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How to study medicine(specifically anatomy) efficiently? Watch

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    Hi,

    I am going to start medicine in September, and I have bought some recommended books on my uni's reading list. I am currently reading a book called Clinically Oriented Anatomy, in preparation for my course in September.

    The problem is, I have made very slow progress, taking two to three hours to internalise two to three pages worth of information. Honestly, I feel very daunted by the size of the book as well(it is several hundred pages thick). I'm not too sure what I'm doing wrong. I've tried mind maps, writing out concise points, but there seems to be too many points to take note of. I have spent about 3 hours a day for the past week trying but only read up to 25 or so pages. The real kicker is that I am only reading the "Introductory chapter"(which is in itself a 100+ pages long). I really don't know how to solve this problem. I know that if I carry on doing this, I would probably flunk out of uni.
    Would it be advisable to skip the introductory chapter, and jump straight into the individual topics?
    Is there any advice current medics could spare me?
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    (Original post by 1drowssap)
    Hi,

    I am going to start medicine in September, and I have bought some recommended books on my uni's reading list. I am currently reading a book called Clinically Oriented Anatomy, in preparation for my course in September.

    The problem is, I have made very slow progress, taking two to three hours to internalise two to three pages worth of information. Honestly, I feel very daunted by the size of the book as well(it is several hundred pages thick). I'm not too sure what I'm doing wrong. I've tried mind maps, writing out concise points, but there seems to be too many points to take note of. I have spent about 3 hours a day for the past week trying but only read up to 25 or so pages. The real kicker is that I am only reading the "Introductory chapter"(which is in itself a 100+ pages long). I really don't know how to solve this problem. I know that if I carry on doing this, I would probably flunk out of uni.
    Would it be advisable to skip the introductory chapter, and jump straight into the individual topics?
    Is there any advice current medics could spare me?
    Don't worry too much at the moment, once you actually start the course it will get easier, anatomy stressed me out the most when I first started medical school but once you start linking the anatomy to clinical situations it helps you remember it more effectively. I would recommend using an integrated book like Martini which is a lot more basic to begin with. Clinically Orientated Anatomy is quite difficult to use as a first book, you need to start with an easier read then build up to dedicated anatomy books. I use Snells/Grays now but I began with Martini/Marieb. Which medical school are you going too?

    EDIT: Youtube, Visible Body App and Acklands Anatomy Videos help a lot also!
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    (Original post by 06shawm)
    Don't worry too much at the moment, once you actually start the course it will get easier, anatomy stressed me out the most when I first started medical school but once you start linking the anatomy to clinical situations it helps you remember it more effectively. I would recommend using an integrated book like Martini which is a lot more basic to begin with. Clinically Orientated Anatomy is quite difficult to use as a first book, you need to start with an easier read then build up to dedicated anatomy books. I use Snells/Grays now but I began with Martini/Marieb. Which medical school are you going too?

    EDIT: Youtube, Visible Body App and Acklands Anatomy Videos help a lot also!
    Thank you so much for the fast reply. For the integrated book by Martini, are you referring to this book: http://books.google.com/books/about/...AJ&redir_esc=y

    For Snell's anatomy, are you referring to this: http://books.google.com.sg/books?id=...natomy&f=false

    So should I read Snell's anatomy instead? I really want to increase my rate of progress.

    I am going to Barts and the London(QMUL).
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    (Original post by 1drowssap)
    Thank you so much for the fast reply. For the integrated book by Martini, are you referring to this book: http://books.google.com/books/about/...AJ&redir_esc=y

    For Snell's anatomy, are you referring to this: http://books.google.com.sg/books?id=...natomy&f=false

    So should I read Snell's anatomy instead? I really want to increase my rate of progress.

    I am going to Barts and the London(QMUL).
    Wat was ur as n gcse grades n ukcat score
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    (Original post by 1drowssap)
    Hi,

    I am going to start medicine in September, and I have bought some recommended books on my uni's reading list. I am currently reading a book called Clinically Oriented Anatomy, in preparation for my course in September.

