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Anatomy Advice

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by NStarz, Dec 17, 2011.

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  1. NStarz

    NStarz Ohio State c/o 2016

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    Hey guys,

    So here's the scoop. I just finished taking my animal nutrition course, and now I'm left without academics for the next few months (I'm currently in the middle of a gap year). I am hoping to gain acceptance to the c/o 2016. I have never taken an anatomy course before, and vet school anatomy is scaring me (because of my lack of exposure). I have a fair bit of free time on my hands, and will for the next few months.

    I know people say not to pre-study, but I figure that's because most people are busy taking a full-time courseload and are looking to get ahead during the summer months. This isn't the case for me. I'd rather not take another course ($$), but I was hoping to gain some exposure to anatomy and/or physiology before vet school.

    Does anyone have any advice? Should I just pick out a textbook and start perusing though it? Use some websites? If so, anyone have suggestions (Dyce, Miller, etc.)?

    Thanks :D

    P.S. Feel free to tell me I'm insane. I won't take offense ;)
  2. bunnity

    bunnity Penn 2014

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    I think that mostly that advice is given because vet school anatomy is very focused on the actual dissection and it's just not the same learning it from a book. So I wouldn't recommend trying to read anything like Dyce or Big Miller yet. I think there are a few things you could work on that would help, though:

    -Learn your anatomical directions really well (dorsal, ventral, cranial, caudal, medial, lateral...). Make sure you learn the animal version and not the human (anterior, posterior instead of cranial, caudal) so you don't confuse yourself. These directions are outlined in the beginning of "Little Miller" which is the dissection guide you'll be using - the authors are Evans and DeLaHunta. I'm sure you can find it online or in other books though. You'll be thanking yourself when the dissection guide starts going on about "the middle third of the medial cranial..."

    -Learn the bare basics of how the nervous system is organized, if you haven't covered that in undergrad. We did anatomy before Neuro and so when it was getting into the ganglia and pre- and post- synaptic nerves I remember being really confused.

    -Learn the skeleton, at least at my school we did not cover it in class but were expected to know it. Regardless of your school, it is the landmark you're using for everything else and would have been super helpful to know. Again it is covered in the dissection guide or many other places.

    That's all I can think of, and remember that there is nothing like a fresh mind to get you through that first semester. Starting vet school burned out (as I learned from experience) is no fun.

    Good luck :luck:

    ETA: I missed that you mentioned physiology. I wouldn't bother trying to learn physiology on your own BUT I would strongly, strongly recommend being solid on your cell bio and biochem. If you haven't taken them in undergrad, just read through the Dummies books (I was one of like 3 people in my class who hadn't taken Biochem and I read the Dummies book over the summer and would have been totally lost otherwise).
  3. LetItSnow

    LetItSnow UMN CVM Gold Donor

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    Here's my spiel. Don't waste your time learning specifics right now, because whatever you learn in the next few months will be surpassed by about the first afternoon of vet school. Instead, take your time getting yourself ready to learn. Pre-game, so to speak.

    I like bunnity's suggestion to learn anatomical direction. When you get to oblique views in radiology and they're asking you if it's a Dorsomedial to Palmarolateral or a Dorsolateral to Palmaromedial view, you do NOT want to have to stop and think through "wait ... if I'm talking below the carpals, which way is dorsal again?"

    I wouldn't learn skeleton/neuro, but I do get bunnity's point. Just not the way I'd go about it, I guess. I think you'll pick up the skeleton so fast in anatomy it's not worth the time it would take you now.

    ... which leads me to: More vocabulary. Instead of reading anatomy, I spent my summer working on medical vocabulary flashcards. Use them to learn prefixes, suffixes, common roots, etc. Trivial example (because we all know the term anyway): anemic hypoxia. If you know your prefixes/suffixes/roots, you know this is an insufficient supply of oxygen due to a reduced carrying capacity in the blood - without ever having to have someone define it for you. There are tons and tons of terms like that that will "just make sense" if you have the basics. And since you don't need anyone to teach you the basics other than a good set of flash cards .....

