Best method to learn pharmacology?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by RN1, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. RN1

    RN1 Junior Member
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    What is the best textbook for pharmacology?

    What is the best review book? In old posts people say Pharm Recall is the best but I don’t like the question and answer style. Should I still use it? How are the BRS, HY and RR Pharm books?

    I don’t like flashcards but many people seem to use them. How essential are they?

    Thanks
     
  2. gluon999

    gluon999 Senior Member
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    For school purposes, our notes were so-so. Wiki is pretty good to look up things. If you would rather have books, the one book I used was Lippincott Pharm which was ok. The best way IMO to drugs and their effects/side-effects are to think of patients I've seen use those drugs. Unfortunately, by 2nd year you just haven't seen enough patients.

    For Step 1 though, first aid should be enough. And to really ram it in, BRS pharm flash cards are very good.
     
  3. 146233

    146233 Phthirius pubis

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    I personally don't have any experience with this yet, but a lot of the second/third years at my school swear by LWW PharmCards, especially for Step 1 prep.
     
  4. mjl1717

    mjl1717 Senior Member
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    Geez: Thats the saga of this arena. Fast questions and even Faster answers
    I like Pharm Recall because I could go swimming, lie on my back and absorb it..(its has convenient access and fits in my hand.)

    If thats too conflicting, most would agree the "King of pharm" is Goodman and Gillman but be prepared for the fight of your life with decreased oxygen!

    **But that Lippincott book is considered pleasing to the brain and eye ball if you add some color to it!.:confused:
     
    #4 mjl1717, Jan 2, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009
  5. EBI831

    EBI831 legend in the making
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    lippincott is an eyesore. drab format. and a real yawn. don't get me wrong...i loved it for biochem but for pharm it is insufferable. i used class notes, online flashcards, and sheer determination to get through pharm...oh and i also read lippincott's too hahaha. my classmates liked brs pharm cards but the problem is that they don't have enough details on them. if it were up to me to do again, i'd do class notes mainly, flashcards, and then the weekend before read (but not for memorizing all the details) the lippincott's book. but i wouldnt recommend going out and buying lippincott just for this...it's like 50 bucks. at least for the antivirals, antifungals, and anti-protozoans etc, i found micro made ridiculously simple to be a better option than lippincott.
     
  6. njbmd

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    Pharm Recall is not a textbook, it's a review book as are all of the books that you listed. Review books are not good for trying to learn material for the coursework. The best pharm text book is Goodman and Gilman without question. My medical school pharm course had excellent syllabus and lectures and thus Pham Recall was the money for board review. G & G was in the library if we needed it. Flashcards are largely a waste of time unless you make your own.
     
  7. Doctor Grim

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    I did fine with Lippincott and pharm cards. Try to learn them by class and understand the mechanism. You will really know them with repetition.
     
  8. RN1

    RN1 Junior Member
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    When you say Goodman and Gilman, do you mean “Goodman And Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics” or “Goodman and Gilman's Manual of Pharmacology and Therapeutics”? Is this textbook better than Katzung Pharmacology (the big or small one)?

    Which review book is best, Roadmap Pharm or Pharm recall? Is it recommended that I use them for USMLE Step 1? (I heard that pharm in FA is not enough for some people)
     
  9. Isoprop

    Isoprop Fascinating, tell me more
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    There's not one go-to pharm book like Netter's for Anatomy Atlas, Lippencott's for Biochem, or Constanza's for Physio.

    If you want a good reference, G and G's is all you ever need and then some. It's a poor primary reader because you'll easily get drowned in the details. And seriously, who has the time to read the whole damn thing? IMO, go to the library reserve to look up anything you'd need G and G's for.

    Lippincott's is a decent text to read if your course notes/syllabus are poorly written. As someone else mentioned, it's pretty drab and the illustrations suck for the most part. But it's easy to read if you have the patience. It's also probably the most recommended/popular.

    I never really liked Katzung's but other people swear by it. Not enough details to be a good textbook but too many details to be a good review book. I'd pass.

    BRS is a great little review book but a very poor text because of the outline format. Not as good as BRS Physio but better than BRS Anatomy IMO. If you have really good powerpoints and a good syllabus, I would recommend BRS to review/cement the information right before the exam or to preview the material before lecture.

    I can't remember if it was RR or Pharm Recall that had the "Power Review" thing at the end of each chapter, but I've heard that it's really good.

    All the pharm flashcards I've seen had too much information on them. Check with third years to ask how essential they are.

    The high yield stuff in pharm is the model drugs of each drug class. It's usually the first drug mentioned with the mechanism explained in detail. Memorize that cold first, then worry about the rest of the drugs.

    Good luck.
     
  10. Doctor4Life1769

    Doctor4Life1769 **tr0llin, ridin dirty**
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    What's y'all's take on Boards and Wards Pharmacology? I have it, use it during class and for tests. It's definitely improved my understanding of pharm and my grades have reflected this. However, have any of you used it for boards and is it reflective of what we need to know for the boards?
     
  11. themudphud

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    As I learned about drugs in lecture, I made flash cards covering:
    1) mechanisms of action
    2) used to treat what
    3) side effects
    4) interactions

    I found this very helpful because I could (and would) study everywhere--at home, in the car at red lights, etc...
     
