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How to Study Anatomy?

How to Study Anatomy?

What is Anatomy?

Anatomy is the study of the structure of living organisms. Anatomy can be further divided into:

  • Gross Anatomy – Study of large-scale anatomical structures
  • Microscopic Anatomy – Study of microscopic anatomical structures 

Human anatomy deals with anatomical structures of the human body, including cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems. Use of anatomical models, histological slides, skeletal materials and cadaver demonstrations are  important aspects of studying Anatomy. 

How to study Anatomy?

First question pops up in every medical student’s mind when enter into the medical school is “How to study human Anatomy quickly and efficiently?”

We’ve explained all of the most effective methods to cut your study time in half and retain more. 

Anatomy is one of the difficult subjects, yet interesting subject in medical school. Your knowledge in Anatomy will help you throughout your carrier, also one day it will be lifesaving.

So I’ll give you some tips to study Anatomy effectively in a short time and to score highest marks in your exams. 

1) Create a suitable environment to study

Creating a good learning environment allows you to maximize your learning efficiency. Combination of effective time management, good reading and note taking skills, Illustration skills, creating effective test taking strategies and your hard work will give you a productive outcome. Identify all of your environmental distractions that interfere with your concentration. STARVE YOUR DISTRACTIONS, FEED YOUR FOCUS! That’s the key to success.

2) Have a brief introduction in your mind

In the very first day of your semester you should have a clear idea on the content that you are going to study. For Example, if you’re learning Anatomy of the Abdomen, you should have put a clear sketch on your mind that you’re going to study Stomach, Liver, Pancreas etc and the blood supply, nerve supply, histology and embryology of each organ and the related clinical cases etc. You can get ideas from your senior students to know the structure and contents of the chapter you’re going to study. 

3) Find a good Anatomy Book with clear illustrations

This is the very important key in learning, because you can’t understand the real human anatomy without a clear diagram. Just reading the text book has nearly ZERO impact, if you don’t go through clear anatomical illustrations. Grey’s Anatomy Books is one of the popular books used by students that gives you a clear idea in a simple way and it has beautiful illustrations too that aids more retention of knowledge. Other popular books : 

  • Grants Atlas of Anatomy
  • Last’s Anatomy
  • Ellis Clinical Anatomy
  • Snell Clinical Anatomy by Regions

You can download more Anatomy Books on our website. Click here

4) Use 3D anatomy tools

3D Anatomy software and 3D models will actually help you study Anatomy. For some topics, it’s probably much more useful than others. Muscle anatomy and anatomy of brain are some topics that really need a 3D model to understand. You can move the structures in three dimensional plane and study Anatomy in medical school more effectively. 

We’ve integrated some 3D structures on our website where you can study Anatomy on your smart devices for free.

5) Make your own notes

Make your own notes for each chapter. Because when you make notes, you gain more knowledge. Having a habit of taking short notes for each chapter will help you recall everything in the night before exams. Combination of short notes and illustrations will help you learn Anatomy faster and easier. 

6. Study actively

Studying Anatomy is not just like reading a story book. Active study techniques are very important, especially when it comes to learning about human anatomy. 

It takes so much of your time when you study a complicated subject like Anatomy. So you have to listen to your professor lecturing, use reading materials, books, illustrations, short notes and you’ll feel the anatomical models when you dissect a cadaver or using 3D models in your laboratories.

You can see clear dissection images here

There are several active study tips including flashcards, mnemonics, study cards, illustrations and drawing books that can help you boost your anatomy knowledge. 

7) Get Creative, Draw your own diagrams

This is a super effective method which boosts your Anatomy knowledge. After learning a structure, draw your own diagrams on your practice book or papers and label the structures. Use your artistic skills to help you study. So you’re unlikely to forget the structures easily help you study Anatomy effectively in medical school.

8) Repetition

The more you learn, you’re more likely to forget many small facts and terminologies. So what you should need to keep everything that you’ve learned on your mind is to repeat what you’ve learned again and again. You can revise your notes daily, weekly or monthly, but repetition is essential to sharpen your anatomy knowledge. 

9) Memorization tactics

This methods makes your learning easy. You can use various methods like Mnemonics, Flashcards, diagrams, charts etc. 

For example, the Mnemonic “SCALP” can help you remember the anatomical layers of the scalp in order.

S Skin,

C – Connective tissue,


LLoose connective tissue,


We’ve recently published a Medical MNEMONICS eBook that will help you greatly. This book is a combination of mnemonics in various subjects. 

10) Understand your learning style

Figure out what learning style suits you well. Do 3D tools work for you? Are you a verbal learner? Most students are a combination of learning styles, so you have to figure out your suitable learning style to be more effective. Then maximize your study efforts in your own way to score high. If rewriting notes don’t work then don’t use them. If flash cards helps you remember, then do that!

11) Work in groups

Perhaps for some students working in groups can be of benefit. Sometimes having your friends to give you explanations or to quiz you or discussing the past papers can help you retain more and more. At the same time, having a group of friends for studies will keep you motivated to study. Peer teaching has been found in studies to be very effective in helping retain more material. 

12) Stay motivated

This is very important. Because no one is going to push you. In a stressful course like medicine, there are lot of things to be studied in a short period. So if you don’t motivate yourself then you will procrastinate. So find ways to motivate yourself to study. As mentioned earlier, try working with friends so you can motivate each other. Make a plan, put a time table and have your own motivation and self discipline to study anatomy. 

13) Quiz yourself

Test your knowledge again and again. You can make your own questions with your friends and quiz each other or use past papers or model papers provided by your institute or teachers. This is a must-do activity if you want to score high marks, because you exactly know what you’re supposed to study. 

14) Review your mistakes

Truth is, when you do self review and when you make a mistake, if you correct it by your reference materials then you’re very unlikely to forget it. So always pay extra attention to what you got wrong.

15) Take advantage of the resources available to you

There are actually a lot of resources available to you to make your studying endeavors easier. You should use all of the resources and combination of learning techniques to maximize your studying effectiveness and reinforce the concepts. You can take advantage of your textbooks, class handouts, reading materials, lab material your professor provides,  Anatomy 3D Models and also there are many online resources that are accessible by students.

You can get access to our Medical Resources Library to get access to more than 300 medical presentations and all other medical resources that will be helpful for your entire career. 

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