    Things like "spheno-occipital synchondrosis" in anatomy aren't worth much if you just learn the term and can point to it on the skull. If you took the time to learn the language beforehand, though, you'll know that a synchondrosis is a (hyaline) cartilaginous joint. Since you know that, you don't need to memorize anything special about this particular joint: it's all in the name.

    So. That's my soapbox. Take it for what it's worth. :)

    Honestly, it's not terribly important to get ahead on the specifics. I had hardly any anatomy (a few weeks worth in 'animal biology'.....) and I'm doing fine in the class. If you can come in with directional terms and word suffixes/prefixes/roots ... you will find it SO much easier to learn.
  4. SocialStigma

    SocialStigma OVC c/o 2015

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    I don't think it's necessary (lots of my classmates have never taken anat&phys and are doing just fine), but it does cut down on the amount of time spent on anatomy if you have a basic foundation.

    As others have said, learn anatomical planes/directions and common terms (eg. glenoid, process, condyle, fossa etc). Dyce is one of our recommended textbooks but I'm not really a fan (too many words, not enough pictures - which I find more essential for anatomy). Pasquini is excellent for pictures, imo.
  5. bandierose

    bandierose

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    So, I love anatomy... I actually took animal anatomy first and then took human anatomy because I thought it would be fun. I think it is a huge part of understanding what goes on in clinics and what people are talking about when they through terms at you. So, I think you should pre-study. It doesn't have to be intense, but I would get a text book that takes a system by system aproach (bones, muscles, digestive, repro...) and then generally become aware of what is where. I wouldn't take the time to learn insertions and the like, but I would know where the pectoralis and what the acetabulum is. However, this is just me.
  6. Trematode

    Trematode

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    I am not a vet student, but I took human anatomy and physiology. I found it very interesting and it proved to be sort of useful in the clinic. For example, a dog with ketoacidosis came into the clinic. The vet did not give me the term, but she explained to me what was happening to the dog. As soon as I heard the condition described in anatomy, a lightbulb went off in my head. :idea:.

    Human anatomy and physiology helped me a lot with animal developmental biology. Because I had gone over intramembranous and endocondral ossification in anatomy, it made sense to me when we went did embryology in the lab and got to work with chickens.

    I think that taking a course would be useful in some ways. I would be surprised if it were like night and day: that an anatomy course in undergrad can no way help you for anatomy in vet school. I have heard that a few people regret not taking courses like parasitology in undergrad after getting into vet school. But there are a large number of people who do not take any of these courses and get along fine. To each their own. I would prefer to know a little bit on the subject at hand before I dive right into it. I find it less stressful if I have somewhat of a grasp on a topic. That is just how I feel. Everyone feels differently.
  7. Minnerbelle

    Minnerbelle Moderator Emeritus

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    Soooooo True. Whatever you do now will be very inefficient, especially without a cadaver or a study guide. You can probably spend from now until August trying to get ahead with vet school stuff, but your classmates will probably catch up to you within a week's time, if that.

    I echo everyone else's sentiments that rather than trying to get on top of vet school material, the best thing to do would be to have a strong foundation that will support you with stuff you'll learn once school starts. If anything, I would go back to something like good ole Campbell Biology and get that thick book down cold (minus the plant stuff). It gives you a good foundation of pretty much all of your non-anatomy classes for your first year. Like, if you go through their organ systems chapters, physio will be a breeze. Same with immuno and embryology. At least in my experience, the people who struggled the most were the people who couldn't remember basic cell bio (transcription vs. replication, antigen based assays vs. serology, genetic vs. epigenetic, etc...). If you can start first-year ready to tackle all the new material without needing to wikipedia stuff you haven't seen since intro bio, I'd say you're pretty far ahead of the game.
  8. cowgirla