    The problem is, I have made very slow progress, taking two to three hours to internalise two to three pages worth of information. Honestly, I feel very daunted by the size of the book as well(it is several hundred pages thick). I'm not too sure what I'm doing wrong. I've tried mind maps, writing out concise points, but there seems to be too many points to take note of. I have spent about 3 hours a day for the past week trying but only read up to 25 or so pages. The real kicker is that I am only reading the "Introductory chapter"(which is in itself a 100+ pages long). I really don't know how to solve this problem. I know that if I carry on doing this, I would probably flunk out of uni.
    Would it be advisable to skip the introductory chapter, and jump straight into the individual topics?
    Is there any advice current medics could spare me?
    This is my core text book and before I started I also found looking at it very daunting!!! However for first year depending on your uni you dont have to know all of it. Before you start it is beneficial to learn different planes e.g. axial, coronal etc. and movements e.g. flexion, dorsiflexion etc.
    Learning the names of the bones and organs and major muscles e.g. trapezius, rectus femoris, deltoid etc. is also a good basis on which to start. Don't get bogged down in the detailed info you will have a year to learn the 1st year material!!!
    I would agree that youtube anatomy zone is great but make the most of your holiday and try not too worry about the detail I found the fist few weeks hard but after Christmas it all came together!
    Would you mind saying where you will be studying?

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    (Original post by 1drowssap)
    in preparation for my course in September.
    This is where you're going wrong.

    Go outside. It's sunny.
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    Wow you're dedicated. I'm (hopefully) starting medicine in October, but I haven't started looking at anything. I'd just relax and enjoy your summer- the next 5 years, and then 30 years after that, are going to be stressful enough!
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    Trying to get ahead is very hard - you have no context, no guidance. This is especially true for anatomy - textbooks can be huge tomes of dry dry content of which you may only need to know a fraction.

    As above - this work is going to be of very little value. Take up a hobby. Go have fun.
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    (Original post by 1drowssap)
    Thank you so much for the fast reply. For the integrated book by Martini, are you referring to this book: http://books.google.com/books/about/...AJ&redir_esc=y

    For Snell's anatomy, are you referring to this: http://books.google.com.sg/books?id=...natomy&f=false

    So should I read Snell's anatomy instead? I really want to increase my rate of progress.

    I am going to Barts and the London(QMUL).
    Yes they are the books I am referring too,

    Snells is quite dense but very detailed whereas Grays is presented more clearly and easier to understand with lots of images. Snells can be quite overwhelming at first but if you persevere it is a good book. Congrats on your Barts and the London offer! Do you know yet what your going to be covering in year 1?
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    (Original post by jadpan)
    This is my core text book and before I started I also found looking at it very daunting!!! However for first year depending on your uni you dont have to know all of it. Before you start it is beneficial to learn different planes e.g. axial, coronal etc. and movements e.g. flexion, dorsiflexion etc.
    Learning the names of the bones and organs and major muscles e.g. trapezius, rectus femoris, deltoid etc. is also a good basis on which to start. Don't get bogged down in the detailed info you will have a year to learn the 1st year material!!!
    I would agree that youtube anatomy zone is great but make the most of your holiday and try not too worry about the detail I found the fist few weeks hard but after Christmas it all came together!
    Would you mind saying where you will be studying?

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    Thanks, I've just finished learning the different types of bones, I am now learning the different types of joints.

    Thanks for the heads up about anatomy zone. I just looked at a video and I get a much clearer picture of what I've read from the textbook.

    I'm going to Barts and the London(QMUL). Are you currently studying at Barts too?

    (Original post by nexttime)
    Trying to get ahead is very hard - you have no context, no guidance. This is especially true for anatomy - textbooks can be huge tomes of dry dry content of which you may only need to know a fraction.
    I'm not sure if I have interpreted you correctly, but does that mean I may not need to know the whole anatomy book by the end of the first 2 years. I was under that impression. Is it more of a reference book?

    Is physiology easier to follow?

