How to ACE that Pharmacology Exam

Hey! As promised, I am uploading my study technique that I used for my latest Pharm exam. It was a cardiology module but it can be applied to studying all Pharm modules. I hope these tips help you get the best result possible.

Organization comes first.

I am one of the most disorganized person you’ll ever meet but I try really hard to get it together for Pharm reviews. Gather your source for guidance: textbook, YouTube videos or lecture powerpoint.Β  My professor has comprehensiveΒ  slides that I almost never have to look at other resources for information.

Second, decide how you will study. Create flashcards, listen to audio, write or type out your notes. This is based on the type of learner you are.

If you decided on flash cards, break it up into various stacks: MOA, Indication and Adverse Effect/Contraindication/Drug Interaction. Write the MOA on one side, and the name of the drug on the other. Take another card and write out the adverse effect, contraindication and drug interaction as well. Some drugs metabolism are important, so adjust as needed. Shuffle the cards once its all completed and quiz yourself to study.

If you’re not into flash cards, that okay. Write or type it on chart form. Group the medication into Anti-hypertensives, Anti-Arrythmias, Anti-Lipidemia (IΒ  just finished the cardio so this is just an example) and complete the chart with MOA, Indications and Adverse Effects/Contraindication/Drug Interactions.

Once you’ve gotten the basic, remember to learn by generic names. It may seem tedious but remember generic names are most common and helpful. Some common generic drugs are your ACE inhibitors ending with “pril” (Enalapril), Beta Blockers end in “olol” (Metropolol)Β and although not all generic has the same suffix like these example, you may meet some professors that refuse to test you on brand names. It has happen and it wasn’t nice.

(MOA and Sx written out separately. This is usually after you’ve learned the medications and reviewing your notes. Images courtesy of -GC)

Repetition is major key!

As usual, I always advice anyone that you must repeat the information multiple times and find ways to associate the medication. If you know the MOA, you can deduce what type of adverse effect are likely to occur. Think of any relatives you know that have used a medication and associate them accordingly. Create fun mnemonic to help you remember. Use all your resources wisely, Pharm may seem daunting, and there are certain classes of drugs that are “harder” than others, but it is possible to get through the class.

Good Luck!

Primary Care Study Tips : Dermatology Module

Hey everyone, this post is about how I’m passing my major course this semester.Β  This semester we’re taking a 8 credit course that focuses on Primary Medicine with various systems of the body getting tested every couple of weeks along with the rest of my classes.

If that sounded overwhelming, it feels like it!Β 

We started with GI and Infectious Disease in January, then Hematology and Pulmonary and we are finishing up Renal and Dermatology now so I’ll begin writing this journey with Derm.

How do you prepare for Derm?

  • Pictures! If you have time, begin by making your flashcards because if you cut the pictures and write it out, you’re learning as you do this. My friend did this and it was very effective. It allows you to be able to work on the go. If you don’t want to write it, do it via quizlett or an app on your phone.
  • Use your Google Drive: drop all the pictures into a file on the drive and make another documents with the answers. You will go through each of the pictures,Β  write down your answer and check your answers once you’re done. This technique work best after you’ve learned the material.
  • Look for written exams online to guide you with what type questions you may see on your exam.

How do you know what questions to ask yourself?

Derm is detailed oriented. Most disorder have a hallmarkΒ  sign that helps to differentiate the skin disorder. So you’ll ask yourself key factors like:

  • What type of workup will you order for a Pt presenting with small, grouped erythematous papules around the mouth and gentirals (Tzanck Prep). Take it a step further and ask what type of cells will you see if you order an Tzanck Prep?
  • What disorders will present with erythamous rash across the cheeks and nose? And how do you rule each one out?
  • What age group commonly has bullous pemphigoid, and how would you treat?
  • What are the different stages of decubitis ulcers?

