Medical Mnemonist Podcast

Advanced Mnemonics Creation – Medical Mnemonics Series 4

Advanced Mnemonics Creation is the fourth episode in a miniseries on medical mnemonics. In this episode, Chase DiMarco talks about the PAO method and the use of anchor and linking visual markers. These memory devices can be used on their own; but when used together, the combined techniques provide the best results.

  • [02:02] The PAO Method
  • [08:05] Homework Exercise 1
  • [09:27] Anchor and Linking Markers
  • [13:37] Homework Exercise 2

The Person-Action-Object System

The PAO system is similar to the peg system where a set of numbers are assigned a symbol. With the PAO system, you have more diversity in creating images and can create interactions between them.

To start, make a table with 3 columns, labeling each as “person”, “action”, and “object”. Number the rows however you would like. Next, transform each number into letters. For example, the number 11 can be thought of as AA. Think of a person that you’re reminded of by those initials. What is the action and object you would associate with that individual? Once you have the person, action, and object in mind, jot them down on your chart.

Practice doing this to exercise your creativity and understanding of the PAO method. It’s particularly useful in remembering long strings of numbers. There are other ways to use the PAO method. In a previous episode, Gabe Wyner showed us how he uses the PAO system in language learning.

Linking and Anchor Markers

An anchor marker is the initial visual that comes to mind about a topic. Meanwhile, a linking marker is an image you can attach to the anchor marker, making it easier to lump similar information together. By attaching several linking markers to the anchor maker, you can make an elaborate image that represents a topic and its multiple associations. To help you visualize this better, check out the example from Chase’s memory palace tutorial.

Homework

  • Create PAO system
  • Make a list of 5 diverse topics, with each topic having at least 5 subtopics. Assign an anchor marker for each topic and a linking marker for each subtopic. Combine all of the images together to create a coherent visual.
  • Create 3 coherent, detailed visuals in your journal.

We highly recommend Anthony Metivier’s Magnetic Memory Method to help improve your memory through brain training. Listen to our previous episode with Dr. Lev Goldentouch to know about other advanced mnemonic techniques. For more study tips, grab a copy of Read This Before Medical School. Don’t forget to leave a rating!

Share your experiences, tips, and suggestions to [email protected]. Or you can directly reach out to Chase on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram. Join the Medical Mnemonist Master Mind Facebook group and find our Blog postsPodcasts, and other Resources at FreeMedEd.org!

Chase DiMarco

Chase DiMarco is an MS, MBA-HA and MD/Ph.D-candidate. He is the founder of FreeMedEd, a free medical education resource, the host of the Medical Mnemonist 1-Minute Preceptor podcasts by MedSchoolCoach, creator of several medical education platforms, and CEO of FindARotation clinical rotations service.

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