Anatomy is one of the most difficult and content-rich subjects you have to contend with in your Caribbean medical school. Many students find anatomy a tedious, time-consuming and mind-boggling subject. How can anyone be expected to commit to memory a seemingly interminable array of bones and muscles and their respective functions, when you have tons of other equally-challenging courses such as pharmacology, physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, and neuro-science on your plate.
Studying anatomy can be overwhelming if you don’t have an effective study plan. With some time, hard work, and effective learning and memorization techniques, you can make this subject interesting, easy and engaging. Here are some easy tips and strategies for Caribbean medical students, that can help them learn anatomy effectively while enabling them to garner impressive grades.
During the course of your Caribbean medical school, you will be taught several courses throughout the semester simultaneously. When it comes to learning about the complex structure of the human body, you need to organize yourself, create a schedule and stick to it. Being a Caribbean medical student, you can understand how overwhelming and stressful it can be to cram all the copious course material you learned during the entire semester, in the week preceding your exam. It is not the best study choice at all. Make a study plan, allocate 90-120 minutes for outside study so that you can keep up with your class material. Establishing effective, short and frequent study sessions throughout the week will surely improve your retention of the material and avoid burnouts during the examinations.
We know how overwhelming it can be when you are expected to learn and remember volumes of intricate terms, definitions, and concepts in a short period of time. It is vital to cultivate a habit of reviewing your coursework on a daily basis to keep all the material fresh. Set aside time for memorizing the tedious anatomical terminologies, cellular processes, and tissue classifications. Reread your notes many times after each class and pay special attention to the complex terms and their definitions you struggle with. Trust me, studying basic concepts, theories and terms frequently will help you improve your understanding of the subject matter, while contributing to your overall success.
Learning such a tough subject takes time and effort. The human brain learns by seeing, hearing, feeling and detecting motion. To get the most from your study time, it is important to determine your learning style. Are you a visual, auditory or tactile learner, or a combination of multiple types? If you are an aural learner for instance, you can record your class lectures and information you have picked up from labs. If you are a visual learner, you can absorb the information and clear your concepts by seeing the real things in the flesh. Try different styles and check which one suits you best and then alter your study habits accordingly.
A large number of the terms used in anatomy will seem difficult for students who don’t have a preliminary grasp of the subject. However, you can stay abreast of different terminologies by keeping a glossary with you every time. It is because the same language is used for different body parts, therefore, learning generalized terms can be really helpful to improve your overall anatomy learning experience.
Believe it or not, studying in groups is an effective way to retain information and identify your weak spots. Having a study group can also encourage you to study and keep you accountable. It is advised to meet your fellow group members weekly or monthly to go through all the lectures notes and textbook readings. It will help you recall things that might have slipped your mind.
You can test your knowledge and gear yourself up for the final exams by taking online quizzes. It will help you get the real sense what the examination will be like. You can create the quiz questions with your group members and quiz each other or simply use online quiz material that will eventually lead to better performance in exams. Pay extra attention to areas in which you didn’t perform well.
When taking notes during your anatomy class, it is recommended to record only important points or telegraphic sentences. Create questions based on the lecture material immediately after the session, this will surely help retention of the material and provide study questions for the upcoming quizzes and exams.
While it’s great to find your study routine and come up with what works for you. It is advised to use different study methods to clear the concepts and learn complex things. You can make flashcards and use them for recalling the information instead of rereading and rewriting the material. When you have learned the topic, recall the information without any assistance by creating flashcards. This is the best way to improve retention and prepare you for exams.
YouTube is a good resource as it provides both visual and auditory information. There are many medical YouTube channels that use simple illustrations, 3D anatomical models, anatomical charts, and cadavers which make learning anatomy not only easy but enjoyable as well.
Learning human anatomy is no easy feat, it will take a considerable amount of time, dedication and effort. Therefore, you need to organize yourself and set aside an hour or two to study anatomy outside of class. Following the above-cited tips will definitely help you get good grades in your human anatomy course or any other subject that you learn in a Caribbean medical school.