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.  My professor has comprehensive  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 (I  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) 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.  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! 

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,  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 hallmark  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. 

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.  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 .

ARC Book Review: Orphan Monster Spy

Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen
 Rated: ❤❤❤❤/5
 Publisher: Viking Books
 Publish: 03/20/18
 Buy or Borrow: Buy

After her mother is shot at a checkpoint, fifteen-year-old Sarah meets a mysterious man with an ambiguous accent, a suspiciously bare apartment, and a lockbox full of weapons. He’s part of the secret resistance against the Third Reich, and he needs Sarah to hide in plain sight at a school for the daughters of top Nazi brass, posing as one of them. If she can befriend the daughter of a key scientist and get invited to her house, she might be able to steal the blueprints to a bomb that could destroy the cities of Western Europe. Nothing could prepare Sarah for her cutthroat schoolmates, and soon she finds herself in a battle for survival unlike any she’d ever imagined. But anyone who underestimates this innocent-seeming girl does so at their peril. She may look sweet, but she’s the Nazis’ worst nightmare. – First to Read.

As a person who rarely reads spy, crime or mystery novels, this was a great choice.

Matt Killeen created a world that was intense and eye opening about the time in history no one can ever forget, WWII. He put in time to display alot of history that happened throughout the book. Although you’ll find certain parts a tad bit slow, it’s was overall a fast read.

Sarah was a strong, sharp and refreshing female protagonist. Honestly, she was the best part of this novel. She molded herself to get her job done and proved many times that she should not be underestimated. Her struggle to figure things out and not get caught will have you rooting for her! There are several characters that you would never forget as well.

It became very hard to keep reading and finding out how much crazier the world around war truly can be as I made my way toward the end of the novel . It was sometimes difficult to read through some scenes, but it paid off. I think the book may have a sequel as we’re left with some questions that I need the author to answer!

I’d recommend this book to the older teens (>16) even though it’s YA.

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review .

ARC Book Review: Daughter of the Siren Queen

Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller
 Rated: ❤❤❤❤❤/5
 Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
 Published: 2/27/18
 Buy or Borrow: Buy

Alosa is back on the hunt to find the last map that will help the Pirate King locate Isla de Canta : the sirens island which is full of treasures. After retrieving the map, Alosa discovers that her father has not been truthful about alot of things in her life. Alosa must decide on how best to deal with her father, find the treasures and most importantly, reconcile with who she truly is, the Siren Queen’s daughter.

With school and exams looming, I went through two sleepless nights to finish DotSQ and it was absolutely worth it!

We immediately pick up from the ending of DotPK (check out my review of DotPK ) and learn more about Alosa, Riden, her parents and how protective and smart Alosa is. Levenseller whipped a fast paced adventure that keeps you on edge, looking forward to the next scene.

One of the many things I loved about this book was how it depicted Alosa. She was strong in the face of danger yet vulnerable when she discovered some personal and hurtful things. She held her mostly female crew to high standards and earned their respect from the very young to the oldest. Her leadership skills were unmatched and she was willing to sacrifice herself for the sake of her crew on several occasions.

I enjoyed every part of this novel because although it’s a fantasy adventure, you find alot of realistic moments that makes you feel connected to each characters.

DotSQ will join my very limited list of favorite fantasy novels and I’ll absolutely recommend you read the series.

ARC Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for a honest review. 

Book Review: Daughter of the Pirate King

Book: Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller  

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends 

Published: 02/28/17

 

Hey guys, I’ll be writing my review for Daughter of the Siren Queen and realized, I never uploaded the video review of the Daughter of the Pirate King.

I loved the first book, as you’ll be able to tell by my expressions and cannot wait to let you know my thoughts on DotSQ.

Ps. This video quality probably isnt the best, apologized in advance.

 

Have you read the book? Any thoughts?

 

Book Review: The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
 Rated: ❤❤❤❤❤/5
 Published: 02/28/17
 Publisher: HarperColins
Buy or Borrow : Buy

Sixteen year old Starr Carter shuffles between two different worlds. She is the poor black girl from the ghetto as well as the smart black girl at a fancy prep school in the surburbs. Her world carves in when she is the last witness the night she lost her best friend, Khalil at the hands of a police officer. As she tries to reconcile with what happened that night, the public wants to know what really happened and it’s up to Starr to decide if she wants to share her story and be ready to deal with the consequences.

One of the most RELEVANT and AUTHENTIC book I’ve read in a while! The Hate U Give (T.H.U.G) brings you into Starr’s world with superb writing as you follow her life after the night of the murder. You learn quickly to try to keep up because the ride is a fast and dangerous one.

T.H.U.G discusses the matter of race, politics, how the system is built to work against African Americans as well family values. One of the greatest points of this novel was the family dynamic and the realistic way Angie Thomas handled each character. The book doesn’t give false hopes but to shed a bigger light on the injustice towards African Americans in the United States.

People dealing with this issues will find a part of themselves within the chapters, while others who cannot identify, will gain a better understanding on why reforms are vital for the lives of many African Americans.

I’d recommend this book to everyone and to spread the word, “black lives matter”. 

CR: The Hate U Give

👋🏾🖐🏾

what are you currently reading and is it moving you ?
I’m reading The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and imagining all the scenes in my head and I’m so happy about the increase in diversity in the book world.

I mean, growing up, I read alot of books but I’m sure if I kept a list of them, I can probably count how many had a POC or diverse main characters or relatable social stories.

So, here is to more positivity and acknowledging that the world is full of different people who will like to be represented 🖐🏾🖐🏼