More and More Students Turning to Picmonic’s Audiovisual Learning System

Advice from a 4th year medical student – an open letter to the incoming SMD 2022 class

With permission from the author, published below is an email from a 4th year medical student to the incoming first year class. By request the student and school’s names were redacted.   

Hi SMD 22,

I wanted to reach out to you all regarding Picmonic, the learning platform that made medical school so much easier for myself and many of my classmates to learn complex medical diseases, drugs, and physiology and be able to retain it very easily for STEP 1 & STEP 2. Medical school also has a lot of random facts that you “just have to know” for boards, and Picmonic makes memorization incredibly fast and easy. Picmonic is without a doubt the biggest reason for my personal success in med school and with STEP 1 & 2. (As a side note, I am not employed at Picmonic…just doing this to help you all as it helped me tremendously!)

A little information about Picmonic: Picmonic takes the difficult to remember textbook/class information and transforms it into unforgettable images and stories, hence Picture Mnemonics or “Picmonic.” It is incredible how fast you can learn new information and retain it for so much longer because it is attached to pictures and stories that have been created through Picmonic. Picmonic was created several years ago by physicians and it has now evolved to being used by over 300,000 medical students.

Phoenix with key

For example, do you remember the difference between phenylketonuria (PKU), ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency, and orotic aciduria and how they can also be differentiated just based on symptoms? Or the differences between fructose intolerance vs. essential fructosuria? And all those glycogen storage diseases? These are all VERY high yield for STEP.

Picmonic is such an easy way to remember information about disease symptoms (from Crohn’s disease, to strokes, to cardiac pathology, etc., etc.), and how to diagnose and treat diseases. Picmonic also has mechanisms and side effects for all medications you need to know for STEP, and all the bacteria/viruses/and fungi you can imagine.

Some people in the past have used SketchyMicro and Sketchy Pharm but the animations are not as good, they are overwhelmed with details, and take too long to get through. With Picmonic, the pictures are simple, easy to remember, and very fast to learn and get through!

Check out Picmonic for yourself before deciding if it’s right for you by looking up PKU or another example diseases I listed above:


1) Go to

2) In the top right-hand corner, click “Join For Free”

3) Type in your name & email address, and make a password. No credit card needed, you can sample the Picmonics FREE

4) Then click “MD/DO – Physicians”

5) Then click “Student”; input your graduation date & School; click enter 

6) Then in the box that appears type “PKU” and click on the PKU search result. When it opens, click “Play Picmonic.” Now you can demo an example Picmonic. Listen to the Educational, then the Story audio, then do the Quiz.  Again a lot of these facts you may have forgotten but they are all very high yield, not just for this PKU example. After this PKU example, you can search for another example such as one of the glycogen storage diseases.

7) I would click the little arrow in the bottom left-hand screen so that the facts in the Picmonic will appear as the person is speaking.

Again, I would highly recommend using Picmonic! It is amazing to see how using Picmonic can help make ANY student (I really do believe this) earn a higher score on STEP 1 and STEP 2.

Good luck! 

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