Passing Pharmacology and my thoughts on memorising stuff… (Day 637)

Veterinary Pharmacology Revision Tips

Todays Diary Entry is sponsored by Online Pet Education

So today I sat my veterinary pharmacology final exam, this is one of those subjects where you can choose whether to memorize loads of stuff, or understand some. In my case I choose to learn from wise people, and I believe it was Einstein that said “Never memorize something that you can look up.”. So in my case I chose to understand, because when you understand something you can use it to your advantage.

Now when it comes to pharmacology it is a massive rapidly evolving field, there is always research into what dose of a drug is best, or even what drug to use. However there are some static variables – for example the drug receptor sites within the body, and the action that occurs from these sites. This was something that was only touched on briefly during the course with the types of receptors – it did not include where they were which is something additional that I chose to memorize. By doing this I know that if a drug binds to x receptor than it will cause y to happen to the digestive tract, but that it also affects the eyes, or the brain, or the heart or lungs. This is something I considered useful.

Also I know that sometimes it is not possible to look up drug dosages as you simply won’t have time such as in emergencies… These are drugs that I memorised the emergency dosages for in the patients that I work with. But even this is not always necessary for things like anaesthesia as most vets will also calculate the dosages for emergency drugs before they start the procedure.

So today I passed pharmacology with an E (around 57%) as I chose not to memorize every drug under the sun (after all I will learn the most common ones as I use them). I don’t think this makes me a bad vet student, I think by understanding I will be a better student, and so I am happy to take my E, and next time I need to know a drug I don’t know, to look up the latest information on it!