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How Do You Study Anatomy?

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I am finding my approach not to be the most effective (googling images and pasting in my notes - it also takes a long time!). 

I am looking for suggestions on how people study anatomy

- reading book and highlighting 

- apps (my preference) that have the details like articular surfaces, ligaments etc [haven't found this level of detail yet] + allow visualizing in 3D

- websites?

- anything else?

 

This will be handy for anyone studying medicine so I hope this will be helpful to all! Thanks!!

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Get a washable marker, grab your friend/significant other, and start drawing on their body and landmarking all the veins, arteries, nerves, muscles, tendons, joints (what ever else) you need to know. While you are drawing on them, speak out loud as if you are teaching a group of other students about anatomy.

 

It's fun!


 

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I'm in PT school right now. I did musculoskeletal anatomy and I'm now doing visceral anatomy, so I'll only give advice for the musculoskeletal portion.

1. Listened to the lectures, took notes on the slides.

2. Go over the slides multiple times in a day, and tried to picture the slides in my head. (my prof had really good slides that were straight out of Thieme's atlas. If your prof's slides aren't great, I would recommend use Thieme's Essential textbook of anatomy).

3. Used Rohen's textbook of cadaveric images and tried to identify everything that was in the pictures (note: the pictures look probably much nicer than the prosections on your practical exam)

4. I was done reviewing a week before the exam, so I just looked at Acland's videos (available on youtube). This ressource helps consolidate the material, however, I don't think it is "high yield".

5. Practice questions before the theory exam. Michigan University Medicine's website has really good clinical questions for anatomy!

 

I considered using an app, but found that I didn't need them to do well. In the case that you need a good app, I would recommend the apps from visiblebody.com (the 3d images are really clear and I believe there's an option to see the muscle movements!). Highlighting will do you nothing... This is anatomy, being able to visualize everything in the body will be much easier than memorizing the attachment points of every single muscle.

 

Steps 1-3 were done every single week. As you can see, anatomy is my favourite class!

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The trick to learning anything with rote memorization, or really learning anything is intentful practice. So looking at slides, repeating things out loud is not intentful. It's mindless repetition. For anatomy I would as suggested go over slides multiple times per day, but I would look the slide, and say things like, "okay, the acromian process is here" and then I would hold it in my head and reframe it. Picture the landmarks and features, and reword it. "What are the features of the acromian process, what bodily location does it have". I start with one feature on the slide, until I knew it, and add successive features. Never go too far ahead without testing previously learned material. Never assumed that you learned it. If you can't look at a blank page and label the features you haven't memorized it. You have only made recognition easier. Remind yourself that recall and recognition are separate things, and be wary of assuming that because you recognize things you can recall them. This approach takes longer initially, but you will learn material way faster over all.

 

I labeled a ton of blank diagrams. And I find using apps that quiz you with customizable quizzes quick ways of using my method.

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Anki flashcards + occlusion! It's a digital flashcard program with built in spaced repetition timing that's free. Make them as you read your slides/textbook and use cadaveric pictures from Rohan's or diagrams from Netter's or gray's anatomy. Aim to have all the cards made by at least 1 week before your bellringer and just keep going through them.

 

It does take longer to make the cards, but I find it more useful than using someone else's Anki deck. 

 

read more about it here: http://drwillbe.blogspot.ca/2011/08/anki-guide-for-medical-students.html

http://drwillbe.blogspot.ca/2011/09/if-i-were-to-do-it-all-over-again-tips.html

 

edit: note the occlusion program is a separate add-on you have to download (also free). PM me if you want more info on how to use anki.

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My school used cadavers to teach gross anatomy. We had bell-ringer exams, so it was necessary to spend time in the lab reviewing structures. This is the classical way of learning anatomy, and being able to see real nerves, muscles, organs and their relationships to each other is invaluable.

 

I didn't bother with textbooks, flashcards, or videos. My lecture notes were fairly complete, and it's all about frequent, spaced repetition.

 

Doing well in anatomy has nothing to do with intelligence, and everything to do with effort.

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imo best way to study anatomy is by seeing the real thing and touching and fondling it with your hands.

i learned it the old way through gross anatomy cadavers and man things really stick after spending a few hours going through all the tendons in the hand.

 

i don't buy the 3d anatomy learning, because you can't conceptulize the relationship of each structure to another in real human size. 

 

That said, radiology anatomy is often best learned through online images and slides where you can scroll up and down the different structures and imagining their 3d construct in your mind as you do that. But you do need the real life cadaveric reference to fully conceptualize it.

 

Surface anatomy is pretty easy -- just feel your own or find someone you know and feel theirs

 

written notes are probably the worthless things to learn anatomy. You need visuals not words.

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On 1/24/2017 at 8:41 AM, yeghz said:

I am finding my approach not to be the most effective (googling images and pasting in my notes - it also takes a long time!). 

I am looking for suggestions on how people study anatomy

- reading book and highlighting 

- apps (my preference) that have the details like articular surfaces, ligaments etc [haven't found this level of detail yet] + allow visualizing in 3D

- websites?

- anything else?

 

This will be handy for anyone studying medicine so I hope this will be helpful to all! Thanks!!

I followed the school curriculum and read and highlighted books. If you are going to rely on the book mainly for information I recommend Gray's Anatomy for Students, but if you just need the atlas for the pictures and memorizing the names of different body parts I always recommend Netter's it is amazing. I have looked briefly through Grant's Atlas of Anatomy and it isn't too shabby too, also written by Canadians.  

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