Anatomy before Year 1

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.


New Member
15+ Year Member
Mar 21, 2004
Reaction score
Hey everyone. I could use some advice.

I have heard that the trial by fire is the first semester clinical anatomy. I never took undergraduate anatomy, so my knowledge of the subject at this point is really pathetic. I wanted to know if anyone recommends taking an undergrad anatomy course the summer before year 1 as a primer or are the courses so different that it wouldn't be any help at all?


Members don't see this ad.
Nope, I wouldn't reccomend it unless it as offered by your school and you get paid to attend it (as some non-science major or lower undergrad GPA students at my school were, prior to first year). I took a course that was formatted almost just like my med school anatomy course except that it was the anatomy of the cat (which are remarkably similar in name and function to humans), and felt that it helped me not feel overwhelmed in the beginning, but I think that everyone adapts pretty quickly so it's not neccessary. Get a job and save some money, that will help you more in your career then another undergrad anatomy class.
Yeah, I think it's a waste of time and money as well. I can't believe how many students post here asking about how they should prepare during the summer before M1. It doesn't help at all. I actually bought Barron's Anatomy and Physiology text the summer before M1, and read about two chapters of it, total. That about covered the first day's histology material, and when that started for real I had to re-memorize the different shapes of epithelium. On the first day. Boring drag and a waste of money.

I'm still glad I didn't waste more pointless time reading more chapters, though.
Members don't see this ad :)
agree with above posters. that'd be a waste of time. it'll be tough in the beginning, but you'll adjust soon enough. don't stress over it. have a fun summer. remember, you don't get too many more summers off.
My advice to u is this... just take it easy. Anatomy will be headache anyway even if u review it before med school. It is pretty voluminous and above all, it is very logical. Spend more time with that beautiful atlas called Netter. Thats all. All will be well. ;)
Personally, I've never understood why the "all or nothing" approach is so widely advocated to people who are eager to learn and who will soon be swamped. I think I would've had an easier time in anatomy if I would have at least gone through the Anatomy Coloring Book for an hour or so for the last few months before med school.
Originally posted by Kluver Bucy
I think I would've had an easier time in anatomy if I would have at least gone through the Anatomy Coloring Book for an hour or so for the last few months before med school.

I change my opinion to agree with this wholehearted. I also had the physio and brain coloring books and of course never had the time to get through the all, but highly recommend them!
i think you should stay out of anatomy till medschool starts simply b/c anatomy is one of the bigger trial by fire classes youll take. consequently, this is where a lot of bonding with classmates takes place, so i think if youre going through tough crap with others youll find your niche (which can be harder than in undergrad) a little sooner in med school. i just think anatomy is a good bonding experience, and helps you set up at least a foundation for study skills, groups, friends, etc.