Thursday, August 13, 2009

Memorization in Half-Lives

No, I don't mean that I spend half my life memorizing... although, this past week, I have. Jeez - I could have done without that realization. At any rate, I've noticed that I can memorize about half of any given set of information on one pass. So, for example, I had a drug list of 500 to learn for my pharm exam - the first time through the list, I got 300 right. Out of that 300, I got 180 the next time; and out of the 120 left, 50.

So what this makes me think is that I should start studying much bigger chunks of information, so as to learn more, faster. Flawed logic? Probably. But I kind of feel like a genius for coming up with it.

Pharmacology is kind of an interesting subject to study. It's a huge amount of information, and you need to understand a lot of physiology for it to make much sense - the less phys you know, the more you have to brute-force memorize. I am all for efficiency (read: lazy) and so I'm not so much a fan of straight memorization. As a result, I've reviewed a lot of phys this summer so the pharm would make sense.

Another result of not liking to memorize? I can't actually remember mnemonic acronyms. You know, "Some Drugs Create Awesome Knockers"? Not so much - I usually forget what acronym goes with what, and which of the 73 "K" drugs Knockers stands for. So, I go for drug-name based memory aids - "Eszopiclone" = "Iz Zolpi Clone!" (same basic mechanism as zolpidem.)

School officially starts back on Monday - I'm starting back to class for the first time since last October, because I'm independent study and a TA for the anatomy class. Not looking forward to 8 am class at all, but anatomy should be fun - it'll be a good review for me, and a little change of pace from studying flash cards and tables in my study all day.

1 comment:

Maria said...

I still remember the bones of the foot by thinking, "Do people annoy postmen doing pretty mexican dances?"

(Dorsal, plantar, anterior, posterior, distal, proximal, medial, lateral.)

I have NEVER used this knowledge that I know of, maybe some day I will be on a game show and that will be one of the questions....