Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Journal: Preparation for exam

This week I am trying to spend some good time in revision of the core concepts that I will need, not just to achieve a pass mark in the pharmacology topic, but to consolidate the learning.

One of the main criticisms that I and other students have had as we approach the end of the course is that there has been a lack of teaching of the basics of pharmacology.  We are reading text books and academic papers, and for me the words and concepts of the science are often a confused jumble.

To address this deficit I have been watching a set of  lectures on Youtube

One of the faculty tutors hosted a webinar on Tuesday evening, and went through the practice exam that had been provided.  I found this very helpful.  A couple of points that were identified, at which I might improve my performance in the exam are:
  • understanding how points are awarded: a question that is worth 2 marks towards the total score requires the student to make 4 statements (ie .5 each) that are relevant to the question.
  • In multiple choice or true/false questions, a student will be awarded marks for each correct statement, whether it applies to the correct answer, or making the argument as to why a statement is incorrect or false.
  • Clinical questions, such as discuss a pregnant woman who has a headache and wonders if she can take paracetamol, require discussion of the pharmacology of the drug in pregnancy, as well as the basic midwifery investigations, such as check the blood pressure, and question the cause of the headache.
  • Polypharmacy is defined as the concurrent use of 5 or more medicines, which can include prescriptions, over the counter, and complementary.  For example, a woman who is receiving one prescribed medicine, such as oral antibiotics (1) for a chest infection in late pregnancy, may also take an antacid (2) for heartburn, raspberry leaf herbal tea (3) to achieve good uterine tone, an iron supplement (4) for anaemia, and pyridoxine (5) to treat mild fluid retention.  These substances will likely pass easily across the placenta to the fetal compartment.  What are the possible drug interactions with this group of apparently innocuous medicines?

Your comments are welcome.

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