What do medical students need to know by heart?

March 27, 2013

Reddit asked medical students and doctors "What do you consider absolutely important to know by heart? What do you look up?" We highlighted our favorite comments.

Someone recently asked the doctors and medical students in the r/medicine group on reddit, "What do you consider absolutely important to know by heart? What do you look up?" We found some interesting answers, so here are a few of our favorites. Read the rest of the comments in the original thread.

"ACLS. The names of the nurses on your unit." via shinjitthegale
  "BLS (and probably ALS) Strong history taking Examination skills Signs/symptoms of medical emergencies and their immediate management Most other things I think you can get help with relatively easily, but if you can't do the above then you aren't really safe, which is the most important thing." via baggya99
  "Based on my school's curriculum, I'm thoroughly surprised the doctors haven't chimed in to say they all know Kreb's Cycle by heart." via smang_it_gurl   And in reply from bayesianqueer, "When I was in Med School (94-98) mine was the first class that did not have to memorize the Krebs Cycle for biochem. Which is a bummer because I totally use that every day in the ER and clinic so I have to refer to my Android Krebs cycle for dummies app."
  "The residents pager # J/K...but also not ACLS algorithms (how to run a code blue) EKG interpretation How to do a thorough exam... Personal for me, but patient names." via thisisntnamman
  "Always be closer to the exit than the patient with psychosis BLS and ACLS/PALS as applicable Dose of your favorite RSI meds (EM/CC/anesth mostly) How to bag-mask ventilate a patient effectively & troubleshoot when it's not working well That if the history (or exam, or labs, or etc.) aren't fitting well with your working diagnosis, you should re-evaluate your diagnosis rather than try to convince yourself to ignore this contradiction" via aetuf.

  And my personal favorite from user medstud4ever,

"Where free coffee can be found at any hour in the hospital….."

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