As I continue my trek across the country, I recently ran into Kevin, a second-year medical student who hails from South Central Los Angeles. He is currently working his way through pharmacology and had this to say about the course:
Why in God’s name does this have to be so hard? Who in their right mind gave these names to drugs anyway? They’re always so confusing. I can’t recall whether tetracycline is birth control or an antibiotic. And is there really a difference between atenolol and metoprolol? I’ll just have to let the drug reps tell me which is better.
There sure is a lot of memorization. Some people use flashcards. I use dirty mnemonics. I don’t know if “killing prostitutes for fun and pleasure” is a true statement, but it sure does tell me the different types of benzodiazepines.
When I told my cousin back home that I was studying pharmacology, this trick asked me if I can give him some OxyContin. I’m not a street pharmacist. And speaking of pharmacists, did you know that they get over $100,000 a year just to dispense pills? They are doing the job of a high school graduate with a computer and are making a killing thanks to the certification laws of our country.
And some people make this their life. I realize that you can make a million bucks by discovering a new drug, but who would want to go through all that time and effort?