HunterJumper

10+ Year Member
Mar 6, 2008
18
0
Madison, WI
Status
Pre-Medical
I am wanting to get a head-start on anatomy before I go in to medical school next year. I have had some experience with anatomy before, but we used a book that I didn't really like. I am looking for something that is easy to follow and that I could learn from on my own. Any suggestions? Thank you!!!
 

nlax30

10+ Year Member
Oct 4, 2006
4,037
752
Status
Attending Physician
If you've been accepted somewhere see which textbook that school uses. Gray's Anatomy for Students is fairly popular (what I used), there's also Clinical Anatomy by Snell, and a few others that I'm not familiar with. There are also anatomy atlases like Netter (drawings) and Rohen (cadaver images), but aren't textbooks per se.

That said, I think you'll probably get an overall response telling you not to worry about trying to get a "head-start" in med school by reading/studying before you start. I personally haven't met a single person who said they did any real reading/studying before school that helped them. The pace and amount of material you'll be covering once you start will quickly negate anything you did before hand. For most part everyone gets thrown on a level playing field fairly early on.

Take that for what it's worth. The majority will probably tell you to do anything else but study. Go travel, spend time with family/friends, enjoy a hobby, get a job and save some money, etc.....
 

Monica Lewinsky

10+ Year Member
Jan 18, 2008
228
0
Status
Medical Student
The only thing I'd recommend doing, if you feel that you must do something, is sitting down and watching Acland's DVD Atlas. Its a passive way to get the basics down.
 

thedelicatessen

In Memory of Riley Jane
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 23, 2006
559
3
Status
Medical Student
You will have PLENTY of opportunities to study once you begin school, so I don't really think it's necessary to start now while you're still free. However, I do have some suggestions on good atlases to use.

Netter's has very good, very thorough illustrations and was considered the go-to atlas for my school. I also liked the Rohen atlas because it shows labeled photographs of real cadaver material, which was helpful for studying for lab practicals without actually being in the lab all the time. Lastly, I have heard from my peers that the new LWW atlas by Tank and Gest is also a good resource that's geared towards students. Good luck, and enjoy the time before fall!
 

pseudoknot

Lifetime Donor
15+ Year Member
Jan 1, 2004
2,925
5
41
Hershey, PA
Status
Attending Physician
The only thing I'd recommend doing, if you feel that you must do something, is sitting down and watching Acland's DVD Atlas. Its a passive way to get the basics down.
I definitely agree with this. It's a great series of videos.

I also agree it is pointless to try to study before med school.

And once you are in med school, Gray's Anatomy for Students is a fantastic textbook.
 

Flaxmoore

StealthDoc
10+ Year Member
Jun 11, 2007
258
1
Trapped in a Skinner box. Help.
Status
Attending Physician
I am wanting to get a head-start on anatomy before I go in to medical school next year. I have had some experience with anatomy before, but we used a book that I didn't really like. I am looking for something that is easy to follow and that I could learn from on my own. Any suggestions? Thank you!!!
I have Moore's Clinically Oriented Anatomy and Gray's Anatomy for Students, and they both have their good points. Moore covers a lot more, and is of the right depth for the course, at least at my school. Gray's is a bit more superficial, but we had several profs that preferred it for its diagrams and having it for those really helped.

As for studying before med school, don't. The pace is so fast that anything you could conceivably do will be blown away in about 10 seconds. We covered my Genetics and Genetic Research courses from UG in about 2 weeks. Cell Bio was one. My A&P course was superceded in about a week.

Relax and enjoy the summer. Studying now will just stress you needlessly.
 

bodonid

Dr. Spaceman
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jul 18, 2007
1,885
2
Status
Medical Student
The only thing I'd recommend doing, if you feel that you must do something, is sitting down and watching Acland's DVD Atlas. Its a passive way to get the basics down.
Do you mean the whole series? ($170) How do we get it in order to watch? Is it worth it to buy?

*I have been off for a year and I'm trying to get back in the groove*
 

April16MCAT

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
May 6, 2007
124
0
South Jersey
Status
Pre-Medical
if you really want to do something, i bought an anatomy coloring atlas and a box of colored pencils. its a good way to start seeing terms but not stressful at all. I mean, who doesnt like to color?
 

FutureDoc2011

10+ Year Member
Nov 17, 2006
81
4
Richmond, VA
Status
Medical Student
Take your summer off!! There'll be plenty of time to study during the year. Also, no point in studying an atlas without a structure list to help you focus on what you need to learn.

