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Drug info: what do we have to know?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by gro2001, May 31, 2008.

  1. gro2001

    gro2001 SOCMOB Physician Faculty 10+ Year Member

    Jul 4, 2006
    the desert
    In the process of studying for first/second year courses, what information do you have to know about a drug? What information do you have to know for step 1?
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  3. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    I don't recall needing to know anything about drugs in the first year. For second year, pick up a board review type book on pharmacology. Pretty much anything in there is fair game for your pharm course and the step. You will generally need to know the generic name, major applications (and drugs of choice for various conditions), mechanism, and major side effects. You usually don't need to know things like dosage (until rotations).
  4. gro2001

    gro2001 SOCMOB Physician Faculty 10+ Year Member

    Jul 4, 2006
    the desert
    Sounds good. Thank you.
  5. Slide

    Slide Finally, no more "training" 10+ Year Member

    Oct 12, 2005
    We had to learn basic antibiotic drugs in biochem along with their mechanisms, and we had to know a few drugs in physiology relating to hypertension/diabetes (ie. metformin, lasix/hctz, lisinopril, etc.), but that's about it. Your mileage may vary though.
  6. ZagDoc

    ZagDoc Ears, Noses, and Throats 10+ Year Member

    Jul 12, 2007
    Depends on your school and depends on the class. At my school, just in MS1, we've had a lot of exposure to drugs. In our pharm class, we ran the gamut on a large variety of different classes of drugs. Something like 8 pages of excel spreadsheet. Had to know mechanism of action, sometimes chemical structure (such as beta lactams, the cephalosporins, etc), volume of distribution, BBB penetration, plasma protein binding when pertinent, how its eliminated, pertinent toxic effects. In our infectious disease class, for the chemotherapeutics, we had to know mechanism of resistance, spectrum of activity, and specific therapies for specific infections. Intramuscular shot of ceftriaxone + doxycycline for gonorrhea/chlamydia infection, etc.

    As far as the boards, like L2D said, pick up a board review book. They've distilled out whats important for specific drugs in regards to USMLE.

    Tangent: Don't you just love how in BS they teach us all of our drug knowledge in generic names, when in the actual practice of medicine the generic name is used in conversation maybe 10% of the time?
  7. agranulocytosis

    agranulocytosis 10+ Year Member

    Sep 22, 2007
    Drug class, MOA/effect, clinical uses, ADRs, and special notes about that specific drug like centrally-acting or not, if it inhibits/induces CYP-450, etc. Don't worry about it's pharmacodynamics or mode of excretion, except for maybe warfarin.

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