Students of pharmacology – whether they be students of medicine, pharmacy, or pharmacology itself – are obliged to commit a great deal of information to memory. These details include everything from classes and mechanisms, to side effects and drug interactions.
Such is the breadth and depth of the subject of pharmacology, it can, for many, become quite overwhelming. Confusion abounds as students try to recall the difference between a macrolide and an aminoglycoside, a quinolone and a tetracycline.
One of the great ways to simplify this galaxy of details is to employ pharmacology mnemonics, a tools which – when properly applied – can condense a great deal of relevant information into short, concise, and memorable words and phrases.
Before we take a look at our own range of pharmacology mnemonics, let’s first understand what makes for a great and memorable mnemonic.
Forming Mnemonics for Pharmacology
Coming up with mnemonics for pharmacology is very easy, too easy in fact – to the point where once you begin to use them you’ll wonder why you didn’t start earlier.
A mnemonic is a memory device, a tool that helps you to commit information – whether in list or random form – to memory. One of the most popular mnemonics is ‘Richard of York Gave Battle in Vain’, where the first letter of each word refers to a colour of a rainbow.
The more extravagant the word, story, or image, the more memorable the mnemonic. The more outlandish and provocative, even better. A humorous or shocking image, too, is more memorable than a dull and bland image. In other words, go to excess for mnemonic success.
If you have to memorise a large amount of detail, something which necessitates a long mnemonic, it’s best advised to use rhyming techniques, onomatopoeia, acronyms, or stories. Again, the purpose is to build interest and intrigue into the mnemonic.
List of Pharmacology Mnemonics
Below you can find many such examples of pharmacology mnemonics. They transform the often random study of pharmacology with a more ordered and interesting way to study the subject.
Mindmaps are another great way to memorise pharmacology. To see the range of pharmacology mindmaps at PharmaFactz, check out this gallery for more information.