    cowgirla Oklahoma 2014

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    :thumbup::thumbup:
    Love my pasquini book.
    And I agree with all those who have said to learn the terminology and some of the broad terms that cover structures
    Don't bother with specific muscles or functions or anything like that. Any info you manage to learn on your own will probably add up to 1/100000000000000000000000 of all the other details you need to know. In the long run, knowing where the pectoral muscle (wait, there's more than one! with multiple parts!), isn't going to help all that much, no matter how "big" it might seem now.
    I took ansci A&P in undergrad- 1 year class. I think we covered that entire year's worth of material in the first 2-3 weeks of vet school.
  9. cowgirla

    cowgirla Oklahoma 2014

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    =raises hand=
    Guilty! Wikipedia is my very good friend.
    I was pretty rusty on all that stuff coming in and really felt like I was playing catch up, even at the start of second semester when we started seeing immunology stuff. There were a lot of things that had me tilting my said and commenting that it sure looked familiar.
  10. LetItSnow

    LetItSnow UMN CVM Gold Donor

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    No, a complete course in anatomy - even at the level it's going to be taught in UG - would be quite useful. But the OP was specifically asking about prep on their own time without spending the money to take a college course.

    With regarding to knowing a little bit ... honestly, you move so quickly in vet school past "what you already know" to fresh territory, that you may get a tiny jump start on your first semester or a class or two in your second semester, but you're going to have to get used to launching into territory you don't know much about because that's what the rest of vet school will be. "Rolling with things" is an art form in vet school.

    Re: Pasquini or Dyce ... I use Pasquini when I want to locate something or understand its relationship to surrounding features, but I use Dyce when I want a deeper understanding in general (beyond the physical location). I love them both. If I had to take one over the other it'd be hard to choose. To combat the cost I just bought a one-edition-outdated Pasquini ... works great, cost practically nothing.
  11. lostbunny

    lostbunny

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    I found what really helped me study and remember for anatomy/physiology (not in vet courses, but in undergrad) was studying the specimens that my lab coordinator had thankfully kept from dissections. Having your notes laid out next to horribly drawn pictures or idealistic pictures of perfect specimens really helped to soak it in. I was really confused learning the parts of the mud puppy digestive and repro systems, (with the really awesome black and white drawings in my lab book) but I decided to pop into the lab and pull out a stinky old mud puppy and I found that really really helped. I went on to ace the mid term we had the next day.

    I don't have any specific books to offer, but I'm just trying to imply that once you're in school and start dissecting things, it might make it alot easier then you expected as opposed to just looking in a book and trying to visualize. Wouldn't advise doing dissections on your own time...

    Finally, and more importantly.... you're on a GAP YEAR .... why are you trying to study anatomy before you've even taken the course? You should be having the time of your life and doing things you won't get to do while you're tied down in school. I'm on a gap year as well- and I just got back from my last job as a jillaroo, I'm living in Australia and am planning a trip to Thailand in the new year. Gap years are meant to take time off from school, enjoy your life and grow/learn in a non-academic way! you are SO not on a gap year if you're trying to do anatomy!
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2011
  12. lostbunny

    lostbunny

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    ? pre-game?? You mean drink excessively while blasting music, curling your hair and putting on make up... and throwing clothes all over your bed while you try and find the hottest thing to wear? Pre-gaming does not get you ready to learn... not me at least lol!

    :laugh:
  13. vetme

    vetme KSU CVM c/o 2015

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    Don't worry, I had 0 anatomy, and I mean 0, none in high school either.(moved in middle of semester and missed it at both schools) Anywho, my advice is forget pre semester learning. During lab really get in there and keep yourself oriented while dissecting, always have landmarks. For every lab, by the end of that lab, KNOW your structures before you leave. Go through them and then back through them before you leave. Don't say, " Well so and so dug out all the structures, we are all done!" And then leave. Bad Idea, saw alot of that going on in some groups, like it was a race to see who could dissect the fastest, clean up and leave. Then for the next lab slot quickly reveiw what you did the day before and them move on to the new stuff. I am sure that is why I have been successful in anatomy, plus it is fun, like digging for treasure! :luck:
  14. NStarz

    NStarz Ohio State c/o 2016

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    Thanks for the advice everyone. It's a bit varied, but I'm going to sort through it and see what I can come up with :)
  15. FutResearchVet

    FutResearchVet UW-Madison c/o 2016!!!