With that being said, I used Grant's and Rohan's atlases during anatomy. Rohan has actual pics and comes in pretty handy when you get tired of spending all your time in the lab. :thumbup:
 

TheRealMD

"The Mac Guy"
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
May 23, 2007
4,769
9
Houston, Texas
Status
Medical Student
I would argue that using time that doesn't exist when you start med school actually works against you in the long run. As an extreme example, having a massive amount of knowledge to begin with eventually looses to one who can assimilate new information quickly.
 

Karlily

10+ Year Member
May 14, 2008
5
0
Status
Medical Student
I also have Gray's Anatomy, but I'd rather bought a 'real' anatomy atlas instead. The drawings are pretty good, but the books structure makes no sense.
But really? Go travel and have fun, this might be one of your last and longest holidays in your life. Unless you get to retire early. (...)
 

pseudoknot

Lifetime Donor
15+ Year Member
Jan 1, 2004
2,925
5
41
Hershey, PA
Status
Attending Physician
I also have Gray's Anatomy, but I'd rather bought a 'real' anatomy atlas instead. The drawings are pretty good, but the books structure makes no sense.
Are you talking about this book?

It's organized by systems in a pretty straightforward way. As far as a "real atlas," it's not meant to be an atlas (Netter's and Grant's are the two most common examples of atlases) but rather a textbook (like Moore).

But really? Go travel and have fun, this might be one of your last and longest holidays in your life. Unless you get to retire early. (...)
Agreed. Pre-studying for med school is pointless and unnecessary.
 

TerpMD

10+ Year Member
Sep 26, 2007
129
1
UMD 2010
Status
Resident [Any Field]
If I could do it over again, I wouldn't waste my money on a text and I would stick with Netter. If you want gross pictures that will help you the lab, I'd suggest the Rowen atlas.

Don't pre-study. Enjoy your freedom.:)
 

Karlily

10+ Year Member
May 14, 2008
5
0
Status
Medical Student
Are you talking about this book?

It's organized by systems in a pretty straightforward way. As far as a "real atlas," it's not meant to be an atlas (Netter's and Grant's are the two most common examples of atlases) but rather a textbook (like Moore).


Agreed. Pre-studying for med school is pointless and unnecessary.
Indeed this is the one. Soft swingy helpless cover right?
I know it's not an atlas, but my uni actually recommended it to us as one, so we all bought it. At the beginning of the 2nd year, most people bought an actual atlas: Sobotta. But I hear there are better ones than Sobotta, so don't go for that one either. ;)
 

DocPsychosis

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 16, 2007
186
0
The Id
Status
Medical Student
Screw that, those photos are undecipherable. Netter's the man you want.:thumbup:
 

Haemulon

Slippery When Wet
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 1, 2006
3,596
2
On SDN
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Don't try to study. Wait until you get your syllabus so that your time will be focused. I actually tried looking over anatomy for a few weeks before sccool and guess what .... it was totally pointless. I think we covered more material in 2 days than I was able to do in 2 weeks prior. Its tough to just wait, since everyone always thinks they will be getting ahead or will have an edge if they start early. What ever you decide, just don't stress over it. Beginning M1 is always a shock to the system whether or not you try to pre-read.
 

Non-TradTulsa

Senior Member - Resident
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 17, 2005
1,465
6
Oklahoma
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Do you mean the whole series? ($170) How do we get it in order to watch? Is it worth it to buy?

*I have been off for a year and I'm trying to get back in the groove*
Yep, the whole $170. More than worth it.

I would chime-in that studying over the summer is probably not such a good idea. You'll still feel like you've been run over by a bus your first day in Gross Anatomy.

As far as books, though, why pick one? I absolutely loathed gross, so I had every resource I could get. Netter's is excellent for a first-pass through the material - makes it much easier to learn the basics. However, when you figure out that nerves, arteries, and veins aren't really color-coded on your cadaver, you'll want Rohen's if you want to ace your practicals. I also had a copy of Grant's because it has some tables and additional information that are useful - Netter's has none of that - I found Grant's more useful for head-and-neck. I bought Moore's because it was the official text for the class - and the level of detail was great, but I never had time to actually read it (after the first block when I got incredibly far behind) and could have lived without it. And, last but not least, I did indeed use the Anatomy Coloring Book to learn the muscles of the arms and legs - spent some pleasant hours with colored pencils - just make sure you get the Kapit and Elson edition - the coloring book comes in several flavors, most of which are useless at a medical school level.

