Aug 3, 2012
Hey Guys,

I wanted to go over some anatomy before starting med school next Fall because I've never taking human anatomy before (didn't offer it at my undergrad university). Do you guys have any recommendations on which books to get to over general concepts?

I was going to sign up for a course at my community college, but I missed the deadline for Spring Semester.

Lost Vagus

5+ Year Member
May 10, 2013
Medical Student
Don't study anything you don't have to before medical school. Bad idea. Get an atlas and if you want to familiarize yourself with the lingo go for it.. but definitely don't pre-study for medical school.
Jun 26, 2013
Medical Student
Agreed - no prestudying! I didn't take anatomy in undergrad either and I did fine. But when it's time to buy books for med school, get Rohen's atlas (it has photos of cadavers rather than just drawings) and Clinically Oriented Anatomy.


5+ Year Member
Dec 5, 2012
Rishi Maze
Resident [Any Field]
I second what others what others have suggested about the cadaver atlas.

Personally, I used almost exclusively Netters and supplemented with BRS Anatomy. I thought learning with the color coded Netter atlas allowed me to learn the anatomy well and then preferred using a lot of lab time for the cadaver portion. Absolutely don't use this before med school, but when the time comes, Gray's Clinical Anatomy questions are excellent for studying before a written test.

As for pre studying, if you really are going to, just go through the upper and lower limbs casually in Netters. You don't need any previous anatomy knowledge to be successful, however.


Lifetime Donor
7+ Year Member
Mar 13, 2012
Resident [Any Field]
From talking to others and my own experience, the following books were very helpful:

Gray's Anatomy for Students (standard textbook - I think it 6th edition)
Gray's Clinical Anatomy Review Book (the green review book)
BRS Anatomy Book
+ Some Atlas if necessary

At my school (and I think most if not all DO schools) membership in SOMA (~$75) gets you a free Netters Atlas, so you may want to hold off on buying that, because you really don't need more than one atlas.

If you want to "pre-study", just review the first chapter in Gray's, and that should at least introduce you to the subject.