Henry101

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Jul 15, 2014
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Need some advice. I did pretty well in M1. I didn't honor every class but I was always above average and, despite coming from a non-science background, did pretty good. M1 is mostly anatomy and physiology at my school.
Fast forward to M2. Pathology has been my best subject. I enjoy reading Robbins and I have a study strategy that works well for me. I'm also doing well in physiology. Pharm, however, has been a total disaster. I have failed (<60%) the pharm component of every module exam we have had so far. I use flashcards (mix of Zanki with my lecture material) and feel like I have a good grasp of the material before the exam. But when the exam comes along, the drug names seem like a totally foreign language. I also keep confusing adverse effects of drugs, electrolyte effects, and other important stuff. I tried to use Sketchy Pharm but the videos are too long and the sketches are too complex for me to remember. Pharm is cumulative at my school and I'm worried this trend is just going to get worse.
Any advice? I learn best by reading textbooks and doing question sets so if you guys have any recommendations or advice I'd really appreciate it.
 

LyMed

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The advantage you have is knowing pathology and physiology. Carry that over to pharm. If you know the pathophys of a disease, it isn't hard to know how a drug works. Don't forget to also look up the pathophys of side effects, which makes it easier to remember.

As for drug NAMES - that's just rote.
 

PugsAndHugs

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I hated SketchyPharm at first. I remembered opening up the anti-neoplastic video and was like why would anyone waste their time on these long videos. What helped me is using SketchyPharm as a memorization tool instead of a learning tool. So I learned the pharm from somewhere else (my personal favorite was Dr. Raymon from the Kaplan 2010 series). After I understood the way each drug worked, I watched SketchyPharm to see how I can remember the drug names and side effects. Because I already knew the drugs I am watching on SketchyPharm, I was able to watch it at faster speed and focus on just the memory hooks instead of MOAs/side-effects. Hope this helps
 

AthleteDoc7

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Nov 5, 2014
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My way of mastering pharm was three-fold. 1. watch class lectures and make anki cards of facts while understanding mechanisms 2. watch sketchy pharm and re-study the photos to make them stick 3. practice problems. i honestly never scored below a 90 on a pharm exam and maxed out the category on step 1. i think they're free points if you put the effort in now to memorize and understand (it takes a bit of both unfortunately). good luck
 
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Henry101

Henry101

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I hated SketchyPharm at first. I remembered opening up the anti-neoplastic video and was like why would anyone waste their time on these long videos. What helped me is using SketchyPharm as a memorization tool instead of a learning tool. So I learned the pharm from somewhere else (my personal favorite was Dr. Raymon from the Kaplan 2010 series). After I understood the way each drug worked, I watched SketchyPharm to see how I can remember the drug names and side effects. Because I already knew the drugs I am watching on SketchyPharm, I was able to watch it at faster speed and focus on just the memory hooks instead of MOAs/side-effects. Hope this helps
This is kinda how I used Sketchy micro and it worked. I'll probably try using SketchyPharm in this way on the next exam and see what happens. Like I said in the post, I understand the MOA of each of the drugs, but recalling them and associating them with the individual drug names is the main problem.
 

PugsAndHugs

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Like I said in the post, I understand the MOA of each of the drugs, but recalling them and associating them with the individual drug names is the main problem.
Then give SketchyPharm another chance. Some of the memory hooks and associations are RIDICULOUS, but it's so much better than trying to make your own.
 

AthleteDoc7

2+ Year Member
Nov 5, 2014
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This is kinda how I used Sketchy micro and it worked. I'll probably try using SketchyPharm in this way on the next exam and see what happens. Like I said in the post, I understand the MOA of each of the drugs, but recalling them and associating them with the individual drug names is the main problem.
you might just benefit from the old fashioned way of stuffing it in your head via flash cards. anki was golden for me for this reason, and sketchy drive it home in another way. good luck
 

BlackLips

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Sep 13, 2016
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Give sketchy pharm another chance and then use Anki flash cards. Then every time you use a flash card you will think of the image and rethink the memory cues. If you forget then pull up the still image of the sketch. This is literally all I did for pharm (didn't even watch our lectures) and pharm was one of my strongest subjects and still serves me well on wards.


