Friday, February 6, 2009


I found a great web site that contained old anatomy tests from a variety of universities as well as numerous links to other anatomy sites. Following is the study tip guide. Follow this link to get to the practice tests, dissections, and other interesting and helpful links.

How to Study Human Anatomy and Succeed
Human Anatomy is a notorious course for demanding a high-volume of information in a short amount of time. However, there are studying methods to assist students in learning efficiently and effectively. I have studied and interviewed groups of medical and science students that have mastered their course work. It is true that there are specific and detailed guidelines that these students adhere to and credit for their academic success. The successful student must excel in visualizing relationships, memorizing facts, and creating spatial maps of the human body. With some time and applying these strategies and tips from past honor students of Human Anatomy, you will greatly improve your academic performance.

Study Skill #1 - It is NOT enough to simply read, re-read, and re-type up the notes. The goal in anatomy is to become a visual learner, so it is extremely important to keep pictures in front of you. Let's say you are studying the forearm for example. The best is a three-prong approach. That is, to have three pictures out side-by-side, one of the superficial structures, one of the deep muscles and bone matrix, and a third of cross-sections. Now as you read each sentence of your text, the words will have graphic substance to support them. This allows your brain to start building the 3-D structure of the human body.

Study Skill #2 - Knowing the relationships is key. This means that if you are given a point anywhere in the human body, that you should be able to navigate your way to any other point by spatial relationships to landmark structures. The best way to accomplish this is by describing the path of a body part in relation to its surroundings. Let's take the Ulnar Nerve for example. Beginning in the axilla, it courses as the most medial branch of the brachial plexus. As it descends down the arm, it remains superficial to the triceps muscles, medial to the humerus, and maintains a tight medial position to the brachial artery. It continues this until the distal region of the arm, where it courses on the posterior aspect of the humerus, and then it makes a tight cross over the elbow joint posterior to the medial epicondyle. It continues between the heads of the flexor carpi ulnaris muscle and enters the anterior compartment of the forearm where it accompanies the ulnar artery. This will enhance your understanding of human anatomy because it forces your brain to travel through the mental images and describe it in your own words. This is a skill that will be necessary for nerve lesion questions.

Study Skill #3 - Make charts for the muscles. List the muscles in the rows on the left and then make columns on the right for Origin, Insertion, Action, and Innervation. Stare at pictures of the muscle under study and match the answers in the columns with the pictures.

Study Skill #4 - Memorize the boundaries and contents of specific compartments of the human body. For example, the Cubital Fossa is bounded: Laterally - medial border of brachioradialis, Medially - the lateral border of pronator teres, Floor - brachialis, Roof - skin and fascia, Contents - median nerve, brachial artery, tendon of biceps, radial nerve, & median cubital vein. Once these have been memorized they serve as valuable landmarks to navigate your way around the body.

Study Skill #5, #6, & #7 - Visit to read the next three study skills and boost your academic performance. We also have more detailed study strategies, practice exams, and free study guides for subjects, such as: Physiology, Genetics, Histology, Neuroanatomy, Biochemistry and more.

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