Anatomy is one of those ‘love it or hate it’ topics. Generally speaking, visual learners love it and conceptual learners hate it. Furthermore, the sheer volume of anatomical structures, insertions, origins, innervations and functions can make learning anatomy seem like an insurmountable task. If you take a step back, however, you can take solace in the fact that anatomy is finite. Everything you need to learn is, quite literally, within you right now (unless you’re one of those weird people without a palmaris longus tendon).
I feel bad for anatomy lecturers, because it really is not a topic that is particularly conducive to didactic teaching. This is why many medical schools largely rely upon dissection and prosection to ‘demonstrate’ anatomy rather than plainly ‘teach’. Lectures allow you to gauge a lecturer’s preferred topics and identify areas to focus on during revision but, when it comes to exams, any anatomy is fair game.
Anatomical terms are often complicated and written in Latin, meaning that it requires a great deal of repetition to remember their various features and close relations. I accomplished this in a relatively painless manner using Netter’s Flashcards.
I can confirm that neither myself nor Make a Medic have any vested interest in promoting Netter’s Flashcards – I am solely promoting them because they were integral in the development of my anatomical knowledge.
I rarely sat down and revised anatomy in classically ‘library revision’ fashion. Instead, I would spend about half an hour each night flicking through Netter’s cards before bed. Maintaining this routine meant that I rapidly became familiar with the contents of the cards – sort of like reading the same book over and over again.
Furthermore, as your knowledge base develops, you will be able to identify certains bits of anatomy that you find more challenging, and place these cards in a separate ‘challenging’ pile. By reviewing this deck more frequently, you can patch up the gaps in your knowledge.
I used nothing other than Netter’s flashcards to revise anatomy and they served me very well. I would recommend it to any student that wants to improve their anatomical knowledge.