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 
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Henry101

Henry101

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Give sketchy pharm another chance and then use Anki flash cards. Then every time you use a flash card you will think of the image and rethink the memory cues. If you forget then pull up the still image of the sketch. This is literally all I did for pharm (didn't even watch our lectures) and pharm was one of my strongest subjects and still serves me well on wards.
Awesome. Okay. Thank you.
 

ortnakas

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MS4 now-- SketchyPharm came out right before Step 1 for me, so I got through most of second pharm with brute force memorization with flash cards. I'm personally partial to Memorang, but I'm sure any of the flash card sites would work.
 
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Henry101

Henry101

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MS4 now-- SketchyPharm came out right before Step 1 for me, so I got through most of second pharm with brute force memorization with flash cards. I'm personally partial to Memorang, but I'm sure any of the flash card sites would work.
Sorry if this is a dumb question, but can you comment on what pharm looks like on the boards? Do they ask you what drug is used to treat the disease? Do they ask for upfront "what is an adverse reaction of this drug?" Do they ask MOA?
 
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Henry101

Henry101

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Went in to talk to the director of our pharm curriculum today and she recommended:
"Pre-Test Pharmacology" for practice questions
"Lange Pharmacology flashcards" for review
and "Katzung Pharmacology: Examination & Board Review" as a last resort


anyone used these resources before?
 

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Lots and lots of drugs, that's how.
 

ortnakas

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Sorry if this is a dumb question, but can you comment on what pharm looks like on the boards? Do they ask you what drug is used to treat the disease? Do they ask for upfront "what is an adverse reaction of this drug?" Do they ask MOA?
I just took Step 2, so I'm going to hope someone with fresher memories of Step 1 answers your question. I will say questions are almost never first order.
 

BlackLips

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Sep 13, 2016
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Sorry if this is a dumb question, but can you comment on what pharm looks like on the boards? Do they ask you what drug is used to treat the disease? Do they ask for upfront "what is an adverse reaction of this drug?" Do they ask MOA?
They usually end up being more 2nd/3rd order. So they will either name a condition and then ask the MOA/side effects/etc of the drug you could use, or they will just describe a condition and then ask the same questions. Sounds intimidating but that is one of the things you get used to over the course of 2nd year and your practice. Much less questions are 1st order/recall. The thing that I sometimes find frustrating about NBME is sometimes they use just slightly different words than you/everyone might have learned and you end up missing questions on topics you felt like you knew well. Past that Pharm is a good topic to help your score because otherwise its fairly straightforward. I wonder at what point my mind will stop going to pictures of Sketchy when I think of drugs...
 
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Henry101

Henry101

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Jul 15, 2014
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They usually end up being more 2nd/3rd order. So they will either name a condition and then ask the MOA/side effects/etc of the drug you could use, or they will just describe a condition and then ask the same questions. Sounds intimidating but that is one of the things you get used to over the course of 2nd year and your practice. Much less questions are 1st order/recall. The thing that I sometimes find frustrating about NBME is sometimes they use just slightly different words than you/everyone might have learned and you end up missing questions on topics you felt like you knew well. Past that Pharm is a good topic to help your score because otherwise its fairly straightforward. I wonder at what point my mind will stop going to pictures of Sketchy when I think of drugs...

this is EXACTLY how my school tests. They give us the name of the prototype drug but most of the test questions are drugs that have the same suffix but I just can't figure out how to connect the two.
 

BlackLips

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Sep 13, 2016
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this is EXACTLY how my school tests. They give us the name of the prototype drug but most of the test questions are drugs that have the same suffix but I just can't figure out how to connect the two.
Drug names are always a little challenging the first time you see them but I always found sketchy very helpful for that. Recognizing the suffixes are absolutely key considering the sheer amount of drugs we have to know. Then just repetition and practice. Its part of the reason why doing a qbank along with your classes in 2nd year is so necessary imo.