Welcome! Please Browse around, there are hidden gems in this site.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Which Pharmacology Flash Cards To Get for USMLE?

Okay, so there are tons of these. And I've heard that some people buy them, never use them and sell them and others say you definately need them. Recently I visited the Stanford Bookstore, which has a huge Medical Section, and I got intimate with about 6+ of the many flash card sets.

This is what I concluded:

****update**** having been through most of pharmacology by now. I've realized these cards may not be super helpful. There are so many cards that aren't in the class, and so many drugs/supplements/alternatives that are in the class and not in these card sets. Overall i think it might be a better idea to make your own flascard set or get someone's that made it specially for your schools pharm class. The lange + BRS card sets are great though since they test you vinette style + rapid fact fire respectively. However, continue reading if you're interested. 

These cards by Brenner are straight forward. They have the name printed on front in a couple colors, and organized information like type of drug, action, complications, uses, etc on the back. They are color coded by system, so you can group drugs that work in similar areas together, but the card info is not overly stimulating in terms of color. They are simple to look at. *****UPDATE *** okay, so I bought these cards for my 5th term Pharmacology class, and they are NOT helping. A lot of drugs, organic compounds, agents, toxins, and other things on our objective drug list that are not covered in this set. I've found that building your own flash card set from your notes are the best set of cards possible. This may help for the step as a review, but im rethinking an index flash card set.

I guess you can use these cards as a reference to turn to in order to make sure you dont miss any important information. They are not overwhelming with information and seem to give the most important details.

Lange Pharmacology Flash Cards. **These However** I think are a much better resource.  I have seen these highly recommended, and I understand why now. These cards are different. They have a clinical vignette on one side, and then the name of the drug, along with high yeild information about the drug on the back.

I didn't see anything else like this. I avoid owning more than one set of flash cards, but honestly these looked like a question book in flash card form rather than an index of cards. Great practice for the USMLE.

Rang & Dale Cards. These cards I won't forget. They gave me a headache. These cards have absolutely everything on them. Diagrams on every card, drugs with arrows of inhibition or activation of pathways. In the diagrams, they show drugs that work on the same pathway or nearby, so multiple drugs on each diagram. They are color coded, they have all the info on the back about each drug/card that the brenner cards have including mode of action, side effects, etc etc. These are in multi colors too.

To me, this set seemed like it was a textbook in card form. It was way too much information to me to process at once and it gave me a headache. These are probably perfect for a super complete, compiled, thorough review of biochem and Pharmacology, and best for those with photographic memories for all the diagrams in there. To each their own.

The Johannsen Cards. I feel like I might regret not buying these. They are two-toned. Blue and black. Very easy on the eyes. All the information is there, side effects, mode of action, type, class of drug, etc, etc and there are diagrams occasionally as well.

Unlike the Rang and Dale Cards, these diagrams are straightforward, simplified, and focused on one or two important regulatory points. A lot easier to read at a glance.
I got a good feeling from these cards. They combine the simplicity of Brenner Cards and includes diagrams such as the Rang & Dale for some extra visual learning.
This style pushes more towards a learning tool, rather than a review deck of cards.
Whatever you plan on using the cards for, learning, review, or both.

BRS Pharmacology Flash Cards. These are VERY DIFFERENT! However, I have seen these highly reccommended for the USMLE. This is the 2nd edition.

These are your classic recall flash cards. They have a high yield fact on one side, and a drug name on the back. That's it. Simple, quick, flash cards.

I don't understand why you need to buy this in card form, this could easily be typed up by someone, and shared online on an excel file or a Quizlet Set.
In fact, i just did a quick Quizlet search, and I haven't looked this over carefully by anymeans, but it looks like some one has made what looks to be similar to this set of cards. http://quizlet.com/12023/brs-pharm-flash-cards/ check it out. Not sure if this is the actual BRS content. This is also from 2007, so its not that upto date. Just saying.

Kaplan USMLE Flash Cards. These have also been highly recommended by some sources. I believe these are similar to your Lange Flash Cards, expressing a USMLE style question on one side, and the answer along with high yield info on the back. They are fairly great, but designed for Step 1, 2, and 3. A lot of this information IS tested for the steps but you will come across these high yeild facts else where, these cards are merely redundant and superfluous study material. If you are in New York, Kaplan holds regular meetings at their homebase and hands out these card sets for free.

Not good for learning the drugs, but good for testing yourself for the step.

=========  ==========  =========  =========

These are available online, remember lots of people buy these sets and pass them on. They are available on the island, just ask your PEERS!! and in the bookstore on the island. Check the post! LINK: SGU POST

THERE ARE OTHER SETS OF CARDS!!!!! There are literally so many. These are the main ones I can remember looking at for a while in the bookstore. Please don't take all my opinions as solid fact. There are many many item REVIEWS for each of these and more sets on Amazon.com... at the bottom of each page.
Click the set and see what people have to say about them for additional comments to confirm things or contest things I have said.

Thanks everyone. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ryan,
    Sorry it's me again. I'm debating between the kaplan usmle flashcards and the lange pharm cards. Which one would you recommend? I don't want to end up getting both; I just want cards that will help me through 5th term and ultimately prep me well for the usmle. What's the difference between these two?