If you really want to torture yourself, get BRS Gross Anatomy by Chung. Since Dr. Chung was my professor, that was our "real" textbook (professors can't adopt their own books as the official text at my school). When Chung says he's going to teach you every vessel, nerve, muscle, etc - he ain't kidding, and Chung's is ultra-compressed and concise. It's terribly boring reading since it's so dry. Good board questions, though, although anatomy is not high-yield and I have no intention of going back to Chung's. Just a note, though - apparently Korean doesn't use sex-specific pronouns and, when you tell Dr. Chung that "testicular artery" is not an appropriate answer to a question that refers to the patient as "she" - he thinks you're being too picky. You need an atlas when you read Chung's because the illustrations are somewhere between dreadful and laughable.
 

cpants

Member
10+ Year Member
Sep 28, 2007
2,656
291
Status
Attending Physician
Don't pre-study. Do buy Netter's flashcards for your anatomy class. Best 40 bucks you will ever spend.
 

ZagDoc

Ears, Noses, and Throats
10+ Year Member
Jul 12, 2007
1,411
24
Status
Resident [Any Field]
As for studying before med school, don't. The pace is so fast that anything you could conceivably do will be blown away in about 10 seconds. We covered my Genetics and Genetic Research courses from UG in about 2 weeks. Cell Bio was one. My A&P course was superceded in about a week.

Relax and enjoy the summer. Studying now will just stress you needlessly.
Agreed. I attempted to approximate the pace of medical school at the beginning of MS1 and it was about 1 weeks worth of undergrad material a day, which is about a whole undergrad class every 2 weeks.

And it's sped up significantly.

Studying this summer won't accomplish anything for you except to erode away your stamina for studying faster when med school does hit this fall. But if you are truly masochistic, the recommendations in this thread are spot on.
 

DoctaJay

bone breaker
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Jan 23, 2005
3,012
39
San Diego
www.gmail.com
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
Medical school is not about getting a head start before any of your classmates. Med school is a marathon. It is better to get your rest, and make it to finals...and pass finals, rather than start during your summer and burn out by Valentine's day.

As for materials for anatomy. My teacher's powerpoints were pretty much comprehensive of what I needed to know. In terms of review books, I prefered USMLE Road Map for anatomy, but alot of my friends used BRS.
 

SugPlum

10+ Year Member
Nov 17, 2007
117
0
???????
Status
Medical Student
I thought that Netter's flash cards were pretty good for studying origins, insertions, and innervations of muscles. I didn't find the card useful for reviewing other things in anatomy.

I used Rohen's to review for lab practicals. I bought Rohen before I started dissection. I quickly realized that there was no way I could dissect like what I saw in the pictures. My dissections did not look as clean.
 

DrBowtie

Final Countdown
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Feb 24, 2005
15,488
1,876
Classyville
Status
Resident [Any Field]
So the consensus is pretty much:
Atlas - Netter's
Practicals - Rohen
Textbook - Moore
Syllabus/powerpoints

Questions - BRS??? Anyone used RR Anatomy? Others that are good for questions?
 

ZagDoc

Ears, Noses, and Throats
10+ Year Member
Jul 12, 2007
1,411
24
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Questions - BRS??? Anyone used RR Anatomy? Others that are good for questions?
Great for the boards, when you're in a serious time crunch. Don't go into the detail necessary to really help for the actual class.
 

pseudoknot

Lifetime Donor
15+ Year Member
Jan 1, 2004
2,925
5
41
Hershey, PA
Status
Attending Physician
Great for the boards, when you're in a serious time crunch. Don't go into the detail necessary to really help for the actual class.
I think the consensus in the step I forum is that BRS Anatomy is far too detailed for board review. Most say there's not enough anatomy on the test to use anything more than First Aid.
 

