English medicine mnemonics

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Here are some English mnemonics related to medicine.

Medical mnemonics are quite common. Some are less politically correct than others, and some are profane (presumably because their shock value makes them easier to remember). The list below doesn't censor, but in some cases does provide "clean" alternatives.

Hospital Admission Orders

ADC Van Dismal (ADC is a British military position "Aide de Camp") Admit to Diagnosis Condition Vital signs Allergies Nursing Diet IV fluids Special instructions Medications Activity Labs

ADA VAN DISSEL: Admit Diagnosis Allergies Vital signs Activities Nursing orders (wind[breathing]-wounds-water[urine]) Diet Intravenous Sedation Sleep Elimination Labwork.

Medications to consider as standing orders: "PINTO SAAB H2" Pain medications IV fluids Nausea Tylenol Own meds Sleep Antibiotics Anti-coagulation Bowel movement (laxatives) H2 Receptor Blockers

Anatomy

Patient History - questions to determine type of pain SOCRATES (site, origin, character, radiation, Associated pain, timing, exacerbating fators and relieving factors, severity)

Names of Movements

To remember the difference between supination of the wrist and pronation of the wrist:

  • You supinate your wrist to hold a bowl of soup.


The difference between "supine" and "prone":

  • In muggings, muggers must attack

The victim's proper zone;
The belly if he's supine
And the spine if he is prone.

  • If you lay supine you are on your spine, supine, on the spine, if you lay prone (for guys) you are on the "bone" (penis), prone, on the "bone".
  • Beggars Supinate, Kings Pronate: Do the action with your hand.


Names of Bones in the wrist (Proximal row, lateral-to-medial)


  • "Scared Lovers Try Positions That They Can't Handle" (Scaphoid, Lunate, Triquetrium, Pisiform, Trapezium, Trapezoid, Capitate, Hamate)
  • "Sam Likes To Push The Toy Car Hard)" (Scaphoid, Lunate, Triquetrium, Pisiform, Trapezium, Trapezoid, Capitate, Hamate)
  • "Stop Letting Those People Touch The Cadaver's Hand" (Scaphoid, Lunate, Triquetrium, Pisiform, Trapezium, Trapezoid, Capitate, Hamate)
  • "Sally Left The Party To Take Cathy Home" (Scaphoid, Lunate, Triquetrium, Pisiform, Trapezium, Trapezoid, Capitate, Hamate)
  • "Some Lesbians Try Positions That They Can't Handle" (Scaphoid, Lunate, Triquetrium, Pisiform, Trapezium, Trapezoid, Capitate, Hamate)
  • "She Looks Too Pretty Try To Catch Her" (Scaphoid, Lunate, Triquetrium, Pisiform, Trapezium, Trapezoid, Capitate, Hamate)
  • "Stop Letting Those People Touch The Cadaver's Hand" (Scaphoid, Lunate, Triquetrium, Pisiform, Trapezium, Trapezoid, Capitate, Hamate)

Names of Bones in the ankle


  • "Tiger Cubs Need MILC" (Talus, Calcaneous, Navicular, Medial cuneifore, Intermediate cuneiforem, Lateral cuneiforem, Cuboid"
  • (Never, Lower, Trudy's, Pants, GrandMother, May, Come, Home) (Navicular, Lunate, Triquetral, Pisiform, Greater Multangular, Lesser Multangular, Capitate, Hamate)


Names of Bones in the spine


The order of the bones in the spinal column is Cervical, Thoracic, Lumbar, Sacrum, Coccyx:

  • Cyanide Tastes Like Sweet Candy
  • Charlie Tuna Loves Small Cans
  • Canned Tuna Looks So Cramped
  • Cervical Thoracic Lumbar Sacrum Coccyx


Names of Muscles

Muscles of Rotator Cuff

"The SITS muscles" ((Clockwise from top) Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres minor, Subscapularis)) A pro baseball pitcher has injured his rotator cuff muscles. As a result, he SITS out for the rest of the game, and then gets sent to the minor leagues.


Muscle insertions on the bicipital groove of the humerus

The Missis between two Majors. (Pectoralis Major and Teres Major are on the lateral and medial lip (respectively) of the bicipital groove with Latissimus Dorsi (the Missis) between them.


Order of Anatomical Structures


To remember the order of structures in the femoral sheath:

  • in left leg: VAN: Vein Artery Nerve
  • in right leg: NAVEL: Nerve Artery Vein Empty space Lymphatics
    • How to remember which is which:
      • The Venus is near the penis. (the vein is medial.)
  • In the right leg: NAVY: Nerve Artery Vein Y-fronts

The parts of the small intestine: Decidedly Juicy Intestine (Duodenum, Jejunum, Ileum)

They are also in alphabetical order.


Difference between Diseases


To remember which is which between phimosis and paraphimosis:

  • The longer word is the "longer" disease.


Neuroanatomy and cranial nerves

To remember which type of posturing is associated with decerebrate v. decorticate:

  • decerebrate - extend the arms
  • decorticate - flex arms towards the core
  • Oh Oh Oh To Touch And Feel A Girl's Vagina Aah Heavenly
  • Oh Oh Oh To Touch And Feel A Goodly Virgin's Ample Hymen

Olfactory, Optic, Occulomotor, Trochlear, Trigeminal, Abducent, Facial, Auditory, Glossopharyngeal, Vagus, Accessory, Hypoglossal

  • "Old Opticians Occasionally Too Try And Feel Audrey Glossop's Vagina AcH!"