    (Original post by 06shawm)
    Yes they are the books I am referring too,

    Snells is quite dense but very detailed whereas Grays is presented more clearly and easier to understand with lots of images. Snells can be quite overwhelming at first but if you persevere it is a good book. Congrats on your Barts and the London offer! Do you know yet what your going to be covering in year 1?
    According to one of my seniors, they will cover A Level Biology briefly for the first fews weeks, followed by Anatomy, Cancer, Pharmacology, Immunology, Microbiology and Physiology basics, then after that it will be Circulatory and the Respiratory Systems, Alimentary System, Biochemistry, Musculoskeletal System, after those few weeks it will be : Nervous System, Reproductive System, Pregnancy, Development of Children, Embryology. Basically the basics of a lot of systems.
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    (Original post by 1drowssap)

    I'm not sure if I have interpreted you correctly, but does that mean I may not need to know the whole anatomy book by the end of the first 2 years. I was under that impression. Is it more of a reference book?

    Is physiology easier to follow?
    Yes, they're reference books, not syllabus books! You don't need to learn everything in them, and trying to learn it just by reading and making notes without much of a framework to attach your knowledge to will be boring and difficult. I found physiology more conceptually difficult than anatomy, but it is a little more practical and less dry. Even so, there's no benefit to you trying to cram now.

    Any marginal benefit you may gain by hours of work over the summer will be gone within a few weeks of starting the course. It's really, really just not worth it. Go and relax and enjoy yourself!
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    (Original post by 1drowssap)
    I'm not sure if I have interpreted you correctly, but does that mean I may not need to know the whole anatomy book by the end of the first 2 years.
    Depends on the med school and depends on the book. Not necessarily no, especially if its hundreds of pages long as you say.

    Is physiology easier to follow?
    In some ways. For some people. It'll all be a lot clearer if you're actually being taught it though.
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    Don't pre read it's pointless. You don't know what you need to know and you definitely do not need to know even a fraction of the amount of the information in that book. Why can't you just enjoy your summer?
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    Depends on the med school and depends on the book. Not necessarily no, especially if its hundreds of pages long as you say.



    In some ways. For some people. It'll all be a lot clearer if you're actually being taught it though.
    (Original post by Helenia)
    Yes, they're reference books, not syllabus books! You don't need to learn everything in them, and trying to learn it just by reading and making notes without much of a framework to attach your knowledge to will be boring and difficult. I found physiology more conceptually difficult than anatomy, but it is a little more practical and less dry. Even so, there's no benefit to you trying to cram now.

    Any marginal benefit you may gain by hours of work over the summer will be gone within a few weeks of starting the course. It's really, really just not worth it. Go and relax and enjoy yourself!
    Thanks for the insights. Actually, I'm in a pretty unique situation, in that I have been out of the school system for about 3 years, and I think it might be pretty difficult for me to adjust back to the schooling system, and I'm also afraid that I may not be able to handle the increase in difficulty from A levels to medical school, so I really want to try and get a good foundation.

    I really hope that the part in bold doesn't happen, but I guess I don't want to be to shocked by the pace of the lessons either. Do you have any advice in getting a good foundation?

    I really don't want to fall behind.
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    (Original post by 1drowssap)
    Thanks for the insights. Actually, I'm in a pretty unique situation, in that I have been out of the school system for about 3 years, and I think it might be pretty difficult for me to adjust back to the schooling system, and I'm also afraid that I may not be able to handle the increase in difficulty from A levels to medical school, so I really want to try and get a good foundation.

    I really hope that the part in bold doesn't happen, but I guess I don't want to be to shocked by the pace of the lessons either. Do you have any advice in getting a good foundation?

    I really don't want to fall behind.
    If you're going to do any studying don't read ahead - like Hippokrates said, you don't know what your curriculum is going to want you to know, and like Helenia said, it'll probably be nullified very quickly as you forget things and as it gets covered in class! If you're really worried about falling behind after a break from education, just revise the basic concepts. If you did anything like A-level biology or chemistry, have a quick look over your biology notes and maybe acid-base from chemistry. Medical school is designed for you to be able to keep up with only knowledge specified within their entry requirements: no need to get ahead, and it won't actually be that helpful.

