2+ Year Member
- Feb 12, 2017
- Medical Student
That's an interesting approach. I think I realized, after putting in 14 hours + a day for 2 weeks that the problem is that I was not "compartmentalizing" the information. So I'd have a list of muscles for a section and would write them out, their innervation, blood supply, and action. Rather than looking at the muscles as their own compartment (both anatomically and for convenience of learning) and recognizing all muscles in this group are innervated by X with these exceptions. Then building on top of that: well actually while that is true, the X nerve actually divides here and these muscles in that compartment are innervated by A branch and these are by B branch. Same concept with the blood supply and building an idea of the structural arrangement like that.
Rather, I was just going off the list of terms we had to learn, not really connecting the dots. It was like putting together a 1000 piece puzzle without a picture to reference.
Maybe it's just the way my anatomy course was taught (I was an actual lecture goer, not an anki person), but things were definitely presented to us as compartments, which helped me cluster things. For example the dreaded forearm - it has a superficial, intermediate, and deep compartments. If you're dissecting the forearm, you tend to see everything in that order. And that was important for our practical exams, because for example sometimes there would be a muscle tagged in the deep compartment with the superficial+intermediate compartments completely removed - you needed to be able to recognize what compartment you were in by the group of muscles/landmarks you could see. We also had exam questions that asked directly about what you might find in various compartments (or triangles of the neck, etc). Or you could cluster things other ways: start from one specific point (ie acromion, or coracoid process, or whatever) and name everything that originates/inserts there, and then work outwards. We definitely got tested on groupings like that, but even if you're not tested on it I found that grouping things really helped me understand the bigger picture.
I did refer to the long lists of terms, but often as almost a scavenger hunt to review once I'd learned everything another way. start from the top of the list and either find it on a donor (if you have free access to your lab) or a digital model or a picture, and name all the relevant details (innervations, origins, etc). That was pretty common among my classmates as well - we had free access to the lab to study, so people would take turns naming things to find and explain