MEDICAL MNEMONICS: HOW TO SURVIVE GETTING PIMPED
Most of med school was memorizing, memorizing, memorizing. We had mnemonics for almost EVERYTHING. If one didn't exist, @ohsteph and I would make one up. "Getting pimped" or being pop-quizzed during rounds or literally any time you're around an attending/resident was very stressful. These are the ones I still remember (which means they worked)!
- •All Physicians Take Money (Heart valves)Aortic, Pulmonic, Tricuspid, Mitral -- the order of listening to the heart valves with the stethoscope from the patient's right upper to left lower chest. I remember this because it's so terrible. I think students now use the much nicer "All Patients Take Meds."
- •DIG FAST (Symptoms of Mania)Distractibility, Irresponsibility, Grandiosity, Flight of ideas, Activity increased, Sleep decreased, Talkativeness
- •FAT RN (Clinical features of Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura)Fever, Anemia, Thrombocytopenia, Renal, Neurologic symptoms. Another awful mnemonic that works.
- •The 5 W's (Causes of post-operative fever)Wind (something in the lungs like pneumonia), Water (urinary tract infection), Walking (deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism), Wound (surgical site infection), Wonder drug (drug fever). I still remember the pilot episode of Grey's Anatomy when Meredith rattled this off like no big deal. So cool!
- •The 5 F's (Risk factors for Gallstones)Fair (Caucasian), Fat, Fertile (1+ children), Female, Forty (> 40 years old)
- •The 5 P's (Findings in acute limb ischemia)Pain, Pallor, Pulselessness, Paralysis, Parathesia
- •ABCDE (Characteristics of Melanoma skin cancer)Asymmetry, irregular Borders, uneven or more than one Color, Diameter larger than a pencil eraser (6mm), Evolution (recent changes in size, color or shape)
- •OPQRST (Pain evaluation)Onset of pain, Provocation or Palliation (what makes it better or worse), Quality of pain (sharp, dull, intermittent, constant), Region/Radiation, Severity (on a scale of 1-10), Time (how long).
- •TORCH (Maternal infections that cross the placenta and affect the baby)Toxoplasmosis, Other (Syphilis, Parvovirus B19, Hepatitis, HIV, chicken pox/Varicella) , Rubella, Cytomegalovirus, Herpes Simplex Virus
- •HELLP (A very bad variant of pre-eclampsia)Hemolysis (breakdown of red blood cells), Elevated Liver enzymes, Low Platelets
- •Randy Travis Drinks Cold Beers: roots, trunks, divisions, cords, branches (brachial plexus anatomy)
- •Ten Zebras Bought My Car: temporal, zygomatic, buccal, mandibular, cervical branches of the facial nerve
- •SALFOPMS: superior thyroid, ascending pharyngeal, lingual, facial, occipital, posterior auricular, superficial temporal, maxillary arteries. This the weirdest one to me. Just a made up word to remember the branches of the external carotid!
- •SLUDGE: A toxidrome (symptoms of being poisoned) if you ingest the not so fun mushrooms 🍄Salivation, Lacrimation, Urination, Defecation, Gastrointestinal upset, Emesis (vomiting)
- •Mad as a hatter 👒, hot as a hare 🐰, blind as a bat, red as a beet, dry as a boneSome creepy Alice in Wonderland reference. Basically, what happens to you if you take too much Benadryl 💊
- •The four T's: aka tumors you can find in the anterior mediastinumThyroid carcinoma, thymoma, T-cell lymphoma, teratoma
- •Peanut butter with bread?Learned from silly movie about doctors: phlegm bile water bloodSuggested by @evan