    Lastly, you're never going to need to know textbooks back-to-front. The big anatomy, physiology, clinical medicine texts are reference books. If I tried to read Clinically Oriented Anatomy front-to-back I'd probably have died from sheer boredom. Reading through the textbook is a really rubbish way to learn anatomy, so best waiting until you get to medical school and start getting some proper anatomy teaching!
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    (Original post by 1drowssap)
    Hi,

    I am going to start medicine in September, and I have bought some recommended books on my uni's reading list. I am currently reading a book called Clinically Oriented Anatomy, in preparation for my course in September.

    The problem is, I have made very slow progress, taking two to three hours to internalise two to three pages worth of information. Honestly, I feel very daunted by the size of the book as well(it is several hundred pages thick). I'm not too sure what I'm doing wrong. I've tried mind maps, writing out concise points, but there seems to be too many points to take note of. I have spent about 3 hours a day for the past week trying but only read up to 25 or so pages. The real kicker is that I am only reading the "Introductory chapter"(which is in itself a 100+ pages long). I really don't know how to solve this problem. I know that if I carry on doing this, I would probably flunk out of uni.
    Would it be advisable to skip the introductory chapter, and jump straight into the individual topics?
    Is there any advice current medics could spare me?
    Right, here we go. I think I might be able to offer some useful advice.

    First thing: purchase Acland's video atlas of human anatomy. This is an absolutely amazing and mind blowingly useful resource. I can't emphasise how valuable this is. It is pure anatomy however (i.e. not clinical anatomy, it does not go into any clinical aspects at all, it's just pure anatomy all the way through). It's extremely well presented and narrated, I would go as far to say that it's as useful as dissection/prosection. This will give you an amazing visual insight into regional anatomy, something that a textbook could never provide. When you use this video atlas in conjunction with an anatomy text, you will become an expert in anatomy, I guarantee it. Again...I really cannot emphasise enough how amazing Acland's video atlas is...that's why I'm repeating myself!! I remember sitting down and watching the entire series over a period of a couple of weeks in preparation for a 3 hour anatomy exam containing prosection specimens and skeleton models and I did quite well. It's an amazing resource like I said, it will elevate you learning experience in a major way, I absolutely recommend it wholeheartedly.

    It's nice to have more than just 1 textbook for anatomy. I bought 2 textbooks - Clinically Oriented Anatomy, and Grey's Anatomy for students. Clinically Oriented Anatomy is a bit cumbersome, it's very wordy, even though it's excellent overall in terms of content, sometimes I prefer to use Grey's. Grey's contains much fewer words, but it doesn't really miss anything out...i.e. it is concise. I would recommend you have a look at Grey's, it really is fantastic. Amazing diagrams and pictures! Such an amazing resource for anatomy. I preferred it over Clinically Oriented Anatomy and used it more overall.

    Now, a really excellent feature of Clinically Oriented Anatomy is the inclusion of those blue clinical boxes, which are those sections specifically designated for clinical anatomy within each chapter. They're really great for linking pure anatomy to a clinical procedure, a surgical condition, embrylogical development, clinical condition, etc. Definitely one of the main highlights of the textbook for me. The thing is, when you learn anatomy as a medical student, you should always try to apply the anatomy to the clinical setting, i.e. clinical anatomy, rather than just studying pure anatomy alone without any clinical correlation.

    The introductory chapter in Clinically Oriented Anatomy is actually extremely useful, I'd definitely recommend you read through it. I found the part on the nervous system to be especially useful, for example.

