Claire Jeong is the founder of StudentRDH.com, dentaltoaster.com, smarterDA.com and now https://wakeupmemory.com/
This week, Claire helps us to remember the difference in brand vs. generic. We can waste time when reviewing the medical history by looking up medication names. If we had a fun and fast way to remember the brand and generic names, we could fly through those med histories! Thanks, Claire, for helping us keep medications straight!
Check out her website, dentaltoaster.com, for more info and other great CE courses, including one by Michelle!
More TIPisodes: https://www.ataleoftwohygienists.com/tipisodes/
This TIPisode has been transcribed for your viewing pleasure:
A Tale of Two Hygienists presents this week’s TIPisode: Quick and easy tips to keep you up to date and presented by the experts in the profession. Now, get ready for your unofficial TIPisode.
Claire Jeong: Hello. This is Claire at StudentRDH dental hygiene exam prep solution and DentalToaster CE courses. I get this question all the time: “Claire, help me remember the drug names, their generic name and their brand name. I have patients who are coming with lots of medication, and every time I spend so much time Googling the medication. It cuts into my treatment planning. It cuts into my hours.”
So I’m going to share with you how I memorize the drug names and how I teach everybody else to use this technique. Now, this technique, I also use it in pharmacology students, not just dental or dental hygiene students. And this thing works. We are trying to avoid what’s called the “word memory.” Word memory is when you just repeat something over, over, over and again. It works. However, you need a lot of repetition, and we don’t have time for that.
So, if you use WakeUp Memory technique — this is a technique that I didn’t especially invent, but I took the wisdoms from thousands of years, accumulated it, and transformed it to something that resonates with us in dentistry and the medical field. So I’m a memorizer myself, and I teach this technique just for students and for faculty members as well so we can all be very efficient, so we can all have a great lifestyle.
So I’m going to go with you some the drugs [sic] that we have in diabetes. Diabetes is a major heath problem in North America. That’s why I brought the topic of diabetes in another episode, but here, let’s look at the brand name and the generic name, how we are going to memorize that.
So let me start with this drug. The generic name is called insulin glargine, G-L-A-R-G-I-N-E, and the brand name is Lantus, L-A-N-T-U-S. So how are you going to connect insulin glargine with Lantus? Because if you see, for example, the patient is taking Lantus, you blank, you don’t know what this is for, so you have to Google it. But, if you knew that Lantus was insulin glargine, you will understand that it’s related to insulin, and that gives you diabetes.
So let’s do it together. So, here, I would actually take some elements of this generic name. Okay? I’m just taking bits and pieces. I’m just editing heavily this information so that it becomes relevant to me so that I have a personal connection to it. So, here, in insulin glargine, this is — I’m going to turn this into the “peninsula large.” Okay? So you say “insulin;” you give me “peninsula.” Close enough. Glargine, I say “large.” We don’t have to be exact. Enough so that it triggers this whole pathway in your brain that is going to fish for this information.
So let’s think about this large insula — peninsula like Florida. It’s — it can be in the shape of a lantern, whatever lantern image in your head. It could be like a round lantern that you see maybe in the Buddhist temple, it could be kind of a square one that you can see in your porch, or I can also create this quick short story in my head saying that this peninsula — this large peninsula is hosting a large lantern festival every single year. Now, you know insulin glargine, the brand name is Lantus. So, when you see Lantus, you can go backwards and saying the generic name is insulin glargine. It’s related to diabetes.
Does that make any sense? I know. Maybe not. Maybe it doesn’t make any sense. But you want just to make sure that you understand concept like this so you can memorize many, many more.
So let’s do it together again. So here’s another name. Insulin aspart, A-S-P-A-R-T, and the brand name for this is NovoLog, N-O-V-O-L-O-G. Now, how are you going to remember this, right? So, again, I transformed it. I edited heavily, and I said, “Peninsula. Apart. Aspart becomes ‘apart;’ Insulin becomes ‘peninsula.’ ” Okay. The peninsula apart. So I imagine two peninsula being apart. Okay? They’re close to each other, but they are separated.
So NovoLog, I’m going to turn that into “new log.” So I’m going to make this quick story that you want to connect — you want build a bridge between those two peninsula that are apart, so you’re getting a lot of new logs in order to create this new bridge. Now, NovoLog, insulin aspart. Does that make any sense? Maybe your brain is starting to tickle a little bit now.
