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Strategies for Studying Anatomy


Hey Guys,

So I'm taking Human Anatomy this summer. Its a semester long course condensed into 5 weeks. I know lots of you have taken, or are taking anatomy and I was wondering if any of you had any effective study strategies you would like to share...

Any tips would be greatly appreciated!



The most important thing is probably to stick to one book and not to try to read too much. It's hard to remember everything, if you try to learn too much details. Find out if you are a text or a visual learner. And try to copy the images from your anatomy book. Do you have dissecting classes? If yes, then you should learn ahead.


Spend a little bit of time each day studying and learning. Avoid overly long study sessions. Anatomy's not that hard if you take it little by little. if you try to learn too much at once, it can be overwhelming.

Also, if you have some time before your classes start, you should give yourself a head start and take the time to learn some basics now. Learn basic nomenclature, directional and positional terminology. Maybe spend some time learning some bones or muscles.


Hey, Im currently a 4th year medical student and I took anatomy in my first year. The system in Croatia is that we have courses in blocks, so our anatomy course was 10 weeks long about 4-5 hours each day. Why do I mention this? Simply because I had the opportunity to use several books at the same time to study from, a luxury which you unfortunately do not have. That being said, I used Moorena and Dalleys Clinically Oriented Anatomy, the Sobotta atlasas and and anatomy recall. I really got a good chance to learn visually and through text.

Which book/boooks are you recommended to use? Theres a lot to choose from. Some of my friends advocate Netter's Anatomy, frankly I despise its pictures. Gray's Anatomy is fairly decent and my brother is currently using that. Considering that you have 5 weeks to learn anatomy I would recommend Gray's anatomy because of its simplicity. However, if you are a visual learner, which in most cases you pretty have to be studying anatomy! I would recommend picking up and atlas and flipping through the pictures. Sobotta and Thieme are great, it really comes down to which pictures you like more.

As for an overall studying strategy? Its tough to say, everyone's different, but for a quick crunch a great combo would be an atlas and Anatomy Recall. The Recall series hasn't disappointed me yet! Anatomy in particular. It doesn't really have many pictures and that why I would suggest using an atlas along with it. This method works great assuming you dont have to have a great knowledge of functional and clinical anatomy, which of course I had to, and again, I had 10 weeks so I did go through Moore and Dalley's textbook as well as those!

If you have any specific questions just post em up here or send me a PM, Id be glad to help!


Chloroform and then take your time.


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Mnemonics are an absolute must. I still remember "Oh oh oh, to touch and feel virgin girls, very soft hands" for the cranial nerves.

I found the best way to study was to spend as much time as possible in the cadaver lab. 10 minutes in there is worth 100 minutes with your head in a book.

As far as books go, I always liked Grant's Anatomy. The artwork is excellent but pretty realistic (ie: no blue lat muscles, green rhomboids and pink teres). Plus it covers a lot of anatomical differences between individuals...it'll show a drawing and indicate that the arrangement occurs in 76% of individuals, then show a similar but slightly different arrangement and mention that it occurs in the remaining 24%


BBB, yes Grays is a 1000 pages and considering the guy has 5 weeks to learn it is a little overkill. Thats why I suggest anatomy recall and an atlas combo. But thats just my opinion, and everyone is different.

I agree with pimpbot5000 on the mnemonics and cadavers. They kind of slipped my mind. Mnemonics like "Pimps fuck prostitutes for fun" (superficial muscles of the anterior forearm), "Two zulus bruised my cervix" (branches of the facial nerve), and "I, I get laid on fridays" (lumbar plexus) are never forget haha!!


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With the internet on your side, you should have no issues at all. I wish I had access to the internet when I was in school, you would hardly have to go to the library. But then again, after seeing the chicks with glasses thread, I might go anyway.


Thanks. Im going to try and spend extra time in the lab and try and expose myself to all of it as much as possible. And I actually have a quiz on the axial skeleton on tuesday.


Thanks great info I met be asking you more questions haha


BUSHI, thanks for your input - I actually have taken neutropics for studying. Ive posted on your Brain Boosters thread lol. I used aniracetam, and at another time Oxiracetam. I am starting to think I should invest in some more for this beast of a class. I'm just crunched for money but I realize it would be a great investment. Which neutropics would you say are the most "bang for your buck?"


I will make mneumonics, Ive heard that from a lot of people actually. Any that you would like to share for the axial skeleton, types of tissue, integument, muscle tissue etc lol?