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    I agree with the advice to not take an anatomy/physiology course next semester, especially because of the cost. But, there are other ways to get hands on experience in anatomy/physiology. If your local university has professors that do anatomy/physiology research, you could volunteer/work for a semester in the lab. I currently work in a lab that focuses on endocrine physiology/neuroanatomy in primates, and I have gotten great experience with learning anatomy of the brain by watching and helping with dissections. Also, if you show your interest to the grad students/prof, then often times they will let new students borrow their anatomy textbooks/references. They will also use the textbooks to teach you as they are doing the dissections/etc... this is great because it's like having your own teacher.
  16. breenie

    breenie Weenie 2015

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    Why study?

    Anatomy ability is pre-determined by some higher power. How much effort you put into it is not reflected in your grade.

    JUST KIDDING. I'm just bitter due to my own experiences and never scoring outside of a 3% window during all of my anatomy exams (written AND practicals!)

    My advice.
    1) Do what LIS and everyone else said and learn directional terms IF YOU MUST.

    2) Maybe learn the bones, a little bit? It might make visualizing origins/insertions and muscle groups/actions better. Don't like, memorize whose condyle has a rough surface or whatever, but maybe just familiarize yourself with the skeleton.

    3) Discover what sick, twisted part of yourself wants to spend more time than necessary on anatomy and REMOVE IT FROM YOURSELF.
  17. NStarz

    NStarz Ohio State c/o 2016

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    Haha Breenie, I love it.
  18. LetItSnow

    LetItSnow UMN CVM Gold Donor

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    Oh my. I just finished my anatomy final (today) and I don't think I ever bothered to learn that kind of material. I was happy enough with "this here is a condyle, and that there muscle arises from it."

    What is this rough surface thing you speak of? ;)

    ... and I'm with breenie. How much I studied didn't seem to correlate well with my grade, good or bad.
  19. breenie

    breenie Weenie 2015

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    Yeah. There are random "rough surfaces" on crap. Like doesn't the femur have one?

    And I guess I am lumping tuberosities in there.
  20. Dsmoody23

    Dsmoody23

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    That advice is right on.

    I made the mistake of going the 'speed dissection' route in the first part of my comp. anatomy course. My strategy always hinged on trying to spread the time out into as many different exposures to the physical structures as possible. My plan was to spend the lab periods making the dissection perfect and then do about an hour of studying on the perfectly dissected animal per day. As we all know, life gets in the way of a plan like that, and my method scored me some mediocre B's on the first exams.

    Second half, I tried learning each thing as it was dissected out, connecting it to the structures before and after it, and constantly returning to the start point. That made A's.
  21. LetItSnow

    LetItSnow UMN CVM Gold Donor

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    Femur? That's... like... a primate from Madagascar, right?
  22. breenie

    breenie Weenie 2015

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    Yeah, totally.

    Maybe I'm thinking of the tibia?

    Is that even a bone?
  23. StartingoverVet

    StartingoverVet Flight Instructor for hire Gold Donor

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    Isn't Tibia a country in the middle east/N. Africa that just overthrew their dictator?
  24. breenie

    breenie Weenie 2015

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    Bahaha! Of course! Silly me.
  25. Minnerbelle

    Minnerbelle Moderator Emeritus

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    Or that Denver quarterback that I finally saw on TV on Sun. Now I don't feel so left out of that discussion y'all had goin on in the religion thread.
  26. StartingoverVet

    StartingoverVet Flight Instructor for hire Gold Donor

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    Ok. Was in the bookstore today and saw Tebow ALREADY has a book out. That makes me want to puke.
  27. LetItSnow

    LetItSnow UMN CVM Gold Donor

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    Bahhhhhhhh HUMBUG!

