5+ Year Member
Jan 23, 2011
bay area
Medical Student
Pharm is my weakest subject. It's excruciating trying to memorize all the details. But in how much detail do we really have to know? (I haven't done pharm uworld questions yet so I don't really have a sense.)

For example, for anti-microbials, do we have to know that PCNs bind PCN-binding proteins (transpeptidases) to block PG cross-linking? Or can we just know "PCN: prevents cross-linking". Or like macrolides - blocks translation by binding to 23S rRNA of 50S subunit vs "macrolides: binds to 50S".

I'm looking for shortcuts b/c I'm literally going insane trying to learn pharm details. Help!
May 3, 2014
Just know anything that is in First Aid and UWorld and you should be good (if you're asking how much detail you need to know, the question you need to ask is what type of score you want. If you want a high score, know every detail in First Aid. If you want an average score, then just know most of the details, and so forth.
Aug 9, 2013
Medical Student
You don't even need to know all of what's in FA for pharm imo... For instance a lot of the side effects are fluff, stick to the HY ones... They're not going to ask you which one causes nausea for instance... UW can go way in depth on pharm too.. I would stick with the MOA, major AE, major drug interactions (cyp450), and have an idea as to what the drug is used for.. Antibiotics are probably the most brutal ones to memorize, know the general moa (buy AT 30 CCEL at 50)... There are a lot of really good pneumonics out there for the antibiotics if you google them. Start with those basics that I mentioned and you can gradually add more depth if you feel good with the basics. You don't want to get hung up on pharm and end up spending less time on other subjects.

Pharm on my exam was pretty straight forward other than a couple questions that I knew only from lectures during M2, I got lucky on those because my professors really focused in on them during lecture. I never saw either of them in FA, maybe one of them was in UW.

I was really stressed about pharm too and obviously every test is different, but I bet it was one of my best subjects on the exam... It really was just pretty straightforward.
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