While I was completing my last year of pharmacy school, I was on a rotation at a 340B (government subsidized) clinic pharmacy and wrote a “clinical pearl” for the staff on the power of memorization based on the information presented in an audio book I checked out at the local library called Quantum Memory Power by Dominic O’Brien. The audio book was a BIG surprise for me and happened to be extremely interesting and helpful. I found many practical uses to apply the memorization techniques to. You can easily remember bank account numbers, names, organization of a speech, et cetera.
Audio books can be powerful learning tools and extremely convenient. They are great to listen to in the car while commuting from here to there. This is available as a book but I highly recommend the audio program. My reading comprehension is fine but I think listening to the ideas and examples being presented by the author himself is highly beneficial for this type of material.
You might be able to “check it out” at your local library as I did or you can simply buy it at your local Barnes & Noble, Hasting’s, Borders or whatever book store you have available. It’s also available on Amazon, which is my outlet of choice. I find it strange that it is only rated an average of 4 stars, which definitely does not reflect how valuable the resource is. I consider it a 4.5 to 5 star product.
The following is the “clinical pearl” I wrote for the staff of the clinic pharmacy I spent a 6 week pharmacy rotation at.
Clinical Pearl – The Power of Increased Memory
I was at the south hill Spokane public library a couple months ago looking through the audio books and found a little gem called Quantum Memory Power by Dominic O’Brien. I wasn’t really looking for memory tools and I didn’t really think I would learn all that much through the audio course but I was wrong!
I’m sure you have heard of mnemonics and the use of them even if the actual term ‘mnemonic’ seems foreign to you. As a refresher, one of the most widely used mnemonics is ‘Columbus sailed the ocean blue in’…you guessed it, ‘1492.’ This is a very simple mnemonic that uses rhyming to help remember a key date. There’s the use of acronyms as mnemonics like Roy G Biv that helps us remember the colors in the rainbow. A mnemonic is simply any technique or method that aids in memory. There are much more powerful techniques that are simple to use and if you try them out you will be amazed at what you can remember and it sticks! It actually becomes fun thinking of what you can remember next.
The author has won several World Memory Championships and I believe he holds the record for the most. You may have heard of people memorizing a sequence of 90 decks of cards within 30 minutes or less. Or memorizing a long, infinite number like pi (3.14….) out to like a thousand digits. This is what Dominic can do and what you and I can do fairly easily. And you do not have to be a genius, that’s the beauty.
The foundation for memory, as Dominic teaches, is ALI, as in Muhammad ALI because it’s so powerful. ALI is an acronym for association, location and imagination. When your brain combines these elements your capacity for learning and retaining information is dramatically increased…insanely increased. He teaches things like making numbers into people and objects, which transforms meaningless numbers into vivid personalities and objects that you can incorporate into a ‘journey method’ or multiple other mnemonic devices. It’s like creating a memorable dream sequence. And if it sounds complicated or hard, it’s really not.
Some of the most difficult things to remember are a lot of numbers because they are basically meaningless to us. How the heck can you differentiate them and keep them straight!? You may have heard of autistic persons being able to memorize and rattle off long strings of digits. There is one autistic man for whom a large amount of research is going into how his mind works but he says that he sees numbers differently. A string of numbers is like a string of textures or colors to him and it’s like experiencing these different colors/textures/etc in a string of events as if he were on a walk. He simply reviews the walk he had. This is the basic principle behind the journey method.
Dominic makes you realize how much you can do with your memory. It would be nice to easily know your credit card number or bank account number with routing number off the top of your head without having to look it up. Or for doctors/pharmacists/other healthcare professionals to remember complicated dosing. Dosing can be very hard to keep straight unless you’ve had a great deal of experience; even then it is still difficult.
For a recent example of mine, I recently memorized an extensive AIDs antiretroviral drug chart with 12 NRTI/NNRTIs including all the complicated dosing and side effects. It is so nice to not mix up the numbers/side effects/etc or be confused whether I’m thinking of a different drug. The techniques I used make the information so clear and accessible. All of us have said, ‘I always forget what the dose is to that med and I got to look it up.’ You can take care of that in no time! And it will stay with you.
Create a mental fact-file, become a walking calendar, remember everyone you meet, mind mapping, techniques for getting through a job interview, speeches, learn languages easier, etc. These are valuable tools for both your personal and professional life. Incorporating these tools into your life will undoubtedly make it easier. You can pick and choose what you want to use this information for but you should at least give yourself the opportunity to become familiar with and have these tools at your disposal. You never know when they may come in handy.
I’m learning all the American presidents (along with dates, vice presidents, etc) next and also using this to study and prepare for my board exams in May. It’s actually fun. The author narrates the audio book and is an excellent presenter and teacher. I recommend the audio book over the book. The information will come across much better. Do yourself a favor and check this out!
I always love trying to improve myself, and I recently ran into this website that featured a lot of great insights and tips on self improvement – (it’s a Tai Lopez Review).
If you are interested in an example of these techniques put into action, I created a story mnemonic for human anatomy students to learn the 12 cranial nerves. It uses many of the principles I learned from the audio book.