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PRSonally Speaking
Thursday, September 12, 2013
An App Review for Read
by Ash Patel, MD
Read by QxMD
Read is billed as a personalized medical and scientific journal, which is a familiar concept for which those of you using apps like Flipboard or Zite.

Having looked at a stack of unread journals sitting in my office and wondering how I would find the time to discover other articles of interest to me, I was pleased to find this app that could curate articles for me.

One of my practice partners recently introduced me to the app Read by QxMD, and I was impressed by the way the app allowed me to quickly review a selection of articles from a variety of journals, and then e-mail selected articles to colleagues.

Read is a free iOS app (suitable for both iPhone and iPad), available via the App store. Once the app is started for the first time, it will prompt the user to create an account.  This allows the user to access their preferences and stored articles across devices. If your affiliated institution is listed, you will be able to use proxy access to download full text pdf files of the articles you want to view, assuming that your institution is a subscriber. During the setup process, you can select which journals to follow from either the A-Z list, or by searching for the name. PRS is one of the listed journals, as well as a number of other plastic surgery journals including specialty journals.

On the iPad, the home screen of the app has a control bar across the top, which allows the user to switch between featured articles, access to the most recent issues of your selected journals, and articles selected based on user defined keywords. The developers of the app state that they use a combination of machine learning, semantic analysis, crowd-sourcing and proprietary algorithms to figure out which articles should be featured for each individual user. Whilst I have found that the system is not perfect, in that I’ve seen several non-relevant articles on my list, I have also discovered several articles that were of great interest which were published in non-plastic surgery journals.

Tapping an article will download the full text pdf to read. The user can then swipe through the pages of the article, and can highlight or underline text, or add notes. By tapping the star icon, the article will be added as one of your favorites. It can be tagged with a keyword for easier retrieval at a later date.
Another nice feature is the ability to share the full text article on Facebook, Twitter or via email. If full text access isn’t available it is still possible to share the citation.

In summary, I think that Read is an extremely useful app to access full text articles from a variety of journals, and I’ve found the simple way the app enables me to share and save articles very convenient. I’ve been generally impressed by the how relevant the featured articles have been. Users who do not have institutional full text access will find the app much less helpful.
If you have any questions, or suggestions for future blogs please e-mail me at
About the Blog

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

PRSonally Speaking is the official blog of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Visit our blog for exclusive previews of and discussions on hot topics in plastic surgery as well as insider-tips on open access content. PRSonally Speaking is now powered by frequent contributions from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ Young Plastic Surgeons Forum (YPS); these practicing plastic surgeons provide the personal side of the plastic surgery story, from daily challenges to unique insights. PRSonally Speaking is home to lively, civil debate on hot topics and great discussions pertaining to our field. So, bookmark us, subscribe to the RSS feed and join in the on-going conversation with Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. This is your Journal; have fun, be respectful, get engaged and interact with the PRS community.

The views and recommendations of guest contributors do not necessarily indicate official endorsements or opinions of the Journal, PRS, or the ASPS. All views are those of the authors and the authors alone.


Anureet K. Bajaj, MD is a practicing plastic surgeon in Oklahoma City. She completed residency and fellowship in 2004, had a brief stint in academia at the University of Cincinnati, and then chose to join her father (Paramjit Bajaj MD, also a practicing plastic surgeon) in private practice in OKC, where she focuses on breast reconstruction and general cosmetic surgeries.

Devra B. Becker, MD, FACS, is an Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery in the Department of Plastic Surgery at University Hospitals/Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio. She completed Plastic Surgery residency at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and completed fellowships with Daniel Marchac and with Bahman Guyuron. She currently has a primarily reconstructive practice.

Henry C. Hsia, MD, FACS is at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey and also holds an appointment at Princeton University.  When he’s not working hard trying to be a good father and husband, he runs a practice focused on reconstructive surgery and wound care as well as a research lab focused on wound biology and regenerative medicine.

Stephanie K. Rowen, MD is a senior physician at The Permanente Medical Group in San Jose, California.  She joined TPMG upon finishing residency and a hand surgery fellowship in 2005.  She has a primarily reconstructive practice, about 50% hand surgery.  Outside of work she enjoys participating in triathlons and spending time with her family.

Jon Ver Halen, MD is currently Chief of plastic surgery, Baptist Cancer Center; Research member, Vanderbilt- Ingram Cancer Center; Adjunct clinical faculty, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. He also acts as Program Director for the plastic surgery microvascular surgery fellowship. His practice focuses on oncologic reconstruction.

Tech Talk Bloggers

Adrian Murphy is a plastic surgery trainee in London, England. He studied medicine in Dublin, Ireland and has trained in Ireland, Boston, MA and the United Kingdom. He is a self-confessed geek and gadget aficionado.

Ash Patel, MD is Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery and Associate Program Director at Albany Medical College, in Albany NY. His practice is primarily reconstructive.