Mnemonics

Mnemonic Monday: Structures of the Diaphragm

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By Haley Masterson

Mnemonics are an important tool for approaching Gross Anatomy. Here’s one for the diaphragm that will help you not only in orienting yourself in the lab, but also in identifying cross-sectional levels on x-rays in the future.

I Ate 10 Eggs At 12

The diaphragm has 3 main hiatuses – the hiatus of the inferior vena cava (IVC), the esophageal hiatus, and the aortic hiatus. The IVC passes through the diaphragm at the level of T8 (I “ate”), the esophagus passes at the level of T10 (“10 Eggs”), and the aorta passes through at the level of T12.

Mnemonic Monday: PMS, Angry Ladies, and the External Carotid Artery

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By Molly Lewis

We’ve all had mini “anatomy panic attacks.” Maybe you’re in an anatomy practical and have only 30 seconds to identify the flagged structure, or maybe you’re in the OR and your attending asks: “What’s this?” Regardless of the situation, using mnemonics to remember anatomy can turn panic into confidence!

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Mnemonic Monday: Hypersensitivity Reactions

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By Haley Masterson

The 4 categories of hypersensitivity reactions is one of those subjects many students suspect we’ll never need to remember. But, in fact, this topic will likely haunt us for the rest of our medical career no matter what field we go into (even surgical residents have to review this topic for their ABSITE exam), so you may as well memorize the 4 categories now.

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What’s in a Name?

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By Joe Savarese

Mnemonics are definitely useful tools for medical students – useful for quick recall and short-memory techniques on frequently difficult topics. However, I found that when I am in the exam room with 72 seconds per question, my mind likely will not remember the twelve cranial nerves with this classic long sentence: “On old Olympus’s towering tops, a Finn and German viewed some hops.”

I prefer an acronym where each letter can stand for various items without the goofy sentence or I will commonly reshape the word in such a way that I can recall something significant about it. The latter method gives me the opportunity to remember forgotten memorized facts if I am stuck on an exam question. We have all had those moments where we recognize the word, yet we forgot everything about it. Instead we sit in the exam room and continuously repeat “Oprelvekin. Oprelvekin. Oprelvekin.” while changing our emphasis on different syllables.

Below are a few examples of difficult drugs (in my opinion) that I used while studying for Step 1. (more…)

Mnemonic Monday: “Sometimes ‘Cuz of A Hypoperfusion”

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By Haley Masterson

Using this mnemonic, you can simplify the order of the four types of respiratory failure as Shunting, increased CO2 (hypoventilation), Atelectasis, and Hypoperfusion. Shunting is commonly caused by pulmonary edema, hypoventilation is either neurological or neuromuscular in etiology, atelectasis is commonly seen in perioperative patients, and cases of hypoperfusion can be found in shock.

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Mnemonic Monday: Partial Thromboplastin Time vs Prothrombin Time

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By Haley Masterson

While PTT and PT will both be affected by disorders of the common pathway of coagulation cascade, the PTT is used as a lab test marker for the function of the intrinsic branch of the coagulation cascade, and the PT for the extrinsic.

Confused yet? Don’t be. Try using this heartbreaking visual mnemonic: (more…)

Mnemonic Monday: Inflammatory Bowel Disease – Crohn’s vs. Ulcerative Colitis

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By Haley Masterson

The two types of Inflammatory Bowel Disease are both idiopathic diseases of the immune system. However, they differ in several commonly tested ways that can be explained using a simple mnemonic: Only GALS can be Crones (Crohn’s).

Granulomas – While a lack of granulomas won’t rule out Crohn’s Disease, if a test question mentions them, you should be thinking about Crohn’s. Granulomas don’t appear in Ulcerative Colitis.

All Layers – Crohn’s affects all of the layers of the bowel– it’s a transmural disease, whereas Ulcerative Colitis is confined to the mucosa (with occasional submucosa inflammation). Only Crohn’s has muscularis and serosa involvement.

You can also think of “All Layers” as being “All levels” of the bowel – Crohn’s can affect anything from the ileum (the most commonly involved segment) to the sigmoid colon, whereas Ulcerative Colitis is generally limited to colonic lesions. This becomes easy to remember when you consider that Ulcerative Colitis has “colon” right in its name. (more…)

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