ANATOMY STUDY GUIDE 101
So studying anatomy is nothing like any other topic, especially when you study it at uni level, where they expect you to know every single small component of the body! So this guide is going to be concerning the musculoskeletal system and the nerves (PNS) and arteries in the body.
I have mentioned some of these tips before but I will put them in here aswell and so this can work as sort of masterpost. This is like a more “overall” type of masterpost. So if you want to have topic specific posts for example for nerves and arteries then let me know.
1. Find a study partner. First and foremost anatomy is so much easier when you are two dealing with it. Me and my study partner used to do anatomy spots together and by doing it two people together you can discuss what it could possibly be. You get to hear their train of thoughts which sometimes can be better than yours. Also you will have someone to quiz you and correct you when you say something wrong.
2. Accept that it takes time. First step to learning anatomy is dedicating a lot of time. It is not easy, you are cramming so much information into your mind and for it to stay there you will have to go over the same topic again and again and again. And I know it is really frustrating and you are going to spent maybe 10 hours trying to figure out the muscles of the leg and then next week when you review it again it will feel like a whole new topic, but this is all a part of the proces, just keep revising again and again and again.
3. The Atlas is your best friend. Invest in a good atlas, they are a little expensive but they work wonders because first of all they give you an image of what you study. And usually the text book images are not enough. In an atlas you will have “isolated” images but you will also have images where relations are shown. HOWEVER if you dont want to buy an actual atlas then maybe buy Complete anatomy which is a computer program that I also reffered to in my “5 sites every med student should know about” post. Here you can play around with the structures, view it from different angles and add on to it with other nearby structures or remove structures.
4. Say it out loud. Pretty self explanatory.
5. Create an overview. Rather than focusing on the details try to focus on creating an overview. Anatomy is already so difficult so dont complicate things for yourself. And if you know the basics then learning the details will be so much easier.
6. Use a whiteboard. Speaking of creating an overview, try using a white board for this. It is such a good way for creating an overview. I think because deleting and writing is so easy it kinda makes it less stressful than writing in a note book where ofcourse you worry about the aesthetic. Also try to do this with your study partner. You can plan on studying a topic together so lets say for example the muscles of the leg, you both at home study it, try to memorize it, look at it in an atlas and then you two meet. Now when you meet you get infront of a white board and start talking and writing about what you guys think is important and when you guys cant go any further then grab your notes and then add more on to the board.
7. MAKE IT VISUAL!. This is the most important step! Use bones, pay attention in your dissection classes, if you have the upportunity to touch, feel and look at structures then DO IT! This is the best way to learn. Spot as often as you can.
8. Make up rules. you can find a lot of them online, or just make some up yourself, me and my study partner did, for example the muscles M. erector spinae: I (m. iliocostalis) Like (m. longissimus) Standing (m. spinalis). If you turn it into a “game” then remembering it will be much easier.
And most importantly dont stress your mind that much. Allow yourself to take breaks, because over feeding your mind with knowledge in a short period of time can also be very damaging since you will waste time and not remember most of what you studied.
Good luck, stay motivated and stay dedicated