    With regards to note taking...this comes down to personal preference. I didn't make a huge amount of notes for anatomy. It depends really...a technique that I find really useful is just to use a pencil and a highlighter when you're reading through a book, so you can underline and highlight important bits of information. Remember, you don't need to fully read and memorise every single page in its entirety. Be smart about it. Some things you don't really need to go into that much detail. Get familiar with your learning outcomes, find out exactly what your medical school wants you to learn. But for now, I'd definitely recommend you read the whole of the introductory chapter, it's fun and there's a lot of useful information and diagrams on there. But, like I said, be selective about what chapters and pages you choose to read, you are not expected to memorise the whole book, neither are you expected to memorise the attachment, insertion and innervation of every single muscle in the body.

    Lastly, you should relax for now, you still don't start university until September. Don't stress too much over it. In fact, it's admirable that you're already putting in the effort and starting to think about this early on, that's a great thing, it shows initiative and good sense. So...don't stress too much for now mate.

    Hope this helps. Good luck, and have fun. Get in touch with your anatomy demonstrators or lecturers once you start university, in case there's anything you need help with. It's their job to respond to your queries and try to provide any help if they can. And take it easy for now!! Things will become much clearer once you start uni, it's a bit difficult to try to read a textbook like Clinically Oriented before starting university. And remember, the best thing to do is always to link your anatomy learning to things like prosection/dissection. And frequently keep reminding yourself, 'what's the clinical relevance of the anatomy that I am learning now?' Once you begin the clinical phase and start attending placements, the focus will shift in such a huge way, you'll enter the real world of clinical medicine and surgery, anatomy comes in really handy later on, don't forget that.

    If you have any more questions or if anything is unclear, don't hesitate to ask.
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    (Original post by Hype en Ecosse)
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    Thanks. I guess I will try and do that then.

    (Original post by Stinkum)
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    Wow. Thank you for such a detailed reply(yours is probably the most relevant and the most useful by far). I will probably refer to it more than once during my first year of school. Will probably give you both a rep for the post and a rep for your profile. One last question though, for the video series, is it a six part series(the one below)?
    https://archive.org/details/Aclands....ivx6.mp3.wogre


    Thank you all so much for such detailed and useful info!

    EDIT: Decided to give everyone who gave useful/detailed replies [email protected], will rep your profile tomorrow, I had just hit the daily limit of rep.
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    Oh God. Please don't be THAT person. Gunner detected.
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    (Original post by 1drowssap)
    Thanks. I guess I will try and do that then.


    Wow. Thank you for such a detailed reply(yours is probably the most relevant and the most useful by far). I will probably refer to it more than once during my first year of school. Will probably give you both a rep for the post and a rep for your profile. One last question though, for the video series, is it a six part series(the one below)?
    https://archive.org/details/Aclands....ivx6.mp3.wogre


    Thank you all so much for such detailed and useful info!
    Yep that's it! The DVD contains 6 sections




    This thing is really amazing, I can't overstate that. It will literally blow your mind, words alone cannot describe how great it is! I was able to borrow the DVDs from my medical school library, you might be able to do the same, maybe you don't have to buy them straight away. I wish I found out about Acland's sooner, I only watched the videos at the end of my second year. They're not essential to learn anatomy and pass your exams, but they were a massive help for me and an amazing anatomy resource.
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    (Original post by 1drowssap)
    Thanks for the insights. Actually, I'm in a pretty unique situation, in that I have been out of the school system for about 3 years, and I think it might be pretty difficult for me to adjust back to the schooling system, and I'm also afraid that I may not be able to handle the increase in difficulty from A levels to medical school, so I really want to try and get a good foundation.

    I really hope that the part in bold doesn't happen, but I guess I don't want to be to shocked by the pace of the lessons either. Do you have any advice in getting a good foundation?

    I really don't want to fall behind.
    It will happen. Whatever you've learned in advance will be rapidly caught up with during regular teaching sessions, and although you might remember those bits you covered a bit better than others, it's not going to provide a massive advantage in the long run.

    As Hype has said, the best thing for you to do if you have had some time out of education is to go over your A-level topics and make sure you understand all the concepts which might be relevant to medicine. Also means you'll save money and not buy too many huge unwieldy textbooks which you don't need!
 
 
 
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