Husky85

10+ Year Member
Sep 24, 2006
270
1
Status
Medical Student
Is there such a thing as a "pre-gunner"? :laugh:
 

Monica Lewinsky

10+ Year Member
Jan 18, 2008
228
0
Status
Medical Student
So the consensus is pretty much:
Atlas - Netter's
Practicals - Rohen
Textbook - Moore
Syllabus/powerpoints

Questions - BRS??? Anyone used RR Anatomy? Others that are good for questions?
I would drop the Moore from that list and not replace it with anything. Textbooks aren't useful in med school, but are especially even less useful in courses like anatomy. Wiki any concepts that you need clarification on (surely your schools syllabi/powerpoints will be more than enough, unless you enjoy never sleeping). You'll be thanking me when you are able to quickly find your answers on wikipedia (and yes, wikipedia is an excellent anatomy resource, most anatomy articles are well cited and usually are copied verbatim from an old school (anatomy doesn't change, trust me) edition of Grays....heres an example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inferior_pancreaticoduodenal) and not having to have a lug around the useless Moore text.

As for questions, I didn't use any question sources mainly because any source I used was clearly insufficient in quality to even pass any anatomy test we were thrown.

Just study your ass off and survive.
 

ZagDoc

Ears, Noses, and Throats
10+ Year Member
Jul 12, 2007
1,411
24
Status
Resident [Any Field]
mmmm pancreaticoduodenal. such a sexy word.
 

albe

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 27, 2006
85
0
Status
Resident [Any Field]
So the consensus is pretty much:
Atlas - Netter's
Practicals - Rohen
Textbook - Moore
Syllabus/powerpoints

Questions - BRS??? Anyone used RR Anatomy? Others that are good for questions?
I think this is a pretty good summary. I found that Gray's Anatomy for Students (someone posted the cover for this book a few posts up) has really good diagrams/explanations, but it lacks the clinical correlations blue boxes offered in Moore. Gray's also has a helpful surface anatomy section at the end of each region, which gives you good surface landmarks for locating various structures.

As far as studying for the NBME/Shelf exam, I reviewed concepts using Road Map and did the practice questions in BRS. To me, BRS is too dense for a weekend review of Gross Anatomy, but it has questions that are similar to the NMBE. I was able to score in the 98% percentile.
 

Husky85

10+ Year Member
Sep 24, 2006
270
1
Status
Medical Student
I would drop the Moore from that list and not replace it with anything. Textbooks aren't useful in med school, but are especially even less useful in courses like anatomy.
I beg to differ. I really like moore's. Granted, if I studied without it I could still pass easily and would spend less time, but I feel like I have a better understanding of the material after reading the textbook.

But I'm a textbook learner...everybody has their own style. As textbooks go, Moore's is a good one...but if you don't like textbooks you won't like it.
 

EMH

ARNG - MC
10+ Year Member
Aug 16, 2005
764
5
41
Arkansas
Status
Attending Physician
Atlas:
  • LWW Atlas of anatomy is great and may one day be a better seller than Netter.
  • Netter's atlas is the standard atlas.
  • Rohen's photo atlas I found good for cramming for a practical in the break between the written exam and practical but that's all.
  • Grant's Atlas: This is kind of a cross between an atlas and a text. I couldn't get into it even after trying.
  • Clemente's Atlas: I didn't like the style of the illustration but there were times when I couldn't find a good picture of something in any of my other texts and Clemente had it perfect.

Text:
  • Clinically Oriented Anatomy: Great but very long winded, the clinical blue boxes are outstanding.
  • Gray's for students: I had this one and used pulled it out when I needed another look at something. It often uses oblique views which can confuse you but also can clarify. It is very well organized and not over done but the word I hear is it has some errors.
  • Grant's Dissector: Our course director was Tank (the current author) so at my school many used this as their primary text. Supplement with an atlas, canned notes, syllabus, and your own notes.
  • BRS Gross: I didn't use this at all but I know many at my school used it a lot.

Yes, I buy a lot of books. And still got an 89.5% in gross (needed 90.0).
 
Last edited:

EMH

ARNG - MC
10+ Year Member
Aug 16, 2005
764
5
41
Arkansas
Status
Attending Physician
I beg to differ. I really like moore's. Granted, if I studied without it I could still pass easily and would spend less time, but I feel like I have a better understanding of the material after reading the textbook.

But I'm a textbook learner...everybody has their own style. As textbooks go, Moore's is a good one...but if you don't like textbooks you won't like it.
I started out the year loving Moore and found it harder and harder to get through the readings as the year went on.
 

shreypete

10+ Year Member
Sep 28, 2007
856
13
Ashkaban
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I started of with Moore too and it was awesome for the first few chapters but I hardly ever opened that book after that...For neuroanatomy, I really like Snell's. And Netters Atlas is awesome (their flashcards are good too but not as detailed as the atlas obviously).