Olfactory, Optic, Occulomotor, Trochlear, Trigeminal, Abducent, Facial, Auditory, Glossopharyngeal, Vagus, Accessory, Hypoglossal

(Many variants exist. Mnemonics for the cranial nerves vary, because the auditory nerve is also known as the Vestibulocochlear nerve and the accessory nerve is also known as the Spinal accessory nerve.)

  • Oh Once One Takes The Anatomy Final, Very Good Vactions Are Heavenly
  • Oh Oh Oh, To Touch And Feel Very Good Velvet Ah

Whether each cranial nerve, ordered I to XII, is Sensory, Motor, or Both:

  • Some Say Marry Money But My Brother Says Big Boobs Matter More.
  • (version 2) Some Say Marry Money But My Brother Says Bad Business Marry Money.
  • (version 3) Some Say My Mother Bought My Brother Some Bad Beer My My.
  • (version 4) Some Say Marry Money; My Brother Says Bad Business, Marry Many.

Names of cranial nerves

  • (I-Olfactory, II-Optic, III-Oculomotor, IV-Trochlear, V-Trigeminal, VI-Abducens, VII-Facial, VIII-Vestibulocochlear, IX-Glossopharyngeal, X-Vagus, XI-Accessory, XII-Hypoglossal):
    • (Vet school version): On Old Olympus's Towering Top, A Fat Vicious Goat Vandalized A Hat.
    • (Med school version): Oh, Oh, Oh... To Touch A Fine Virgin Girl's Vulva And Hymen.
    • (Med school version 2): Oh, Oh, Oh... To Touch A Female Virgin Gives Very Amusing Hours.
  • (A&P class version): Oh, Oh, Oh... To Touch And Feel A (Acoustic) Girl's Vagina Ah! Heaven.
  • (Clean A&P class version): OLd OPie OCcasionally TRies TRIGEnometry And Feels Very GLOomy, VAGue And HYPOactive.

Branches of the Facial Nerve (CN VII):

  • Temporal, Zygomatic, Buccal, Marginal Mandibular, Cervical:
    • Two Zebra Bought My Mother's Car
    • To Zanzibar By Motor Car

The branches (inferior to superior) of the external carotid artery:

  • Superior Thyroid, Ascending Pharyngeal, Lingual, Facial, Occipital, Posterior Auricular, Superficial Temporal, and Maxillary.
    • Some anatomists like fetuccini, others prefer spaghetti & meatballs.
      • Some anatomists like f-----g, others prefer S&M. (dirty version)

Sexual Arousal in males: The parasympathetic nervous system and the sympathetic nervous system. Point and Shoot (Point indicating erection, caused by the Parasympathetic, Shoot indicating ejaculation, caused by the Sympathetic.

Cell death

An example of simple yet effective medical mnemonic, often employed to assist first-year medical students of UNSW (Australia) is "CHINPIG". This outlines the 7 empirical causes of cell death, which are "Chemical, Hypoxia, Infection, Nutritional, Physical, Immunologic, Genetic". The mnemonic, dear to the heart of all UNSW medical students, is attributed to Professor Gary Velan, though its precise origin cannot be confirmed.

Immunology

To remember which immunoglobulin subtype crosses the placenta:

  • IgM stays with Mom
  • IgG Goes with baby.

To remember which immunoglobulin subtype is associated with warm agglutination v. cold agglutination:

  • IgGeorgia is warm
  • IgMaine is cold

Agglutination: warm antibodies vs. cold antibodies

  • Warm Gravy - IgG
  • Cold Milk - IgM

Pharmacology

To remember which drugs inhibit P450 liver enzymes:

  • Florida Grapefruits Can Inhibit Some Key Enzymes
    • Fluoroquinolones
    • Grapefruit
    • Cimetidine
    • INH - Isoniazid
    • Sulfa/SSRIs
    • Ketoconazole
    • Erythromycin (macrolides)

To remember which Tricyclic antidepressants (TCA's) are tertiary amines:

  • There is an "m" in the first four letters of each but doxepin. An "m" is a "3" turned on it's side. The secondary amines lack the early "m".

To remember not to use TCA's with thyroid medications:

  • Thyroid Can't Accomodate!
  • (Other Behavioral drugs don't have this contraindication.)

To remember the relative half-lives of the Opioid antagonists:

  • "Naltrexone" is longer and longer-acting than "naloxone".

An example of a visual mnemonic for the drug "hydralazine" could be represented as "lazy hydra" that is on strike holding a sign "NO more work". "NO" in the above case symbolizes Nitrous oxide, which is related to the drug's mechanism of action (It should be noted that NO is actually the symbol for Nitric Oxide, which has a markedly different effect on the body)

To remember symptoms of Nerve Gas or similar substance exposure treated by Atropine, SLUDGE:

  • Salivation
  • Lacrimation
  • Urination
  • Defecation
  • Gastrointenstinal upset
  • Emesis (vomiting)

References

  1. Swansburg, Russell C (1995). Nursing Staff Development, Jones and Bartlett Publishers. ISBN 0-86720-658-6., p. 88: "An example of this is the mnemonic used by most nursing students to remember the cranial nerves: On Old Olympus' Towering Top a Finn and German Viewed Some Hops."

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