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Most Common Useful Mnemonics for the Medical Students

Most Common Useful Mnemonics for the Medical Students are listed below. These mnemonics will help not only the medical students, but it will also help the medical personnel working in hospitals too. They are mostly from medicine, surgery, orthopedics, ENT, Opthalmology, Health Insurance, and so on.

Most Common Useful Mnemonics for the Medical Students

Organizing principle for differential diagnoses based on etiology: VITAMINS ABCDEK
  • Vascular – diseases caused by “vessel” (bleed or blocked) or anything related to hematology.
  • Infectious / Inflammatory
  • Traumatic / Toxic
  • Autoimmune or allergy
  • Metabolic
  • Iatrogenic / Idiopathic
  • Neoplastic
  • Social – diseases caused by “social” reasons
  • Alcohol – alcohol-related disorders.
  • Behavioral – behavioral or psychosomatic disorders
  • Congenital (the entire VITAMINSABCDEK could be applied as appropriate to tease out categories of congenital diseases)
  • Degenerative / Drug related
  • Endocrine or exocrine problems.
  • Karyotype or genetic disorders.


Note that this is a rendition of VINDICATED MEN mnemonic.

Further Reading

ABCDE of Cirrhosis. The Child-Pugh score estimates cirrhosis severity. It is a prognosis tool.

  • Albumin
  • Bilirubin
  • Coags – PT or INR
  • Deluge  (Ascites) – Drain the Ascites
  • Encephalopathy

ACE Inhibitor (side effects)


  • Cough/C1 esterase deficiency Contraindication
  • Angioedema/Agranulocytosis
  • Proteinuria/Potassium excess (hyperkalemia)
  • Taste change
  • Orthostatic hypotension
  • Pregnancy contraindication (fetal renal damage)
  • Renal artery stenosis contraindication
  • Increase renin
  • Leukopenia/Liver toxicity


Class III Antiarrhythmic


  • Ibutilide
  • Sotalol
  • Bretylium
  • Amiodarone
  • Dofetilide
Causes of weight loss in older adults – MEALS ON WHEELS

Medications (eg, digoxin, theophylline, SSRIs, antibiotics)
Emotional (eg, depression, anxiety)
Alcoholism, older adult abuse
Late life paranoia or bereavement
Swallowing problems

Oral factors (tooth loss, xerostomia)
Nosocomial infections (eg, tuberculosis, pneumonia)

Wandering and other dementia-related factors
Hyperthyroidism, hypercalcemia, hypoadrenalism
Enteral problems (eg, esophageal stricture, gluten enteropathy)
Eating problems
Low salt, low cholesterol, and other therapeutic diets
Social isolation, stones (chronic cholecystitis)

H.Pylori Treatment

Please Make Tummy Better

  • Proton pump inhibitor (omeprazole)
  • Metronidazole
  • Tetracycline
  • Bismuth

Lithium Side effects


  • Leukocytosis
  • Inspidus (nephrogenic diabetes insipidus)
  • Tremor/Teratogenic (ebstein’s anomaly)
  • Hypothyroidism

TRAUMA Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Traumatic event
    Avoids the situation
    Unable to function / lack of interest in usual activities
    Month or more of symptoms
    Arousal is increased / Sympathetic arousal is increased.

Acute Pancreatitis


  • Biliary
  • Alcohol
  • Drugs (Corticosteroids, HIV drugs, Diuretics, Valproic acid..)
  • Hypertriglyceridemia/Hypercalcemia
  • Idiopathic
  • Trauma
  • Scorpion Sting

Cushing Syndrome


  • Central obesity, Collagen fiber weakness, Comedones (acne)
  • Urinary free cortisol and glucose increase
  • Striae, Suppressed immunity
  • Hypercortisolism, Hypertension, Hyperglycemia, Hypercholesterolemia
  • Latrogenic (increased administration of corticosteroids)
  • Noniatrogenic (Neoplasms)
  • Glucose intolerance, Growth retardation

rom proximal to Distal, The brachial plexus consists of:

  • R for Roots (C5-T1)
  • T for Trunks (Upper, Middle and Lower)
  • D for Divisions (Anterior and Posterior from each of the 3 trunks)
  • C for Cords (Lateral, Posterior and Medial)
  • B for Branches

Branches of the Roots (Rugby)

 “She Looks Pretty Sexy & Rude”

  1. She for the Serratus anterior nerve (C5-C7)
  2. Looks for Longus Colli (C5-C8)
  3. Pretty for Phrenic (C4)
  4. Sexy for Scalene muscles (C5-C8)
  5. Rude for Rhomboids (C5)

Branches of the Trunks (Teams)

remember “SUB” (from substitutes, which TEAMS make) 

  1. Sub-clavius (C5-C6)
  2. Suprascapular (C5-C6)

Branches of the Cords

Branches of lateral cord.