    You're a mean one Mr Grinch
    You really are a heel
    You’re as cuddly as a cactus
    You're as charming as an eel
    Mr. Grinch
    You’re a bad banana with a greasy black peel

    You're a monster Mr. Grinch
    Your Hearts an empty hole
    Your brain is full of spiders
    You’ve got garlic in your soul Mr. Grinch
    I wouldn’t touch you with a
    39 and a half Foot pole

    You’re a vile one Mr. Grinch
    You have termites in your smile
    You have all the tender sweetness of a seasick crocodile
    Mr. Grinch
    Given the choice between the two of you
    I’d take the a seasick crocodile

    You’re a foul one Mr. Grinch
    You’re a nasty wasty skunk
    Your heart is full of unwashed socks,
    Your soul is full of gunk
    Mr. Grinch

    The 3 words that best describe you, are as follows, and I quote
    Stink, Stank, Stonk

    You’re a rotter Mr. Grinch
    You’re the king of sinful sots
    Your hearts a dead tomato splotched with moldy purple spots
    Mr. Grinch

    Your sole is an appalling dump heap
    Overflowing with the most disgraceful
    Assortment of deplorable rubbish
    Imaginable, mangled up in tangled up knots

    You nauseate me, Mr. Grinch
    With a nauseous super naus
    You’re a crooked jerky jockey and,
    you drive a crooked horse
    Mr. Grinch

    You’re a 3 Decker sour kraut and toad stool sandwich
    With arsenic sauce!
  28. StartingoverVet

    StartingoverVet Flight Instructor for hire Gold Donor

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    Hey... foul. LIS, you can't slam me in two threads at the same time. That is double posting, that is POS violation (or whatever they call it), I am gonna turn you in, you can't get away with that. I am gonna put coal in your xmas stocking, No gifts for you. No CHRISTMAS at all for you.


    I'm sorry, what are we talking about again?
  29. LetItSnow

    LetItSnow UMN CVM Gold Donor

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    I'm impressed. I was banking on the fact that by the time you got from that thread to this one your aging brain would have forgotten the first thread. ;-)
  30. PetPony

    PetPony Rawr :*

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  31. Minnerbelle

    Minnerbelle Moderator Emeritus

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    haaaaaaaaaaahahahahhaha. I thought it was because YOU were so old you forgot that you already posted in another thread and then got to this thread, and was like ":idea: I have a great idea!"

    aren't you both like essentially the same age?
  32. Dsmoody23

    Dsmoody23

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    [​IMG]
  33. LetItSnow

    LetItSnow UMN CVM Gold Donor

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    Where'd you get SOV's prom picture, Dsmoody? :)
  34. flyhi

    flyhi

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    :lol:

    So, to the OP...this is all an investment, right? I'm a full believer in taking an anatomy course if you have not had one. Yes, those without got through it, but those WITH a course had it so much easier. You are not caught up in learning what a condyle and protuberance are, you are focused on the material that is above and beyond what an UG course covers. We had at least one student who had just dissected a dog in UG and she breezed through anatomy. Some of us had human anatomy and phys and I do feel we were ahead of the curve and it allowed us to focus more on other courses.

    I know it's not fun to pay for a course when you don't really need one, but I think it would pay off in spades as far as your confidence going into vet school overall, and that will correlate to doing better overall. Studying on your own with Pasquini or Miller's is not going to have near the impact and I'm not really sure it'd be time well spent, other than learning basic anatomical terms.

    Also, an online 1 credit medical terminology class could prove to be extremely worthwhile if you haven't had it (or Latin :D) in the past.
  35. TehSwizz

    TehSwizz OkState c/o 2016!

