studying pharm for boards

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goodies

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how do you study for pharm? first aid pharm is so brief but kaplan pharm has so much information! in how much detail are we expected to know pharm on the boards??? do we really have to understand it or is it sufficient to just memorize FA pharm as is?

for example, i find it hard to believe that the antiarrhythmics section of FA is sufficient because it doesn't distinguish the functions of the drugs in a category at all (eg. the differences between sotalol, ibutilide, bretylium, amiodarone under class III antiarrhythmics). it just distinguishes them by side effect. but kaplan goes into a lot of detail with each drug specifically, not just side effects.

for those of you have done qbank already or have taken step 1 already, what would you recommend?
 

mesoderm

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how do you study for pharm? first aid pharm is so brief but kaplan pharm has so much information! in how much detail are we expected to know pharm on the boards??? do we really have to understand it or is it sufficient to just memorize FA pharm as is?

for example, i find it hard to believe that the antiarrhythmics section of FA is sufficient because it doesn't distinguish the functions of the drugs in a category at all (eg. the differences between sotalol, ibutilide, bretylium, amiodarone under class III antiarrhythmics). it just distinguishes them by side effect. but kaplan goes into a lot of detail with each drug specifically, not just side effects.

for those of you have done qbank already or have taken step 1 already, what would you recommend?


Here's where writing notes in FA comes in handy.
 

Sureshot83

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how do you study for pharm? first aid pharm is so brief but kaplan pharm has so much information! in how much detail are we expected to know pharm on the boards??? do we really have to understand it or is it sufficient to just memorize FA pharm as is?

for example, i find it hard to believe that the antiarrhythmics section of FA is sufficient because it doesn't distinguish the functions of the drugs in a category at all (eg. the differences between sotalol, ibutilide, bretylium, amiodarone under class III antiarrhythmics). it just distinguishes them by side effect. but kaplan goes into a lot of detail with each drug specifically, not just side effects.

for those of you have done qbank already or have taken step 1 already, what would you recommend?

This came from a 3rd year at my school. He said he did the BRS pharmacology flashcards until he knew the information on the cards, and when he took step 1, the pharm questions were "a joke."

I don't know exactly how long it would take to learn the cards, but i glanced at a few and the info on it was very basic. For example:

Q: Anti-hypertensive used in refractory cases. Side effect = hypertrichosis.
A: minoxidil


Q: Drug used to treat parkinson's. Inhibits COMT.
A: entacapone.


Pretty simple, basic information, in my opinion.
 
M

mountainman123

I took step one on saturday and I thought that the majority of questions on Pharm could be found in FA. However, I did a lot of pharm from different sources and there were still questions on certain side effects that I still dont know. I have done Pharmcards a total of 4 times over the last year. Lange Pharmcards twice, FA Pharm twice, RR Pharm, BRS Pharmcards. My advice is to focus on what differentiates drugs in a given class- i.e. HCTZ causing hypercalcemia, hyperglycemia, while Furosemide does blah, blah, blah. I don't think that knowing what the difference between the different Class IC antiarrythmics will help you one bit on Step one, but knowing which of the antiarrythmics causes a lupus like syndrome, and the differences between 1B and C will. Concepts and differences are the key.
 

OddNath

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I did a lot of pharm from different sources and there were still questions on certain side effects that I still dont know. I have done Pharmcards a total of 4 times over the last year. Lange Pharmcards twice, FA Pharm twice, RR Pharm, BRS Pharmcards.
Ok that kind of scares me.

Are the BRS flashcards basically distilled points from the BRS? Basically, if I know the flashcards well, can I get out of reading that book? (kind of funny, it's the same guys that write our syllabi, which are fine..but the BRS seems daunting for some reason)
 

goodies

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I have been using the Lange Pharm cards and there's a lot of info in there that's not in Kaplan Pharm and FA, and it's been a pain cross-referencing between the 3. I feel like I've been wasting a lot of time trying to figure out which one of these to use because there's different info in each of them.

Kaplan is insanely detailed. I've been trying to annotate info from Kaplan into my FA, but it's taking forever because Kaplan describes every single drug in a given class!!!
 

OnMyWayThere

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The BRS Cards seem like something to use after reading something to refresh the drugs. It's hard to learn those drugs over that we learned last year based on those some cards... stuff like "AChE Antangonist that has a side effect....". Is there a good short read before doing these cards that explains what each receptor, neurotransmitter,etc. is good for and such?
 

winsicle

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The BRS Cards seem like something to use after reading something to refresh the drugs. It's hard to learn those drugs over that we learned last year based on those some cards... stuff like "AChE Antangonist that has a side effect....". Is there a good short read before doing these cards that explains what each receptor, neurotransmitter,etc. is good for and such?


Why not get the BRS book as a reference, to look up forgotten mechs, etc...

and then using the cards will be a good refresher
 

OnMyWayThere

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Why not get the BRS book as a reference, to look up forgotten mechs, etc...

and then using the cards will be a good refresher

I've heard mostly negative things about that book but it might be a good strategy to read through and then hit the high yield points with the cards. Thanks
 

goodies

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is there a good way to memorize the different autonomic receptors and what organs they're located on?
 

nasdr

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i bought the brenner cards before our pharm class, since First Aid rated it pretty highly. so far i've been pretty happy with them and they've been a good review source for class. they have more text than the brs cards and not nearly as much as the lippincott ones. can't say much more until after taking step one, but i think flashcards is the way to study pharm quickly for step 1.


Has anyone used the Brenner Pharm cards? And ideas on how good of a review they give for the boards?
 

nasdr

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is there a good way to memorize the different autonomic receptors and what organs they're located on?

i don't have a mnemonic, but BRS phys, 2nd edition has a good chart/table in their neurophysiology chapter.
 

pristine21

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From what i heard it depends on what type of score you are looking for- I heard from many that FA is good enough and those individuals I cannot imagine getting >220 but I would also guess that any addidional info is low yield. I heard that pharm cards with FA is good for a 230-240 if you know them well (ie every detial and integration of info) and that is what I am going to work on... I HATE LIPPINCOTTS... too long too fragmented with several errors
 

Taus

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I have several trustworthy friends who scored 99's and stated that the pharm in FA was just the right amount (if you know it absolutely cold).

The hardest pharm questions aren't just about recognizing the drug and the few basic facts associated w/ it....the hard ones require a solid understanding of the biochemistry/physiology/etc behind the mechanism. A major thing that you will need is a solid understanding of the autonomic system and ability to work through complex manipulations and graphs w/ it.
The only thing making those still "pharm" questions is that they mention a drug somewhere in the stem....
 

lord_jeebus

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From what i heard it depends on what type of score you are looking for- I heard from many that FA is good enough and those individuals I cannot imagine getting >220 but I would also guess that any addidional info is low yield. I heard that pharm cards with FA is good for a 230-240 if you know them well

FA pharm alone is good enough for a 270, if you have the reasoning skills of someone who can get that score
 
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