhone and iPad Mini calling/data plans?

Please see AT&T's current iPhone plan information,  Verizon's information and Sprint's information.

Desktop/Laptop Connectivity

A personal computer with Internet access is recommended to install mobile software and perform regular updates. See the Apple site for minimum operating system requirements. While it is possible to install all IOS updates wirelessly, it is important to backup your device. This can be done via your computer or iCloud, but there is a fee for the use of iCloud backup.

Other SmartPhones

We support only Apple iOS devices at this time. The medical applications used are all available on the Apple iOS platform. That cannot be said for the other mobile platforms (Droid, Windows, Blackberry). Furthermore we depend upon an iOS app from our vendor, Oasis, for tracking the patient encounters and checklist requirements during the clerkships.

Mobile Medicine Portal & Available Software

We have developed a portal specifically for use by mobile devices, Mobile Medicine, to give quick access to resources, software and instructions on how to set up your device. Bookmark it in your mobile device's web browser. We also maintain a list of recommended mobile apps. Links to downloads for other recommended mobile software packages can be found at the Health Sciences Library's Mobile Resource page.

Mobile Device Assistance

The Health Sciences Library offers walk-in assistance in setting up your mobile device for the UVa wireless network and UVa email. They also maintain a collection of online documentation answering common questions on these devices. For assistance, visit the Library's Service Desk, or contact them here via phone, IM, or text.

Have questions about your current mobile device and the requirement?  Contact Mark Moody at or 924-1528.