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How was Gross Anatomy? Best ways to study?
Intense. Study? Repeat, repeat, repeat... And keep repeating. It's amazing how much I've "forgotten" in just a couple months; gotta keep it fresh and keep reviewing!!!
How did you study? Did you use flash cards? Read the book? Work with friends? What would you suggest worked best for you personally? I know that everyone learns differently but strategies and suggestions would be very helpful!
did you do a lot of studying in the lab with the cadaver? or did you do most of your studying with notes, flash cards etc?
many people say the course is very doable (not very difficult to comprehend) as long as you take a lot of time to study every day...would you agree?
Anatomy isn't really difficult to comprehend, it just needs a lot of memorization. Hence the overwhelming advice to just keep looking over that info. Do not forget about this class over the weekend, make sure you do some kind of review every day.
For lecture, I would review the notes, draw pictures and quiz myself, flashcards, re-wrote things in a billion different ways, quiz with classmates. For lab, we would always have an atlas out in the beginning. Made sure we were correctly identifying structures. My classmates and I would quiz each other there as well. We made sure to use different bodies because things can look completely different from one body to the next. Our exams were clinically based, so we would also run through lots of case studies.
Just don't procrastinate and cram and you will be fine anatomy definitely wasn't my hardest class in the program.
Yes, the information is doable, it's just intense at the pace of which it comes to you so you hsve to try to stay on top of it. As far as how I studied we had the trail guide book as a recommended text and I really liked it for palpating skills and it also had a set of flash cards. The flash cards were slightly different than my professor so I used class notes. My prof arranged all our muscles in ppts in tables (ex: the four rotator cuff muscles were together on one table) so studying via his tables made it easy to see what actions were shared, what nerves/roots were the same, etc. there were a lot of people who made their own flash cards (which I did in the beginning but it ended up that the tables were easier for me). Other than that I didn't spend an insane amount of time in cadaver lab. We were in there for 90 minutes every week and I mostly spent extra time before practicals in there but it was nice to bring everything from my papers to life. Likewise, I know classmates that spent way more time in cad lab; it will all come down to how you retain the information best. Good luck, it's hard but fun
Memorize, memorize, memorize. Most PT schools have anatomy as a pre-requisite, and so this is basically an easy course that students make waaaaay more difficult than they need to. Will be your most straight forward and least compelling course of a PT curriculum.
Would you mind sharing your opinion on what was?
Anatomy is the most time consuming class I have taken in PT school so far. You have to keep up with it daily. Pretty much everyone in my class made hundreds and hundreds of notecards. I downloaded a notecard app and made them on my computer because I was able to make an "origin, insertion, blood, nerve, muscle function" template, and that really saved time. Plus, I was able to run flashcards on my phone using that program. It also really helped to make tables. Each program is different, so the intensity will vary. We had weekly quizzes on top of our practical midterms, which meant most students spent weekends in the cadaver lab studying. Its not at all difficult to comprehend, it is just so time consuming to memorize! Definetly a fun and interesting class though.
DON'T just memorize, especially when it comes to anatomy. Take the time to actually learn the material, and learn it well...memorizing isn't going to help you when you get to biomechanics and ortho!
Completely agree. Try to learn WHY that muscle has that action, or why that bone does this movement or why it's shaped that way. You should be learning this in anatomy anyway. This helps you retain the information better, rather than rote memorization. For example, this muscle does this movement, but you have no idea why it does (line of pull relative to axis of rotation, size, shape/type, etc)
Utilizing and coming up with lots of mnemonics for structures is a great help. There are plenty (some a little less appropriate than others) for the cranial nerves.. But to be honest, sometimes the inappropriate mnemonics are easier to remember.
I found neuroanatomy to be more difficult than gross. The tracts were a pain to keep straight. I'm in musculoskeletal now (orthopedic management/treatment) and I think this has been the hardest so far. You have to pull in everything you've learned from anatomy/kinesiology/biomechanics/neuro/modalities/tests&measures in order to make sense of things. I've spent a lot of time reviewing other classes in order to prepare for this one lol. Our neurologic managment class is in our final semester next fall and I heard that's a though one too.
I'll be starting school this summer. Do you recommend reviewing anatomy before starting? It's been over a year since I've taken classes so I know I've forgotten a lot. I know reviewing can't hurt but at the same time I'd like to enjoy my last "stress free months" if possible. So is it necessary?
Im in the same boat... I wonder the same thing...anyone have any aadvice?
Would you mind sharing which notecard app you used?
Hold off on reviewing and enjoy the next month or so. Good luck.
Okay thanks! I'm going to take your word for it
I'm also on the same boat! Gross Anatomy starts for me in May..I'm reviewing my medical terminology right now and going over the general A & P stuff right now. What's your opinion on working and taking the class at the same time? I'm currently working at a restaurant as a waiter on sat nights and all day sun... Do you guys think it's possible to work and take the class at the same time? Thanks guys!!