“Look Miss Look or LML”

  • Look for Lateral pectoral (C5-C7)
  • Miss for Musculocutaneous (C5-C7)
  • Look for Lateral root of the median (C5-C7)

Kawasaki Disease

Crash and Burn

  • Conjunctivitis (non-purulent)
  • Rash
  • Adenopathy (cervical and commonly unilateral)
  • Strawberry tongue
  • Hands (palmar erythema/swelling)
  • Burn (fever lasting at least 5 days or more)

Complications of Myocardial infarction

DARTH VADER (from Starwars so watch the movie first)

  • Death
  • Arrhythmia
  • Rupture (free ventricular wall, septum or papillary muscles)
  • Tamponade
  • Heart failure
  • Valve disease
  • Aneurysm of ventricle
  • Dressler’s syndrome
  • Embolism (mural thrombus)
  • Recurrence/mitral Regurgitation

Acute Cardiac Tamponade – Beck’s Triad


  • Distant heart sounds
  • Decreased arterial blood pressure
  • Distended Jugular Veins (JVD)

Multiple endocrine neoplasias

Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 1 (aka Wermer’s syndrome)
  • Pituitary tumors
  • Parathyroid tumors
  • Pancreatic endocrine tumors (e.g. Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, Insulinomas, VIPomas, Glucagonomas)
Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 2A (aka Sipple’s Syndrome)
  • Parathyroid tumor
  • Medullary thyroid carcinoma
  • Pheochromocytoma
Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 2B
  • Mucosal neuromas/Marfanoid habitus
  • Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma
  • Pheochromocytoma


  • Palpitations
  • Headache
  • Episodic sweating (diaphoresis)

Crohn’s Disease


    • Cobblestones
    • High temperature
    • Reduced lumen
    • Intestinal fistulae
    • Skip lesions
    • Transmural (all layers, may ulcerate)
    • Malabsorption
    • Abdominal pain
    • Submucosal fibrosis

Nephrotic Syndrome


  • Na decrease (hyponatremia)
  • Albumin decrease (hypoalbuminemia)
  • Proteinuria >3.5 g/day
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Renal vein thrombosis
  • Orbital edema
  • Thromboembolism
  • Infection (due to loss of immunoglobulins in urine)
  • Coagulability (due to loss of antithrombin III in urine)

Tabes Dorsalis Morphology


  • Dorsal column degeneration
  • Orthopedic pain (Charcot joints)
  • Reflexes decreased (deep tendon)
  • Shooting pain
  • Argyll-Robertson pupils
  • Locomotor ataxia
  • Impaired proprioception
  • Syphilis

Myocardial Infarction Treatment


    • Morphine
    • Oxygen
    • Aspirin
    • Nitroglycerine

Statin’s Side effect

think of their MOA (inhibition of HMG-CoA reductase)

  • Hepatotoxicity
  • Myalgia,
  • Myositis,
  • rhabdoMyolysis

Stevens Johnson Syndrome causing drugs PCP LAPSE

  • Phenytoin
  • Carbamazepine
  • Phenobarbital
  • Lamotrigine
  • Allopurinol
  • Penicillin
  • Sulfadrugs
  • Erythromycin

Tuberculosis Treatment

If you forget your TB drugs, You will die and might need a PRIEST

  • Pyrazinamide
  • Rifampin
  • Isoniazid
  • Ethambutol
  • STreptomycin

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Causes


  • Aspiration/Acute pancreatitis/Air or Amniotic embolism
  • Radiation
  • Drug overdose/DIC/Drowning/Diffuse lung disease
  • Shock/Sepsis/Smoke inhalation

Autosomal Dominant Disorders Mnemonics

Very Powerful DOMINANT Humans

    • Von williebrand disease / Von Hippel-Lindau
    • Pseudo-hypoparathyroidism
    • Dystrophia myotonica
    • Osteogenesis imperfecta/Osler-weber-rendu
    • Marfan syndrome
    • Intermittent porphyria
    • Neurofibromatosis
    • Achondroplasia/Adult polycystic kidney disease
    • Noonan syndrome
    • Tuberous sclerosis
    • Hypercholesterolemia
    • Huntington’s disease
    • Hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy
    • Hereditary spherocytosis
    • Hereditary non polyposis coli
    • Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia

Generalized anxiety disorder WATCHERS

    Tension in muscles
    Concentration difficulty
    Hyperarousal (or irritability)
    Energy loss
    Sleep disturbance


Fabry’s Disease

FABRY’C (replace S with C)

  • Foam cells/ Febrile episodes
  • Alpha galactosidase A deficiency/Angiokeratomas
  • Burning pain in hands and feet “peripheral neuropathy”/Boys
  • Renal failure
  • YX genotype (Male, X-linked recessive)
  • Ceramide trihexoside accumulation/Cardiovascular disease

Folic Acid deficiency causes

  • Alcoholism
  • Folic acid antagonists (e.g methotrexate, trimethoprim)
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Low dietary intake (e.g. excessive goat milk)
  • Infection with giardia
  • Celiac sprue
  • Pregnancy/Psoriasis
  • Old age
  • Dilantin aka phenytoin

Tay Sach’s Features


  • Testing recommended
  • Autosomal recessive
  • Young death (<4 years)
  • Spot in macula (cherry red spots)
  • Ashkenazi jews
  • CNS degeneration
  • Hex A deficiency
  • Storage disease

Acute Intermittent Porphyria

6 P’s

  • Porphobilinogen deaminase deficiency
  • Pain in abdomen (most common, 95% of patients experience)
  • Psychological symptoms (Anxiety, agitation, hallucination, hysteria, delirium, depression)


Felty’s Syndrome


  • Splenomegaly
  • Anemia
  • Neutropenia
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Arthritis (Rheumatoid)

Multiple Myeloma Signs and Symptoms


  • Calcium elevation
  • Renal impairment
  • Anemia
  • Bone (bone pain, lytic lesions, fractures)

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