Repetition is Major Key.Β 

You have to review the materials several times. Grab a classmate, a friend, your girl/boyfriend or mom and ask them to quiz you. Tell them to ask you the disorder hallmarks, dx, sx , tx and keep repeating it. Try it different ways.

I always learn by first reviewing things alone then in a group. When I talk about things outloud, I retain more and I’m able to explain why my amswer is right.Β  Thats when I know I’m comfortable with the material.

And most importantly, always trust your instinct.

Leave a comment if you’re trying these methods out or if you have any other method that are helpful .

Tips to Prepare you for PA School

Are you applying to PA Schools? Starting this summer or fall? I have gathered a few tips that are not commonly shared that I think will helpΒ  you.

You can watch my YouTube video for more details and all my funny crazy expressions

Don’t be scared, we’re all in this together.

First, be humble. Doesn’t get anymore simple. This is important because it will go a long way to calm you when you’re just going through it.

Second, inform your family members of how little they’ll see you but you still need their support.

Third, learn how to work well with others. You’ll need the help, support of your classmates and helps once you start clinical rotations.

Fourth, don’t get too frugal on your loan request. You’ll most likely be out of work while in school and you don’t want to be left worrying about money when you have a test coming up.

Fifth, you won’t know everything in Medicine but you’ll learn and grow as you go. That’s what life is all about and it will be okay.

If these are helpful or have some to share, please leave a comment below,

GOODLUCK!!

My Failures…

#failforwardcampaign, a campaign started on Instagram by Aleah of Medicine in Michigan

It is so easy to see an IG feed or a blog and think of how perfect life is because it shows mostly one side of that person but it’s mostly just an illusion…
IMG_20180210_125813_508

See the picture above, I look very happy, (I truly was cause my friend gave me a Kit Kat bar, I’m a simple gal πŸ˜„πŸ˜„) but what it doesn’t tell you is the amount of anxiety I was feeling after a long grueling morning that day 😩 (PHARMACOLOGY exam will do that to you). So I say all that to tell you not to feel like you’re alone when you fail at something, especially if you’re on your journey toward PA school.
1. I failed my precalc final in undergrad & received a C in my 1st semester of college.

2. I withdrew from biochem right before the first exam because I wasn’t ready and was going through some life changes at that time.

3. I applied to 9 PA schools, waitlisted for interview at 2, interviewed at 3 schools, waitlisted for admission at 2 and waitlisted then accepted at my current school.

4. Applied to alot of scholarships with really well written essays & resume and got none.

5. Failed my first exam in PA School (Anatomy)

I’m sharing this for that one person who is thinking, “they may not be enough”, remember, your failures doesn’t define you, it’s what you do after each one that does. You must always get back up after falling because it makes you appreciate.

How do I get Direct Patient Care for PA School Application?

Before applying to PA school, you must be doing your research and noticed alot of school require “direct patient care” hours.

Direct Patient Care is when you’re actually “doing” something on the patient. It could be taking vitals, reminding patient to take medication, assisting in the OR,Β  assisting with ADL’s and many more.

Several jobs can give you this opportunity and it is imperative to begin acquiring the hours before applying to school, so you’ll have them ready.

Suggested job:

  • Nurse Aide
  • Licensed Practical Nurse
  • Emergency Medical Technicians
  • Medical Assistants
  • ER/OR Tech
  • Paramedics
  • Scribe

You can watch my full video here:Β Β Clinical Experence on YouTube

 

FIRST DAY OF 3RD SEMESTER IN PA SCHOOL

Happy New Year!

I started Physician Assistant (PA) school last June, and I have gone through so much changes, I’m not sure I can keep count. But I do know that I am preparing myself to be a great professional by the time I graduate. I’m sharing my journey on YouTube and I hope I’m able to help anyone who is looking into the profession as well.

PA School |Starting 3rd Semester of Didactic Year Overwhelmed

I recorded how my first day back to school felt like and the classes I would be taking. Each class has various expectations, but by the spring semester is over in May, I will be one step toward my short term goal : white coat ceremony in August.