Pharmacy - Hospital Palace

I'm using the Pharmacy department in my "Hospital  Mind Palace" to memorise medications. To do this I developed a memory system similar to the PAO (Person, Action, Object) system, but instead I'm using Animal, item to wear, transport. The image I create is of an animal wearing an item in (or associated) with a mode of transport. This is then placed in the related location around the pharmacy eg. Ant wearing an apron in an aeroplane is placed at location A at the pharmacy door. I image the ant crashing the plane into the door. At B on the Pharmacy sign I have a bear in a bra clawing at at bus and so forth. At XYZ I have the letters bunched together because of lack of space and I hope I don't come across too many medications beginning with these letters or I could find memorising them very difficult. Once all the images are placed around the pharmacy from A-Z they are not difficult to memorise because all the images are bizarre and, in sequence from A-Z as I take an imaginary walk around the pharmacy from left to right.

Memory System

Below is a table of how I have used the animal - wearing - transport memory system and placed the related image to letter in the loci (locations) around the pharmacy. In this instance I haven't always kept strictly from left to right / top to bottom - as I recommend, and usually do. I have these images firmly etched in my brain so I don't want to rearrange them.

Letter  Animal Wearing Transport  Description of what I imagine
A Ant  Apron  Aeroplane Ant wearing an apron crashing into pharmacy door in an aeroplane.
 B  Bear Bra  Bus  Bear wearing a bra clawing at a bus on the pharmacy sign   
 C Cat   Cap  Car Cat wearing a cap driving along the seats in a car
Dog  Dress   Dingy   Picture of a dog wearing a dress riding the waves in a dingy
Elephant   Earmuffs  Escalator  Elephant wearing earmuffs travelling up the plant on a escalator
 Frog  Flipflops Fire engine   Frog wearing flipflops in a fire engine siren on top of clock - like alarm clock
 G  Giraffe Glasses  Go-kart   Giraffe wearing glasses speeding across pile of magazines in a go-kart - scattering them across the table
 H  Hippo Headscarf  Hovercraft   Hippo wearing headscarf hovering around tabletop.
 I  Iguana Ice Skates  Ice Gritter   Iguana wearing ice skates clearing dust from screen top
J Jaguar  Jumper Jeep   Jaguar wearing jumper coming out of computer screen in the back of a jeep
K  Kangaroo Knickers   Kayak  Kangaroo in frilly knickers floating along shelf in Kayak
L  Lion Lipstick  Lorry   Lion wearing lipstick knocking med bottles of the top right of shelf in a lorry.
M  Monkey Mittens Motorbike  Monkey wearing mittens doing wheelie jumps off med packets left hand top shelf on motorbike
Letter  Animal Wearing Transport  Description of what I imagine
N Newt  Nightgown   Narrowboat  Newt wearing nightgown advertising on poster a relaxing break on narrowboat.
O  Ostrich Overalls   Oil tanker Ostrich wearing overalls leaving oil slick driving oil tanker over cupboard 
P  Penguin  Pyjamas Pogo Stick  Penguin wearing pyjamas jumping on pogo stick to try and open cabinet 
Q  Quail  Quiff Quad bike  Quail with a quiff weighing his Quad bike on the scales 
R  Rabbit  Ribbon Rocket  Rabbit wearing a hair ribbon launching off a tray in a rocket 
S  Sheep  Socks Ship  Sheep wearing socks sailing along the desk top in a ship 
T  Tiger  Trousers  Train Tiger wearing trousers on a train being studied under the microscope 
U  Unicorn  Uniform UFO  Unicorn wearing a uniform flying through the hatch 
V  Vulture  Vest Van  Vulture wearing a vest in back of van driving down the pharmacist 
W  Walrus  Waistcoat Wheelbarrow   Walrus wearing a waistcoat sits in wheelbarrow in left hand side screen hatch,
X  Xenarthra X-ray  eXporter  Xenarthra (anteater) wears X-ray on an eXporter crate 
Y Yak  Y-fronts  Yacht  Yak wearing Y-fronts sails across the floor 
Z Zebra   Zip Zeppelin  Zebra wearing Zip on a Zeppelin replaces fire extinguisher  hose.
Pharmacy memory system

So how does this all relate to memorising medications? Lets say I want to memorise Allopurinol - a medication used to treat gout and conditions that cause an increase in uric acid. 

In my mind I go to my "Hospital Mind Palace" then to the pharmacy department where I store the memory system for memorising meds. The first three letter of ALLopurinol are  A-L-L. The first letter, A, relates to the animal. The second letter, L, relates to the "item to wear". The third letter, L, relates to the mode of transport. As I do my imaginary walk I see in my mind at the door where A is located an Ant wearing an apron in an aeroplane, so I know the animal is ANT, I walk round until I reach the letter L (top of a stack of shelves - right hand side) where there is a lion wearing lipstick driving a lorry knocking over medication bottles on the top shelf! Therefore, I know the item to wear is LIPSTICK. The third letter in Allopurinol is also L so the mode of transport is (lion wearing lipstick driving a lorry) LORRY. I then create another image using an Ant wearing lipstick driving a lorry to remind me of the med Allopurinol and what it is used for.


Image for Allopurinol

This is my image for ALLopurinol. By using the first three letters to create the image, in this case A= Ant L=Lipstick L= Lorry, It reduces significantly the possibility of repetitive images. I only have one image that involves an Ant wearing lipstick in a lorry because, thus far, I have only one medication that begins with A - L - L (using generic medication names). 


 I'm doing a medication round at work (I'm a nurse) A patient is prescribed Allopurinol. I can't initially remember what Allopurinol is used for. Before using my memory method I would have to look it up -very time consuming. 

  • I think of first three letters A-L-L. I know from my pharmacy mind palace memory system that I need to think of an image of  an Ant wearing Lipstick in a Lorry. 
  • The word Allopurinol makes me think of a Lop eared rabbit urinating. Al - LOP - URIN(e) - ol.
  • The image I have is an ANT wearing LIPSTICK driving a LORRY carrying a LOP eared rabbit URINating on a foot - The big toe being the most common place for increases of uric acid crystals resulting in gout.

Result - I know Allopurinol is an anti-gout medication used for conditions that cause an increase in uric acid.

Explaining all this makes it seem really complicated and "long winded". However, it isn't. Once you have developed and learnt your memory system, it's brilliant. It takes seconds for the brain to go through the steps to arrive at the relevant image. Additionally, you can use the same objects to trigger your memory for example:

I use a drum in my images for anti-arrhythmic

an exploding heart for anti-hypertensives 

a block/cube for beta blockers

bones for meds relating to calcium

I considered if the pharmacy mind place was necessary, why not just have a lop eared rabbit peeing on a foot to remember Allopurinol? But considering how many medications there are - your brain needs a trigger to remember and you need a "mind filing system" otherwise the images don't have a "home"  - a memory trigger - for example the first three letters - animal wearing transport - to remind you of the image you need.