Pharmacology is a volatile subject with a ‘very short half-life’. One can cram 20 side effects of a single drug but when one is required to memorise the side effects of 150 drugs, everything gets jumbled up. The same holds true for the lists of therapeutic uses and drug classiﬁcations that pharmacology students have to memorise and reproduce in the exam setting. No wonder that many medical students fail in pharmacology not because they haven’t ‘studied’ the subject but simply because they haven’t ‘retained’ the subject matter. This book is written to help solve a very speciﬁc and practical problem: how to reproduce the pharmacology subject matter in the exam setting.
First, instead of dividing the syllabus in the conventional way, i.e. ‘systems’, it is being divided into classiﬁcations, mechanisms of action, therapeutic uses, side effects, etc. In the current exam format, it is very unlikely that someone would ask to write an ‘essay’ on a given drug; instead, very speciﬁc questions are asked, like ‘give the therapeutic uses of drug “A”’, or ‘enumerate the side effects of drug “B”’, etc. Examiners are more interested in asking, for example, the side effects of chloramphenicol so that students know why this drug is not used commonly any more, as compared to the mechanism of action of this drug. Thus, in the chapter on side effects, the side effects of most commonly asked drugs are given; in the chapter on mechanisms of action, the mechanisms of action of most commonly asked drugs are given. The book may appear deﬁ cient in the classical sense – it may contain the side effects of a given drug, with no mention of its mechanism of action or therapeutic uses. But the very aim of writing this book was not to write another treatise of every- thing about every drug, but to ‘distil’ the information that is directly and speciﬁcally relevant to the exams.
The book thus truly deserves its title, Pharmacology in 7 Days for Medical Students. Students can forget everything they have ever studied about pharmacology in the last seven days prior to the exams, cram this 166-page book and (still) hold a bright chance of passing every and any pharmacology exam.
Ahmed Ehsan Rabbani
- About the authors
- 1 General pharmacology
- 2 Classiﬁcations
- 3 Mechanisms of action
- 4 Therapeutic uses and side effects
- 5 Drug differences
- 6 Miscellaneous
- 7 Important tables