This week has been anatomy filled with my medical class dissecting the back and posterior neck region. Having taken an anatomy class last year, I was eager to begin lab and have been loving it thus far. My lab uses human-donor bodies which can be an adjustment for many people emotionally (Check out my post post about it). However, preparing for lab can also be an academic adjustment so I thought I’d share how I prepare for each lab in a scholastic sense.
Watch dissection videos
Schools usually provide these for you although some can be found online. I watch them once the night before then try to re-watch them just prior to the actual lab in the morning.
Here is a link to the coloring book I use. It is my favorite because it has so many different perspectives of the muscles, bones, and nerves. Plus, it feels a little less like studying and a little more like art so it can be a nice break while still being productive.
Having a thousand flashcards is not going to be helpful. I try to keep one flashcard per muscle and include attachments, function, and innervation.
Utilize multiple diagrams
I look up diagrams online in addition to ones provided by faculty. This way I see a variety of ways in which the material is presented and tested. The internet is a great resource and can be really helpful for finding quizzes or unlabeled diagrams that you can self-test yourself with.
While in lab…
I try to teach my lab group members what I know and then we alternate and they teach me. We like to quiz each other sporadically throughout to help us study as well.
I also make time to wander around the lab and check out what the other donors look like since there is a lot of variation and it’s important to be able to identify structures on all bodies.
I hope some of these tips help. Anatomy is so great so be sure to enjoy it and get the most of your experience!