pharm strategies

for me, the hardest part of medical school has been figuring out strategies on HOW to learn the material. for the most part, i’d say i’ve finally figured that mystery out. the exception is, of course, pharm. for whatever odd reason, i have a really hard time mastering the material. the names all seem the same to me and i just can’t make it stick. i am desperate, at this point, for suggestions from all of you as to how you made it through this class. i’m not concerned about passing the course itself - rather, i feel like i have very little mastery of the material and am concerned about the boards. i’d love to hear suggestions form all of you as to how you went about mastering the beast, more commonly known as pharmacology…
many thanks,

I don’t like pharmacology too much either. For me, I use tables of the drugs I need to know for each test and write those tables over and over again that list the medication, mechanism, indications, contraindications, and side effects. Of course it is important to first understand the mechanism for each class of druges (Ca-blockers for example). I group the tables by type and then just brute memorize those tables. I forget everything a day or two after a test, but oh well, at least I pass. I prefer tables to flash cards because I begin to remember connections, like (the 3rd one down is a tricyclic). It does little for long-term knowledge but we only learn the generic name of drugs…good for the boards but useless for the clinic. I suppose I could try and remember all the trade names while I’m at it, but just not enough time.