Wednesday, November 13, 2013

For Medical students : 10 antibiotics a year

"How many antibiotics are there that you know? I bet in your practice you will only use less than 100 antibiotics. So if you memorize 10 antibiotics a year - is that too much? 10 antibiotics a year? Imagine how many you would have mastered today?"

That was how my brain translated what Dr.W preached in our lecture regarding antibiotics usage in paediatric department. 10 antibiotics a year equals to 1 antibiotic a month, and by the time you reached 6th year you would have at least 60 antibiotics at the tip of your finger. He totally blew my mind.

Now, why didn't anyone tells us about this calculation back in our 2nd year while we're taking general pharmacology? Had there been anyone who told us this mind-blowing fact in our 4th year, we could have up the number to 2 antibiotics a month which is still very do-able.. and this man is telling us this in our 3rd week of our 3rd rotation for our final year with so many things to catch up with. Even if I do 1 antibiotic a week, starting today, still I will only have 23 antibiotics well-read about by my final exam. 

Unfortunately we will not achieve anything by dwelling in our regrets - so in which ever year you're in today, start doing your calculation, right away after you finish reading this - not only for the antibiotics, but all the other drugs as well.  

Most antibiotics have the same adverse effects GI upset, so focus more on the special / unique side effects, and contraindications. Of course you will also need to know which microorganisms it covers, and what kind of preparation we use for which kind of infection.

Yes you will not have time to memorize all antibiotics there are in 1-2 weeks study leave but you CAN read and memorize about 1 antibiotic a month!