Passing your anatomy test is vital to pursuing a career in the medical field. Moreover, understanding it for the long term is necessary, as you will apply what you learn in the course of your practice. However, anatomy isn’t the easiest of subjects for most students. You will have to learn about the human body in a systemic approach. You have a task to learn about muscles, bones, body tissues, cells, nerves, organs, and body systems. This means encountering difficult terminologies and anatomic language throughout the subject outline. Now that you acknowledge that anatomy isn’t your usual easy subject, you are committed to putting in the work. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you understand anatomy better and easily.
Repetition is very important in learning a difficult subject such as anatomy. The human brain memorizes better when it is fed the same information repeatedly. That is why creating a study schedule that features anatomy regularly is vital in memorizing the different body structures.
However, don’t be tempted to study for long hours to cover many topics. Doing so will only leave you tired and unmotivated. Instead, focus on studying for short intervals with breaks in between. Taking breaks gives your brain a chance to rest and process what you have learned. You can try recapping loudly what you learned in the previous session before moving to a new topic.
Another trick to staying motivated and engaged in the study is to study in a group. Studying with your friends allows you to leverage the strengths of others in your weak areas. In addition, keep in mind that there are many topics to cover. Start revising early to give yourself ample time to understand before the exam.
Use available resources optimally
The resources available to you contribute a huge chunk of your success. It is very important that you don’t downplay them. Make use of the class time to take notes, and use open lab times to extend your knowledge and anatomical structures in the library to master what you learn. Don’t forget to utilize your instructors by asking questions in areas where you are having difficulties.
In addition, you can take advantage of resources available online to aid in your study. Online learning platforms for medical topics that use visuals to illustrate structures and concepts are great for enhancing comprehension. Visuals are engaging and help the brain process information better. Additionally, you can find videos and podcasts from experts or join online groups where anatomy students gather to discuss the subject.
Utilize online study guides to supplement your preparation
Another valuable resource that can enhance your studying experience is online study guides. These guides offer comprehensive study materials and targeted content for specific exams, such as the USMLE Step 1, NCLEX, PANCE, or NRMP Match. One excellent example of an online study guide is the Osmosis ultimate NCLEX-RN guide. It provides a comprehensive review of key nursing concepts, practice questions, and test-taking strategies specifically designed to help you succeed in the NCLEX-RN exam. By incorporating this online study guide into your study routine, you can access valuable resources that align with your exam requirements and optimize your preparation for success. Remember to combine the use of study guides with other effective techniques mentioned earlier, such as regular revision, utilizing visuals, and answering practice questions, to create a well-rounded approach to studying anatomy and achieving your goals.
Utilize different memorization tricks
Memorizing difficult phrases can be difficult, but you can use different approaches to help your brain retain the information as well as recall it easily from memory. Here are a few tricks that you can use:
- Anatomy coloring books – As you color different parts of the different structures, the brain is able to memorize each part better
- Draw anatomic structures on your own – Drawing the human body structures helps commit every part to long-term memory. You can hang the images in your study room or bedroom for regular and easier review
- Use mnemonics/acronyms and acrostics – This is the use of patterns of letters or ideas in a way that makes it easy for the brain to recall information. For instance, MONA is an acronym for chest pain treatment; Morphine, Oxygen, Nitroglycerin, and Aspirin.
- Use flashcards – Draw structures on one side and write information about it on the flip side. When you draw out a card, try recalling the information on the other side before turning it over. Doing this regularly helps master the information better.
Review as many questions as you can
Answering questions after every topic helps remember what you have studied or learned in the classroom. In addition, it can help you understand how questions are formulated, which comes in handy in the exam. You can make your own questions and quiz yourself or each other in a group. Make sure to narrate the answers loudly to commit them to memory. Additionally, you can find quizzes online from reputable websites. Ensure that you look at the answers provided to get an idea of how to answer different questions.
Use anatomic language in your conversations
Another effective trick in understanding anatomy is to incorporate what you have learned into your conversations. Use specific terms for different body parts when having conversations about the body with friends and family such as the epidermis for the outer skin. When exercising your muscles, you can say that you are exercising your pectoral muscles and biceps. Using anatomical language regularly makes it natural for you, which enhances your understanding of different structures.
Anatomy is one of the most difficult subjects in medical school. Thus, it calls for a lot of commitment to understand and pass the tests. Using the tips and tricks described above goes further to help you understand anatomy better. In addition to this, ensure that you understand your optimal learning style so you can pick what works for you for better results.