Smartphone app review: Eponyms



Trying to wade through all the techy talk about smartphone apps for nurses? Here’s a quick review of an indispensable application called “Eponyms” by Andrew Yee, MD, that is a must-download for every nurse.

What it is

“Eponyms” is a very comprehensive database of, well, eponyms. Eponyms are names given to disease processes, anatomical structures, clinical findings, etc., that are named after their discoverer or the person in whom the disease was first found. (Personally, I hope to never have a disease called “Bowman’s Disease”! I want to be famous, not infamous.)

“Eponyms” software is available for the iPhone, Palm devices, BlackBerry devices, Windows Mobile and Pocket PC. The database currently has more than 1,600 listings! I have an iPhone and a Palm TX, and the application works flawlessly on both platforms.

When you’ll need it

Let’s say you’re a nurse in a busy ER. The triage nurse has just brought back the umpteenth patient to your care area and says, “The patient tells me she has a history of Naxos disease.” Of course, unless you grew up on the island of Naxos, you likely have no idea what this is or what potential it may have for your patient.

So you pull out your iPhone (or other applicable device), tap on the “Eponyms” application icon, type in “N-A-X-O-S” and quickly discover that Naxos disease is a syndrome that includes arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy. Within a few seconds you at least have a better understanding of a disease you had never heard of before.

You may customize the application by “starring” your favorite eponyms for quick recall. In addition, the application may be searched by category and covers all common areas of medicine: Anatomy, Biochemistry & Metabolism, Cardiovascular, Dermatology, Ear-Nose-Throat, Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, Geographical, Gynecology, Hematology, Infectious Disease, Miscellaneous, Neurology, Obstetrics, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Orthopedics, Pathology, Pediatrics, Procedures & Tests, Psychiatry, Pulmonary, Radiology, Renal, Rheumatology, Signs, Syndromes and Urology. A very comprehensive collection!

A special bonus: The “learn” mode on the iPhone allows you to shake the phone to display a random eponym or a definition. Quiz time!

Deals for students

Dr. Yee is currently affiliated with the Oncology staff at Massachusetts General Hospital and is an instructor at Harvard Medical School. He frequently updates his database and his prices are very reasonable. If you’re a student, the application for the iPhone is free. If not, it costs only $2.00 for the professional version. An amazing price for a very comprehensive database. There’s no difference between the two versions—Dr. Yee just seems to have a soft spot for poor students.

For more information, visit

Andrew Bowman
Andrew J. Bowman, MSN, RN, ACNP-BC, is an acute nurse practitioner and trauma nurse specialist. He resides and works in Lebanon, Indiana.

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