Yeah, it's possible. As long as it's not taking up TOO much of your time, and you'll know if it does. I'm working part-time, probably only until this summer, as full clinicals begin in the Fall. I work no more than 6 hours a week throughout the weekday. But you seem to be working more, so just see how it works out for you, although some would discourage from working at all during PT school.
My advise is buy a white board (the bigger the better) and some colored dry-erase markers! You can write and re-write your OIAI's, draw nerve and artery pathways, draw and label the brachial plexus, etc. Then when you take neuroscience you can draw out the tracts, label the brain, etc. It was really helpful for me. Writing and drawing and re-writing and re-drawing really helped me learn more than memorize the material (along with reading of course).
an idea widely utilized by my classmates! one of the best things you can do to practice.
Ditto. What notecard app??
It's called Flashcardlet - If you go to the iTunes store and search for flashcards*, it should bring it right up. It's free.
Current TWU DPT student
Class of 2014
Hey! I just wanted to bump this thread. Hope I can get some more advice. Thanks!
I really liked using the Anki flashcard app which is free for your comp. It'll keep retesting you on the stuff you missed and you can upload pics, and soundbits. Usually though i just used it for OINAs. But i always looked at a lot of atlas pictures from different angles and compared it to the cadaver until I felt like I had internalized the structures and then i'd go all willy nilly with the memorization. I know others like white boards. I did it at the beginning to make lists on or pictures but literally my arm and shoulder would get pretty tired after a couple of hours. Study groups for anatomy were okay and can push you to keep testing each other for longer than you may have for yourself.
Bring a copy (not originals) of your lecture material into after lab hours. That way you can review the material while actually going through the anatomical parts. Review the material at each body, being able to recite what's from the lecture to what you see in the lab. You will learn the material along with being given time to memorize anatomical parts; knocking out two birds with one stone. Know anatomical relations. How do you know that's the sciatic nerve? And which side is the tibial division? Remember to memorize nerve subsections and why they are so by being able to trace them back to the origin and destination. For us, we were too busy dissecting to do that during normal lab hours.
For help in learning anatomy.
1. Draw pictures - color helps
2. Make tables to organize. Most muscle groups have similar O, I, A, N. Organizing helps make this obvious, along with the exceptions. Rewrite the tables, do not just make them once and study off of them.
3. Make the muscles as real as you can. Palpate them on yourself or someone else (O, I, muscle bellies). Perform the actions
4. Realize that muscles make sense. If you know the line of pull of a muscle across a joint, you know its actions.
5. Do not cram. Study a little each day. Many of the O's and I's are similar. If you cram the last night, you might forget if it the medial or superior surface of the greater trochanter.
6. Learn what the names of the muscles mean.
7. Teach your classmates. Teaching is always the best way to learn something.
Neuroanatomy is much harder because it does not make as much sense. The reason why a pathway travels in a particular region of the spinal cord and ends up in a particular region of the brain is 'because it does'. Much less information compared to anatomy, but much more difficult to organize the information.
This is a very helpful thread! Thanks, everyone!
Yup... you guys hit it on the head. Memorize as a last resort.
As someone who is only about to start PT school, please take my thoughts with a grain of salt. But here they are:
I remember taking calculus many years ago in high school (I am returning to school after a hiatus in "professional life"). At some pivotal moment, I was taking a test, and I realized I didn't have the formula needed to answer the question. But I knew where the formula came from, so in whatever space on the test was available to me I did a derivation, came up with the formula, and answered the question.
It was something of a transformative moment for me in my academic career, because I'd seen a number of my classmates staring at study sheets trying to memorize things. But those fancier ideas can be derived from more basic ideas. If you understand something, you don't have to memorize it.
Making information meaningful can make it much easier to remember. Here's in example. Say you have two things to learn:
1. The bald man read the newspaper.
2. The funny man bought a ring.
These are two sets of disparate facts, and rely on rote memorization. But let's say that you had to remember these two things instead:
1. The bald man read the newspaper to look for a hat sale.
2. The funny man bought a ring that squirted water.
At this point, there is actually more information to retain, but it is related in some meaningful way. Based on our experience as human beings, it is easy to understand a bald man looking for a hat sale or a funny man looking for a novelty ring. There is more information, but it is meaningful. And ultimately, this kind of information is easier to retain.
I did well in my pre-req anatomy by really seeking to understand--in my own body--the structure and function of the muscles and skeleton. I remember stopping an exam to move around and palpate myself (discreetly), and I think that sort of understanding really helped.
But as has been mentioned, neuro stuff seems to require more tricks to memorize. I was proud of coming up with my own silly stuff for nailing down the cranial nerves. Sitting here, typing this after a couple dinner drinks, they still haven't escaped me. I should check out that einstein book...
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