Let’s continue. Insulin lispro, L-I-S-P-R-O. That is called Humalog. Okay? The brand name is Humalog, S — H-U-M-A-L-O-G. Again, I’m going to edit it. Peninsula lipo. Insulin lispro becomes “peninsula lipo” like liposuction, and the Humalog turns into a “hema” like a hematoma. So all I’m trying to think here is that there’s this peninsula, again, and it’s known for its liposuction. All right, I mean, I’m from Korea. Korea is known for plastic surgery. Now, I don’t know how we got there, but it’s known for plastic surgery. We have people from all over the world coming to Korea to get plastic surgery, and one of the plastic surgery includes [sic] lipo.
So you’re in this peninsula, and it’s known for its liposuction. There are lots of hospitals and doctors that do that. And, when you do that, usually you will end up with a huge hematoma, a huge bruising wherever you had this liposuction whether it’s your belly or your thighs. And you can Google Search on images, and I actually did when I was creating the memory technique. You get huge bruising for a long time. So together, “‘peninsula lipo” gives you “hematoma,” which is insulin lispro gives you Humalog. This was another one.
Now, something a little different. Again, we are in the topic of diabetes and their drugs. This generic name is called liraglutide, L-I-R-A-G-L-U-T-I-D-E, and the brand name is called Victoza, V-I-C-T-O-Z-A. Now, every different, right? How are we going to connect the two? This is my story. Liraglutide, I turn it into “Laura” and “glute.” So there’s this famous Instagram fashion blogger. Her name is Laura. You don’t have to know her, but let’s imagine her and any Laura that you know. Now, Laura wants to compete in this bodybuilding competition in women’s section, so she’s exercising a lot. She’s building those massive glutes, like, healthy, lots of muscles, training all the times on glutes — okay — specifically. And then she goes to the competition, and she actually wins. And winning is victory, right?
So let’s put it together again. Laura exercise because she want to go to this bodybuilding competition, she worked her glute really, really hard, and she had victory. Now, liraglutides, the brand name is Victoza.
Does that help you a little bit? It doesn’t exactly have to make sense in your brain. It just has to be something that triggers enough of this cascade. And they say nerves that are wired together fire together. So what you are doing right now is you’re just combining — putting those nerves together because our whole brain is made of nerves. There are fatty tissues and things like that, but those nerves are connected. And, if you do a good job connecting them right now, when you are going to try to retrieve this information, you’re just going to get this whole chain of action so you can get to the answer faster.
If you use just a regular word memory technique, we’re just repeating the same thing over and over again. You are not actually bundling those nerves together. You just let them live individually, and by repeating, you are trying to reinforce the connection. But this is, as you can imagine, a much more effective way to do so.
So let’s just look at one more thing, one more name here. The br — no, sorry. The generic name is saxagliptin, S-A-X-A-G-L-I-P-T-I-N, and the brand name is called Onglyza, O-N-G-L-Y-Z-A. So how are we going to connect the two? Now, saxagliptin, I turn that into a saxophone, and you put on lipstick. So I have saxagliptin. I say “saxophone” and “lipstick.”
So let’s say before playing the saxophone, I want to look good. I put on some lipstick, or I want some moisturizing lipstick. Okay? And you start playing, and oh, my God. So O-N-G, Onglyza, I turn into an O-M-G. Close enough, all right? As long as it makes a good story, you’re good.
So O-M-G. A lizard comes out of the saxophone. You’re blowing a lizard, and you didn’t know it was there. Or maybe the lizard actually crawled — it went not out the end that is facing the audience but maybe actually crawled into your mouth because it was in the saxophone. So you have this weird image. You can already feel — you know, feeling is really important — you feel this weirdness, and now you can put the story together. Saxagliptin, saxophone, lip. Onglyza, which is oh, my God. Lizard come out of the saxophone.
Now, I did this with students already who are studying pharmacology, and the result is just astonishing. People who did not have memory techniques like what I’m teaching right now, the results of pharmacology for that specific chapter was 45 percent. However, when I taught memory techniques WakeUp Memory, the result went to 78 percent of correct answers. So, again, this technique works.
And, if you want to know more, go to wakeupmemory.com and sign up for the blog, for the newsletter, because there’s so much more we can learn about the brain. A healthy brain, a healthy life.
This was Claire at StudentRDH and DentalToaster CE courses and WakeUp Memory. Have a great day.
Michelle Strange: We hope you enjoyed this week’s TIPisode. Be sure to reach out to our guest experts and let them know how helpful their tips were. Follow A Tale of Two Hygienists on Facebook, Instagram, and head over to ataleoftwohygienists.com and subscribe to our newsletter. You can also email us at email@example.com, and keep listening for more awesome content from your unofficial dental hygiene podcast.