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    It's good to see that there are other people out there that decided a year of freedom before selling your soul to vet school sounded like a good idea :)
  36. vetme

    vetme KSU CVM c/o 2015

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    Now I remember why I used to come here....you ALL are a hoot!!!!!!
  37. nyanko

    nyanko all i do is win Gold Donor

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    anatomy sucks.

    throw rocks at it.

    that is my advice.
  38. Minnerbelle

    Minnerbelle Moderator Emeritus

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    True, and it just dawned on me. And a more important advice over "what you should study ahead," is to not be that person who comes in all smug first day of dissection as the know-it-all from all the pre-studying. NOOOOOObody likes those peeps except for themselves.
  39. LetItSnow

    LetItSnow UMN CVM Gold Donor

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    Oh man. Totally rockin' advice. I got tired of a few people in our class who, if you'd ask for help identifying something, would give you this "well, duh" look and then promptly say "It's clearly right here." Give me a break. If it were clear to me I wouldn't ask, so don't be a dick. Even the professors don't do that, and if anyone has the right to be condescending, they do.

    Speaking of how to behave in anatomy.......

    Anatomy dissection is NOT surgery to all of us, so be ok with that. Don't be one of the peeps who show up talking about being a 'cutter' or the ones who insist that everybody on their team has to slice with utmost precision because this is 'practice' for surgery. It's not. It is a good chance to get comfortable using the instruments to prepare you for surgery. No doubt. But it's not surgery. If you want to cut as if it is, that's awesome - more power to you. But don't be a snob to the people who are perfectly happy to cut just well enough to see what they need to see to learn the material. Save it for your days with the blade.
  40. russellang

    russellang

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    I just got back from an interview and they first asked me whether I had taken anatomy. I said that I had not and they went on a huge discussion on how important anatomy is and how unprepared students are who get in but have not had anatomy in undergrad. I was just looking at them thinking "if its so important, why is it not a required pre-req?"

    Anyways, I have seen on here that some recommend getting an anatomy book before starting vet school and also taking medical terminology courses. If anyone can recommend anatomy/medical terminology books I would appreciate it so I could look them over before starting school.

    Thank you
  41. katryn

    katryn UTCVM c/o 2014!!!!

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    Veterinary medical terminology by Dawn Christenson. I worked through the book the summer before starting and the terminology lesson, combined with the fact that it is a review of a lot of body systems/basic anatomy and physiology really helped. I was out of school for three years before getting in so it was a really great "oh yeah, I remember that" kind of book.

    And I'm with you on why was I forced to learn how to write a five paragraph essay on a work of fiction, but not required to learn A&P...???!
  42. PetPony

    PetPony Rawr :*

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    I'm not looking to seriously study veterinary terminology yet, but I just like to build up a little library of books related to animals and vet med. I am trying to find books for cheap and found two so far and was wondering if any of you had used them before and what you think...


    Guide to Veterinary Medical Terminology, First Edition - Cochran

    An Illustrated Guide to Veterinary Medical Terminology, Second Edition - Romich
  43. jtom

    jtom

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    If I wanted to do some studying over the summer before starting vet school and have never taken anatomy before, would I understand the material in millers/Pasquini/Dyce? If you could only pick one in my position which one would you get? Or would you advise just to get an anatomy textbook from an undergrad anatomy course?

    Thanks!
  44. nyanko

    nyanko all i do is win Gold Donor

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    don't do it
  45. LetItSnow

    LetItSnow UMN CVM Gold Donor

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    :thumbup:

    If you're really bent on it, then yes, they are all readable. Hard to say 'which one' if you were going to pick only one. I use both Dyce/Pasquini. I referenced Miller's for anatomy but haven't cracked it since.

    But for my money, Nyanko gave you the best advice.....
  46. jmo1012

    jmo1012 SGU (NCSU) c/o 2015!

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    :thumbup:

    my advice? sleep as much as you can. play hard. have as much fun as you possibly can. vet school is going to hit you hard no matter what, so enjoy your life while you have one ;)
  47. bunnity

    bunnity Penn 2014

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    the only anatomy I would recommend studying the summer before vet school is human anatomy... if you know what I mean...:smuggrin:
  48. StartingoverVet

    StartingoverVet Flight Instructor for hire Gold Donor

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    Must disagree. Bunnity's advice is clearly superior!
  49. nyanko

    nyanko all i do is win Gold Donor

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    but what book would you use for that?
  50. PetPony

    PetPony Rawr :*

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    Ask the librarian! ;)

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