My own $0.02 as someone who went to medical school after specializing in a tech field (graduate engineering degree and licensed professional engineer).
I found medical school quite different from engineering and had to approach it differently. Before med school, I would have agreed with most people here who said: don't worry about notes and just pay attention; you'll understand it better, and can review the textbooks. It worked great for engineering.
That does not work for medical school. There is an overwhelming amount of factual information to absorb, and most of it you won't be able to comprehend as a cohesive whole. Sometimes it's because the information is coming at you too quickly. Sometimes it's because you haven't learned the necessary background theory yet to understand it; sometimes it's because *medical science* hasn't learned the theory behind the phenomenon yet. Sometimes there *is* nothing to understand --the facts simply are. And you often can't fall back on textbooks, because often there *are* no textbooks to use, especially in upper years -- medical science advances too quickly for textbooks. Instead, you're going to get a lot of info from journal articles, seminars, and just hearing your peers and teachers converse.
Thus the goal is to absorb information as much as possible; you may be more able to conceptually connect and assimilate the information later, perhaps later that day, perhaps a few years down the road. You'll want to take notes quickly, and yet do it in a searchable manner so you can easily retrieve information later.
For me personally, and I suspect for the majority of Slashdotters, this would mean a laptop to take text notes. I would be able to quickly type and get ideas on text, while reserving most of my brain power for trying to understand what I could of the concept. If later on I had to look up something, I could always do a text search. In my case I would probably use vi because that's what I'm familiar with, and maybe identify keywords with a "#" (so I could, for example, look for "#hyponatremia" later on). But any software is fine as long as it's something you're comfortable typing on, including Microsoft Word For People Who Don't Really Care About FOSS And Just Want To Type The Damn Text.
But the software has to be DEAD EASY to use, the equivalent of paper and pencil. If you want something with more features, make sure they can be used in the blink of an eye, like one keystroke to bring the cursor to the end of the text and begin adding notes. If you have to do Alt-O Alt-B Down Down Down Enter just to start typing, you're going to lose your train of thought. Forget about grammar checkers and spell checkers messing up the screen, and pop-up windows that say "You have typed this 14-letter would 3 times already. Would you like to assign this to Alt-Ctrl-Shift F12?" You want something on which you can type without even having to look at the screen.
One advantage of text files is that you start to accumulate a corpus of notes which may last you well into the clinical rotations and possibly even in practice as a doctor. You'll easily be able to go back to very old notes and connect it with new information, allowing you to assimilate and organize your knowledge --something that I still do on a weekly basis as a practicing physician.
My own med school notes were on paper; if only I had a laptop and vi back then! It was a very sharp transition point when I started accumulating electronic notes instead of on that burgeoning notebook on paper. All I learned which I noted on paper is a vague fuzzy memory now; all I learned which I noted electronically is easily recallable and thus has probably been so recalled many times in the course of just doing my job.
1. In med school, information arrives more quickly than can be immediately assimilated without taking notes.
2. Typing as text file has the easy of pencil and paper and the retrievability of electronic data.