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    I'm starting at med school next year, which means I have quite a bit of time on my hands. I'm working and travelling for some of it, but I figured I could do something constructive too.

    I've started with some anatomy. Bones were straightforward and I'm just about to start on muscles. I noticed that you have to learn multiple things for each muscle. Origin, insertion, action, artery and nerve.
    How specific do you have to be? Does this vary by university?

    For example, for insertion and origin do I have to know the bone/fibre or do I have to know the exact point
    Do I have to know the major nerve and artery, or the specific branches?

    Is there anything else that you would recommend I learn over the next year?
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    (Original post by elmacleod)
    I've started with some anatomy. Bones were straightforward and I'm just about to start on muscles
    Said nobody, ever! You have learnt every bone in the body... what??

    Just relax, I am willing to put bets on the fact that learning anatomy with no context like this will be more detrimental than good, even if you just spend your time with your head in a textbook rather than doing something more interesting. There's plenty of time to study when you're at med school.
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    (Original post by elmacleod)
    I'm starting at med school next year, which means I have quite a bit of time on my hands. I'm working and travelling for some of it, but I figured I could do something constructive too.

    I've started with some anatomy. Bones were straightforward and I'm just about to start on muscles. I noticed that you have to learn multiple things for each muscle. Origin, insertion, action, artery and nerve.
    How specific do you have to be? Does this vary by university?

    For example, for insertion and origin do I have to know the bone/fibre or do I have to know the exact point
    Do I have to know the major nerve and artery, or the specific branches?

    Is there anything else that you would recommend I learn over the next year?
    What are you gaining from this, out of interest? I don't see the point of learning the origin and insertion of every single muscle, it's not something we're expected to do. Without proper guidance you won't be learning these things in a structured or systematic way, so whilst it's not going to do you any harm, it's still rather pointless.

    Would you like to know what you'll be doing a year from now? Same thing thousands of students up and down the country are doing (including me): staying indoors on a nice, breezy day to revise and memorise pages and pages of notes in preparation for exams. Sound fun?

    Medicine is great and all, but it is something which very quickly takes over your life once you start it. If you have any sense at all you'll enjoy your final few months before you get sucked into it all anyway. Seriously, go out and frolic - anatomy won't be going anywhere.
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    I'm 23, travelled half the world (slight exaggeration). I've frolicked plenty!
    I'm doing it partly because it will be useful and partly because I find it interesting. I can close my eyes and picture a skeleton with all the bones and their names. I want to add muscles to that. Then the other systems.
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    (Original post by elmacleod)
    I'm 23, travelled half the world (slight exaggeration). I've frolicked plenty!
    I'm doing it partly because it will be useful and partly because I find it interesting. I can close my eyes and picture a skeleton with all the bones and their names. I want to add muscles to that. Then the other systems.
    If current medical students are telling you that it won't be useful, how do you figure that it will?
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    It might be useful, but when it's taught in a structured way then everyone else will catch up to where you are having spent a year learning it in about 2 weeks. If you want to learn anything then brush up on your chemistry and biology from A level so you're ready to build on it straight away. Otherwise, enjoy yourself or earn some money (5 years of uni with no wages is a killer) or learn a language. Don't throw yourself into the mind-numbing rote learning just yet.
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    If you're actually wanting to learn anatomy, some advice to make it more useful it to scrap the way you're doing it right now - i.e. learning all the bones in the body, then the muscles, then the nerves - it's pointless - anatomy is fundamentally a study of how the previously mentioned things interact, not how they are in isolation. Knowing that you have a humerus, and a biceps brachii and triceps brachii on the humerus, and that you also have the axillary vein, and the axillary artery, and a brachial plexus nearby - the information is pointless.

    Instead of learning all the muscles, all the nerves, etc. in sequence instead pick a body part and then learn it systemically. Start at the shoulder, learn how all the bones and muscles interact in relation to the neurovasculature, then move down to the arm, understand the spaces created by muscles and bone that vessels pass through, then to the elbow joint, then to the forearm, then to the wrist, and then to the hand. Then understand how, for example, the subclavian vessels become the axillary, and then the brachial, and then split in the cubital fossa. Learn compartments and their innervation. Then do the same with the leg.

    That knowledge, if you are determined to do some anatomy, is definitely more useful than just starting at "skeleton" on wikipedia and going through all the bones.
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    You are seriously not going to target your learning at all effectively this way. Its honestly not worth trying to predict what you will need to learn in the future.

    More useful would be to read popular science books on evolution, genetics, neuroscience, stuff like that. It both gets you thinking and is a lot more fun than anatomy.
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    (Original post by elmacleod)
    I'm starting at med school next year, which means I have quite a bit of time on my hands. I'm working and travelling for some of it, but I figured I could do something constructive too.

    I've started with some anatomy. Bones were straightforward and I'm just about to start on muscles. I noticed that you have to learn multiple things for each muscle. Origin, insertion, action, artery and nerve.
    How specific do you have to be? Does this vary by university?

    For example, for insertion and origin do I have to know the bone/fibre or do I have to know the exact point
    Do I have to know the major nerve and artery, or the specific branches?

    Is there anything else that you would recommend I learn over the next year?
    Why don't you study the history of medicine? That would be interesting and give you an appreciation of the field. It probably won't get much attention in your course either.
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    Eew no! Relish your freedom!


    If you choose to ignore this sentiment, at the very least listen to Beska and do some functional anatomy. Or read "Bad Science", that's been recommended to me by a few doctors. Or if you don't have one already (I'm assuming you're a graduate and probably do), get a grip on statistics/carrying out research.

    Tbh though, I can't think of a single thing I wish I'd learned before med school.
 
 
 
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