As promised I have made anatomy 101 post in which I share the best anatomy study tips I know, enjoy!

For starters

  • you don’t need to know how to draw or be artistically talented as it doesn’t influence your anatomy learning process
  • please don’t listen to people telling you how dreadful and complicated anatomy course is, just do your thing
  • try to reduce stress, there is nothing to be stressed about when you have your learning strategy sorted out


  • first of all check and print out your syllabus, as you need to make sure you’ll cover every topic featured while you study
  • there is a lot of stuff to be memorised:
    • use acronyms; for example: muscles of the rotator cuff are: SITS (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, subscapularis)
    • make short sentences; for example: brachial plexus divisons Remember To Drink Cold Beer (Roots, Trunk, Division, Cord, Branches)
  • mind mapping comes in handy when you study intestinal blood supply (or any other); remember that you are doing it to be helpful not perfect! it should be intuitive and clear for you
  • in terms of learning muscles:
    • Use tables in your textbooks - Moore’s are perfect for this as they have all points of insertion, blood and nerve supply, action of a muscle; there are also drawings and short paragraphs provided. Read the paragraph, then refer it to the drawing, repeat what you have learned, test yourself.
    • Draw on yourself (especially helpful in case of upper limb) - use colourful markers. Sounds funny but you will appreciate it.
    • Photographic atlases are invaluable. Use McMinn/Yokochi’s one, they are super-detailed, properly described and have high quality photos of cadavers.
    • Go to the dissection room as many times as you’re allowed to. Bring your friend/study group and test yourselves, show, provide reasoning, search for similarities and differences, discover variabilities - real cadaver is much different from what you’ll see in a standard anatomy atlas like Sobotta/Netter where illustrations are very clear and show perfect condition of anatomic structures, in reality things may look a bit different.
    • Learn muscles as provided in groups (extensors, flexors etc) or layers because it just makes more sense. Seek characteristic traits in them, what makes them special, how would you differentiate one from another - practical attitude is very important.
  • The ability to tell the location of a certain structure is very important during exams but also helpful for you later. In order to know what are the neighbouring structures and on which side, it is useful to check in Netter/Sobotta Atlas. Analysing the drawings will help you a lot. Being able to visualise certain areas of the human body is crucial for anatomy course.
  • Repeating, revising and systematic learning is the key. Make sure you schedule your studying so that you won’t leave everything for the last minute (sometimes it is inevitable, but it is better to avoid such situations). For example make use of the time you spend in the bus or a train by revising anatomy using Quizlet app. It is a lot easier this way.
  • Diversify the way you study a bit so that you don’t get bored too easily. Listen to Dr. Najeeb’s lectures or any other lectures on YouTube.
  • It is crucial to have 3D imagination in this course which is why I recommend installing a 3D interactive anatomy atlas just like the one by Visual Body. You can add layers, see through them, select any area you need. I like this atlas in particular because it is very detailed.
  • Never be afraid to ask professor if you have doubts about anything. It not only shows that you are actively participating in the class but also it is a verified source of knowledge and takes up less time than researching things on the Internet.
  • Keep your notes simple, schematic. Use abbreviations, don’t get artsy, there is no time for it. 
  • Connect the facts later on. When you will be learning different topics, find connections, corresponding issues. You will learn anatomy system by system or an area by area but you gotta remember that it all sums up and makes one, integral piece, the human body.
  • Read the basic clinical aspects that refer to a certain system or structure (there are blue sections in Moore’s book for that). Not only it is interesting but also you acknowledge the most common diseases, simply: “what can go wrong in this case and what are the causes of it?”.
  • As the end of the year/semester is approaching start doing past papers. It will show you what is usually emphasised on the exam but also highlight areas that you know well and areas you need to revise.
  • Try to preread before lectures, have any idea about the topic of the lecture you are about to attend because otherwise it will have no value for you.


    I have listed all things I have personally used in my 1st year and which I finduseful and valuable. Links are added in the brackets.

    Moore’s Clinically Oriented Anatomy [link]

    Yokochi’s Photographic Atlas Of Anatomy [link]

    Netter’s / Sobotta’s Anatomy Atlas [link Netter] [link Sobotta]

    Human Anatomy Atlas - Visible Body [link]

    Thieme Anatomy Atlas [link]

    Quizlet [link]

    Dr. Najeeb Lectures [link]

    Let me know if this post is helpful to you, if you want to know something more or maybe a similar post on a different subject. Remember, there is a way out of every problem and if it is anything med-school-related I will be happy to help you:)
    Have a nice day y’all! Stay motivated.


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