iMedicalApps: Sanford Guide to Antimicrobial Therapy


Frequently, trainees ask me why they need a dedicated infectious disease guide. Why can’t they just use a drug guide such as Epocrates or Lexicomp or reference apps such as UpToDate, DynaMed, or Essential Evidence Plus? Perhaps they could. Or, trainees would ask, why can’t they just use a paper version like the old Sanford Guide in their white coat they’ve been carrying around?

The issue with the reference apps is that in order to find what you are looking for you have to dig through excellent but unnecessary text in UpToDate or DynaMed to drill down to the information you need. The problem with the paper guide should be obvious — not getting the frequent digital updates that the app would receive — for example, just look at the content in a 2019 versus 2020 Sanford Guide regarding COVID-19!

So for years I have been recommending either the outstanding Johns Hopkins ABX Guide or the equally excellent Sanford Guide. Due mostly to interface preference, I would give a slight thumbs up to Hopkins over Sanford as the infectious disease app of choice. However, over the intervening years, the Sanford app has improved its “load time” and undergone several interface changes. In April 2020, the “look” of the Sanford Guide apps was standardized and in my opinion is the best-looking version yet.

The app interface is also better in nearly every way. The outstanding content certainly hasn’t changed, but is just even quicker and easier to access.


  • Interface is faster than ever, easier to use with the newer design, and still includes universal search, notes, and bookmarks — now with cloud support across devices
  • Detailed coverage of pathogen topics and not just drug recommendations with numerous calculators, sections on prevention, prophylaxis, and vaccines
  • Available for Android


  • “Content” subsections not as detailed as previous “Quick Jumps” for some topics
  • Topic content may not be detailed enough for those used to UpToDate and DynaMed
  • Some tables and graphics are not optimized for mobile

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