How to study Anatomy in Medical School


If you have prepared as I have described above you HAVE the content knowledge to succeed on the practical portion of the exam, there is no doubt about it. Your task now is to not get overwhelmed. I remember walking into my first practical exam and feeling like the lab, which I had spent so many hours in, was now an alien place. Everything was cleaned up, additional dissection had been done to display structures in unique detail and the bodies had been re-positioned. Most importantly, those bastards had covered up or removed half of the structures I used as surrounding landmarks! Sure, I can identify the talus when it is in relationship to all the other bones of the foot but it becomes a hell of a lot harder when it’s just sitting there in a dish!

Take a deep breath, you know this shit! Remember to think like a detective, the professor has always left some key piece of evidence to help you determine the structure. Think it through and you will come up with it, if you can’t, then move on. Don’t waste your time, come back to it later if you can. Most importantly, don’t lose easy points:

  • spelling counts
  • don’t forget to the proper descriptor – artery, vein, nerve, muscle etc.
  • don’t be surprised if there are multilevel questions “what is the name and action of this muscle” if you write just the name of the muscle you aren’t going to get full credit buddy!
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