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  12. Re3iRtH

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    Wow, if that's what's in store for me for the 2nd half of this year,
    this will not be a fun 5-6 months :/
     
  13. BlondDoctor

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    i really like your set up. Would one drug have a card with the 4 points? Would you mind giving an example? I really like to make my own too. Thanks!
     
  14. RN1

    RN1 Junior Member
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    I have decided to get one of the following books. Any last recommendations?

    Goodman and Gilman's Manual of Pharmacology and Therapeutics (642 pages)

    Katzung And Trevor's Pharmacology Examination and Board Review (630 pages)

    Rang & Dale's Pharmacology (844 pages) (my school uses this one)
     
  15. themudphud

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    Yes, I did one drug per card.
    Example: Cimetidine

    on front of card:
    1) mechanisms of action
    2) used to treat what
    3) side effects
    4) interactions

    on back of card:
    1) H2 receptor blocker
    2) GERD
    3) Delirium (change in MS), gynecomastia, nausea, and vomiting
    4) Cytochrome P450 inhibitor: inhibits metabolism of estrogen, warfarin, phenytoin, etc.

    Of course, personalize the front of the card to suit what your notes include (i.e. what your profs want you to know). And include all pertinent answers that you want to remember on the back.

    Good luck!
     
  16. NPEMTIV

    NPEMTIV Accidentally Accepted
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    I use Katzung and really like it. I've used G&G and it's good, but a bit much for me. Never heard of R&D.
     
  17. smuwillobrien

    smuwillobrien Senior Member
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    Lippincott's - make an Excel spreadsheet and list all of the drugs you cover with details about mechanism of action, half - life, metabolism, ... Katzung is disgusting.
     
  18. BlondDoctor

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    Thank you so much! Im totally going to do this!!
     
  19. greg1184

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    Lippincott was far from an eyesore for me. I am so happy I decided to buy this book, considering the powerpoints in my class left plenty to be desired. The illustrations in that book are outstanding. I wish these authors would make an illustrated review for every subject. The illustrations for the mechanisms (e.g. neurotransmitter synthesis and secretion) are excellent for understanding what happens. The side effect pictures are funny, too. The font is very readable, and the text provides you with the important concepts in outline form without giving irrelevant garbage. It has been far more helpful for my class than the required Katsung book.

    In contrast, Katsung's Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (though I am sure people like it) WAS an eyesore. The small font with columns of text, dense reading, and depressing blue monotonous color made this book almost unreadable despite its short chapters. For me, its only usable as a reference, not as a study-book.
     
  20. SweetnessFollow

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    Anyone have thoughts on
    a) BRS pharm
    b) RR Pharm

    RR looks a bit less dense....thoughts peeps?
     
  21. warrior411

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    i currently am struggling with pharm. the notes we have for class are all over the place. i have lipincotts and online access to Katzung and I am also looking at First Aid. I do not know what i need to know.

    We dont really cover all the drugs in FA, should I review them as I go?

    Also, in terms of whats in FA, are we suppose to know information thats not in FA, for example other toxicities, mechanism when they dont mention anything about them? its frustrating because i do not know whats importantly with all of these resources/crappy notes.
     
  22. TMP-SMX

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    Yes you have to know everything. First Aid is not comprehensive for pharmacology. You'd also have to look up the relevant organ system to see those drugs. Something like BRS Pharm includes all of the drugs and more you'll need to know with all of the relevant info. I also liked the basic pharm chapters. Assuming you have multiple tests you have to understand the equations and pharmacology concepts. The rest of the tests will be specific to each drug and class including MOA, side effects (probably just as important), and drug-drug interactions. If you don't know what's on the test don't you have practice questions?
     
  23. bringthepain

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    hello TMP SMX and greetings from OT :)

    i dont quite get what you mean about First Aid - you mean, in the First Aid book, learn the drug names in the Pharmacology chapter, then learn the drugs in Gastrointestinal - Pharmacology, Cardiovascular - Pharmacology, etc... in the organ system chapters, and in all cases use BRS or something for the actual details about each drug?

    oh btw I just got redirected here from a search for 'pharmacology', my actual question is more to do with the USMLE since I am not studying in the US....
     
  24. xanthomondo

    xanthomondo nom nom nom
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    I really like Lange's review of pharmacology.
     
  25. howelljolly

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    make your own flash cards. write down all the other drugs in the same class. they ALWAYS ask you about the one drug you never heard of in the same class.
     
  26. TMP-SMX

    TMP-SMX Senior Member
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    I meant that the First aid text short chapter on pharm is not comprehensive. You could and probably should read the short chapter but you'll need more than that if you aren't using a textbook. Yes I mean you'd have to read every pathophys chapter in the rest of the book on each organ system to get all of the relevant drugs. BRS Pharm is much more comprehensive and covers the basic pharm you need for the first pharm exam and to understand the kinds of graphs you are going to see on step I.
     
  27. TheMan21

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    For those of you who have finished your pharm courses, how much do you actually remember now? I know of some doctors who carry around little pocket guides for medications...how common is this?
     
  28. howelljolly

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    Nearly every resident carries around a pocket guide to remind them of dosages/frequency, and maybe too look up some wacky side effect or interaction.

    But the commonly used drug names, mechanisms, and common side/adverse effects are pretty much committed to memory.
     
  29. Penguin Fan

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    We use Katzung's Basic and Clinical Pharmacology.
     

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