How To Study Pharmacology- Pharmacology is that branch of science that deals with the uses, effects and mode of action of drugs in the body. A lot of students dread the subject of pharmacology because it can be very boring and cumbersome too. You have to learn the name of so many drugs, their features, mechanism of action, etc.
But I have good news for you, as I will be sharing with you 20 secret tips on how to study pharmacology and score high grades in it. You will also get to know about 20 career paths you could follow as a graduate of Pharmacology.
The Study of Pharmacology
Pharmacology can be defined as the study of drugs, its interaction with the body and the response of the body to the drugs. Students studying nursing, pharmacy, medicine will come across pharmacology during their study. But pharmacology is really a dreaded course by many of these students, this is because of a large number of drugs they will have to study on the course.
Some of the roles of a pharmacologist include the following:
- Development of drugs to treat new diseases
- Discovery of new medicines
- Research on how drugs can be safe for usage
- Identification of new drugs when old ones become ineffective
- Explore better ways of drug administration
20 Secret Tips On How To Study Pharmacology
Specific Tips On How To Study Pharmacology
#1 Classify the drugs into large categories
Classify drugs in large categories with similar characteristics and effects. It will be easier to study the drugs that way.
#2 You can also classify the drugs based on interaction with the body
Drugs can also be classified based on their interaction and mode of action in the body. For example, Antibiotics are used to fight bacterial infections.
#3 You can begin to get more specific with the large classes of drugs
Once you have been able to master larger classes of drugs, then you can narrow down to smaller and specific classes.
#4 Concentrate more on the specific side effects of drugs
In categorizing drugs, focus more on the specific side effects than the general ones.
#5 Master the suffix of drugs:
Drugs are usually named according to their function. It implies that the function of a drug can be deduced from its name. The suffix of a drug determines its category of function. For instance, drugs that end in – “pril” are ACE inhibitors, they affect the kidney and heart.
General Tips On How To Study Pharmacology
#6 Make out time to study
Make out time to study on a daily basis. It is better to study for 30 minutes every day consistently than planning to study for 7 hours on a Saturday. Don’t wait until exams are so close before you start preparing for exams. It is when you wait till exam is so close before you start preparing, that cramming becomes an option. So start studying from the beginning of the semester.
#7 Choose a study location
Don’t plan to study on your bed, you are only inviting sleep by that action. You should choose a location that is out of your comfort zone. The library is a good place, though not everyone can read in the library, because of the absolute silence which may draw sleep to oneself.
#8 Have a study time-table
Don’t just study any course on impulse. Have a time-table that will be able to cover all the courses you take in a week. In structuring your time-table, you must understand your body physiology, know the times that you can study effectively. For instance, some students study effectively late in the night, some prefer early hours of the morning while some are satisfied studying in the afternoon.
#9 Have plans and schedules
As a student of pharmacology, you will have very tight schedules with lots of tasks to accomplish in short periods. If you don’t plan yourself and make use of to-do list, so many salient matters may be skipped. You should have daily plans, weekly plans and monthly plans, all written out.
#10 Make use of reminders and alarms
As a busy student of pharmacology, you can’t leave your daily schedule to chances. For instance, you can’t be waking up at any time you feel like. You must have a wake-up time and then set alarm to that effect. You should also set alarms and reminders for other activities like seminars, assignment due dates, study period, lectures, etc.
#11 Study after every lecture
Make efforts to study after every lecture, even if it’s just for 30minutes you will study. This will help you build knowledge overtime and prevents you from being overburdened with lots of workload to study when exams are close.
#12 Study in bits
You can decide to study one topic per time, this makes it easier for you to understand the subject matter.
#13 Introduce some visuals
You can make use of graphs, flowcharts, etc, this will really help the learning process. You can arrange the drugs into some flowcharts, such that will make it easy for you to be able to identify the drugs and the details of the drugs.
#14 Use Flashcards
Flashcards makes learning easier and fast. You can write the name of a drug on a flashcard and then indicate the composition, the action and the effects of the drugs on the reverse side of the flashcard. You can carry the cards around and glance through at your free moments.
#15 Apply Mnemonic devices
A mnemonic device is simply a phrase that helps you figure out something. Students can use this style to memorize the drugs and some other things. You can generate your own mnemonics or search the internet to get some.
#16 Join a study group
Find some serious minded course mates that you can come together to study, share ideas, trash out difficult problems. This reduces the time you have to study and comprehend your course work.
#17 Try teach others
One way of getting some knowledge to stick into your brain is by teaching others what you have learnt. You can teach your classmates or even someone not in your faculty. When you teach others, you will be able to assess yourself on how much you have understood the subject matter.
#18 Consult your professors for assistance
Don’t be afraid to ask your professors for help whenever you get stuck.
#19 Include rest and sleep into your schedule
It is good to be hardworking, yes hard work pays. But a time must come when you just have to quit everything you are doing and go to rest or sleep, if you still want to remain viable as a student. Don’t wait until your health breaks down before you start thinking of rest. Plan rest and sleep into your daily schedules. One beautiful thing about rest and sleep is that it brings refreshing to your body and mind, your output would even improve. So get enough rest and sleep.
#20 Eat balanced diet
Eat well. Don’t starve your body by living on junks. Plan your meal and meal times. There are some foods that actually help the brain function better. Find out those foods and consume them.
10 Top Skills Needed To Study Pharmacology
- Attention to details
- Analytical skills
- Organization skills
- Communication skills
- Safety skills
- IT skills
- Critical thinking
- Team work
- Time Management skills
- Leadership skills
20 Top Career Prospects in Pharmacology
If you get to study pharmacology, you can work in any of this capacity:
- Community Pharmacist
- Analytical chemist
- Drug Regulatory Officer
- Drug Safety Monitors
- Clinical Trial Monitors
- Academic Researcher
- Food and Drug Inspector
- Medical Advisor
- Medical Sales Representative
- Hospital Drug Representative
- Medical Writers/Editor
- Pharma Researcher
- Laboratory Technicians
- Research Associates
- Risk Assessment Specialist
- Medicinal Chemist
So, now that you have read about how to study pharmacology and be a master at it, it is time to get into action. It is not enough to acquire knowledge; you must put that knowledge into practice so you can have results.
I wish you all the best in your academic pursuits.
Frequently Asked Questions
Pharmacology is that branch of medicine that deals with the study of drugs, its interaction with the body and the response of the body to the drugs while pharmacy is simply the science and technique of preparing and dispensing drugs that have been studied and manufactured by pharmacologists.
Although most pharmacologist work in the laboratory, vacancies also exist for them hospitals, universities, government agencies and private industry. As a pharmacologist degree holder, you work in the following capacities:
- Pharmaceutical Sales Representative
- Medical Writer
- Medical Liaison
- Pharmaceutical Lab Scientist
- Pharmaceutical Marketing Manager
Get a bachelor’s degree in pharmacology
You can take your studies further by obtaining a master’s degree in pharmacology where you can get to specialize.