Hello everyone! This is Vanni and I am writing this abnormal post on how to score normally in ANATOMY.
Anatomy is the glam subject of 1st year which exposes you to parts of the human body which you would only expect to touch if you were a zombie. Well hey!! They like brains!! From taking pictures with organs like they were your best friends and getting oooo’s and aahhhhh’s from your relatives who start respecting you like you were some superhero… believe me after all the taunts, you deserve that respect from them even if you did nothing but just… POSE!!
Well, coming back to the topic at hand.
3 months into flaunting my knowledge about nerves, vessels, muscles etcetera when I was randomly asked… “What was the meaning of anatomy?”, I muttered “study of human body” & I found myself to be partially wrong!! Bewildered and amused I asked for the answer. And well,
Anatomy basically means to cut open or the most exciting word for 1st year “to dissect”. Feeling embarrassed to the core, I decided to start from the very basics (don’t worry, most of you won’t be like me but to those who didn’t know till now… I sympathize).
So, how to master this beautiful subject?… (Don’t scoff because I know this subject can get on your nerves, especially when nerves get on your nerves). Here are some tips which I think might be helpful in the long run because anatomy is never going to leave you, so better be good at it.
#1 GETTING OVER YOUR F.E.A.R – There will be many people who will be scared of anatomy. Well it’s understandable because the body is a big jumble of arteries, veins, nerves, and not to forget lymphatics. So my first tip for you guys is learn to love the subject. Feels like an arranged marriage? No it isn’t, once you try to understand the beauty of the subject, you will just love that how every part of the body assists each other to maintain life. Be passionate about it because that’s the only thing that will help. Either Forget Everything And Run or Face Everything And Rise.
#2 DISSECT AND LEARN After making up your mind to at least start liking anatomy, try looking at it as if it’s a wonder. You might be wondering that I have lost it but… not really!! Download the app Essential Anatomy because if you can’t visualise, this app helps you do it!! Pay utmost attention in dissection because visual memory is the sharpest. The more you see, the more you remember! After coming back home TRY reading what you see in dissection because that will help you retain the topic for long. I know you all will be mentally exhausted after dissection and all you want to do is gloat at the huge task you did but start studying already!
You can use atlases like Netter or Grant. They are the written counterparts of the app for all book lovers!! This is a great help for osteology and helps in easy understanding.
#3 UNDERSTANDING THE TERMS– After reading Anatomy, feel like you just stumbled upon Greek or Latin texts? Get your terms cleared. In this subject there will be words, that make the roots of the tree that you are trying to climb. If you know the words or say the etymology very well, you will conquer half anatomy. Feels great, right? It will help clear confusion between terms like quadratus femoris and quadriceps femoris!!
This was all about starting with the subject. Now, how to proceed?
#4 ART OF READING- If you aren’t much of a reader, start asap!! Because the more you read the better you write! Studying Grays anatomy was my dream but it’s hardly possible given anatomy has so many parts to it. All these books compiled together can work as effective dumbbells if you are the exercise freak.
So start reading BDC side by side with your lectures if possible on the same day because that will help reduce the immense pile up of portion which might give you a heart attack.
Frequently neglected parts like Embryology and Histology make the Crux of Anatomy which get you extra brownie points, so please, please don’t neglect!
#5 LEARN THE DIGITAL WAY- As I said earlier, visual memory is the best, so if you can start watching videos of Najeeb or Kaplan, preferably the former, it’ll help clear your basics to a great extent. Try making notes of such videos instead of writing down the textbook itself because everything is very important, also, videos are more interesting than reading the text blandly. Please try reading Grays Anatomy for topics like middle ear, pharynx, larynx, etc because it’s beautifully explained.
#6 SHORTCUTS & MNEMONICS- Feel like Amir Khan in Ghajini after reading Anatomy? Don’t worry, you won’t need to etch it on your skin to remember. You just need to keep reading it again which isn’t really possible, so try finding mnemonics for simple stuff. You will find examples in BDC. Try making stuff of your own, like stories and all because the more imaginative you are, the stronger your memory!
Also use markings from your seniors and refer to questions from Bhalani as this helps for your last minute revisions since you can’t do the entire textbook a day before!
#7 PRESENTATION SKILLS- It’s not that important how much you write in your exam as to how you present it. Illustrations always en capture attention. Stands true in anatomy as well. Basically most people don’t have the time to read your extremely long answers (it’s a big talent if you can write that long) but the more you draw, the better you score because it actually shows that you’ve understood something practically and not just mugged it up. Use different colours for veins, nerves, etc and label it well. You don’t need to be Picasso, so chill !
#8 DISCOVERING THE LESS IMPORTANT TOPICS- It’s always wise to know the A-Z of a topic. Speaking about often neglected topics like embryology and histology, you always think that “ho jaayega end mein, let’s leave it!” But DO NOT do this. Embryology is the most important topic for viva’s and also it is mandatory in all LAQ’s. And trust me, it’s really interesting! Some people like me are dyslexic towards histology, everything seems like a kidney and GIT is the worst so what you can do is make sure to complete your journal by yourself, that is the easiest way to ace histo because you always remember what you read and draw, and it is very important in theory as well!! Don’t just get done with the task by copying from someone’s journal because it might seem like the easier path but that’s a misunderstanding.
Neuroanatomy is vast but you can score well enough by reading at least the important topics. Practice diagrams here especially, otherwise it’s difficult to understand and it’s fun teaching the brain about the brain, right?
For topics like general anatomy, you can read if you are a bibliophile…. but most people ignore it… so you can stick to the markings and be done with it.
#9 THE NOTES- Making notes can help if they are short and precise. For some people like me who think everything is important, notes are a waste of time since you copy down basically everything. What you can do is maybe write down a topic and write down its subtitles so that at least you won’t forget to mention all the points in your answer. It also aids quick revision. Elaborating on these points is very easy since that is the basic thing you learn in MBBS.
#10 FACING THE MUCH DREADED EXAM- Now how to write the exam to score the maximum?
First do not increase the number of pages per answer by repeating the points in active and passive voice. Instead make sure you present your views with the help of diagrams and effective flowcharts which decrease the content but increase the effectiveness.
Handwriting makes your paper more beautiful but if you aren’t the calligrapher it’s totally cool, just make sure it doesn’t look shabby.
Write the answers using different points and subtitles which will make it easier for the examiner to read. For eg. If it’s an organ, mention location, quadrants, size, shape, surface, relations, nerve supply, blood supply, lymphatics, embryology and histology. This distribution will surely impress the examiner and get you some brownie points.
Even if you aren’t sure about an answer, you can at least draw diagrams.
Just make sure your paper looks presentable if not elegant and the content should be precise and scoring will become easy peasy.
Do not fret during exams. Sleep well and enjoy because one exam wouldn’t change your life, but lack of sleep might.
Anatomy is easy if you want to learn and it’s easier to score if you just know your basics well.
Remember Aim to Learn more, Not Score more, because no one will ask your marks later but everyone will respect your knowledge.
I hope this post helped in some way. All the best to you guys!
You can read other articles by me (if you liked this one).
Any comments or suggestions are welcome. Till then Toodles!