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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Thomas L. Pazdernik, PhD (University of Kansas Medical Center)
Description: Pharmcards remain a popular resource for medical students who like to use flash cards to learn high yield information on drugs.
Purpose: The purpose is to present high yield information in a flash card format. In the current edition, the drugs are grouped by categories rather than alphabetically, a marked improvement. These cards have been popular with students for over 10 years but now find competition from other flash cards that may be preferred by some students.
Audience: The flash cards are designed for medical students who need to learn about drugs in their various classes, but could serve as a useful resource for anyone in the medical sciences who needs to learn information on drugs.
Features: There are several cards at the beginning that address fundamental principles germane to understanding drug action. Then over 250 cards on specific drugs are organized according to drug categories. Each card contains the generic name (trade name), class, and card number followed by sections dealing with mechanism, resistance (when appropriate), clinical, side effects, antidote (when appropriate), contraindications, metabolism (when appropriate), interactions, and notes. The back of the drug card lists related drugs and includes well selected tables and figures to help clarify pathways and compare related agents. Our students find the excellent figures and tables to be the most useful feature of these cards.
Assessment: This third edition is well done and will be even more popular among medical students than the past editions. However, the one complaint that I most frequently get from medical students is that there is so much information on the cards that they lose confidence as they begin to go through them immediately prior to taking a test. This particular group of students often prefer the Pharmacology Flash Cards by Kim and Swanson (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2004) since they focus on high yield information and the students can add information from their own notes. A compromise between these two extremes would be Pharmacology Flash Cards by Brenner and Back (Elsevier, 2006). Students are fortunate to be able to select the flash card style that best fits their own learning style.