How to Study Physiology
How to Study Physiology?
What is Physiology?
Physiology is the scientific study of a living system’s functions and mechanisms. We explore the mechanical, physical, and biochemical changes that occur inside a typical, healthy human body.
Physiology is a discipline in which you must understand the process rather than remembering concepts. Therefore, if you plan to study Physiology, you should also be familiar with Anatomy, as the two are interconnected.
Physiology, on the other hand, is one of the most important subjects to study if you’re a student of medicine, nursing, or any other health-related study that involves human lives. Because you need to know why a patient is showing specific clinical signs and symptoms, as well as why you’re conducting particular investigations and treatment.
How to study Physiology?
In medical school, physiology is one of the more challenging but interesting subjects. Your physiology knowledge will help you throughout your career, and it may even save someone’s life one day.
We’ve broken down all of the most effective ways to study Physiology so you can cut your study time in half and retain more information so you can ace your tests.
1) Create a suitable environment to study
You can enhance your academic success by creating a suitable learning environment. A productive outcome will be achieved through a combination of effective time management, excellent reading, and note-taking abilities, drawing abilities, developing appropriate test-taking techniques, and hard work. Identify all of the distractions in your surrounding that are interfering with your concentration. STARVE YOUR DISTRACTIONS, FEED YOUR FOCUS! That’s the key to success.
2) Know your basic Anatomy & Physiology
Keep in mind! Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathology are not only useful for tests; they’re also useful in everyday life. You don’t need to be an expert in Anatomy and Physiology to understand what happens inside the body during illness. If you’re studying the Physiology of the Brain this week, just recall the basic anatomical structure of the brain, surrounding structures, blood supply, and how the areas of the brain influence each function and the physiology of the brain. So, when your professor lectures about stroke in class, you’ll be able to understand how a blood clot restricts the cerebral artery and how it affects the functions of the brain.
3) Know the teaching style of your professor!
Every professor has their own teaching style. Some professors may provide you with study notes prior to lectures so that you may get a general idea about what to prepare. Some lecturers want students to learn independently through textbooks and research. You can ask your seniors how they studied the subject if you have such lecturers.
Some lecturers assign coursework and assignments based on the knowledge that is evaluated mainly through exams. As a result, you should concentrate more on such topics and questions.
4) Organize resources for studies
There are numerous resources available to assist you in your academic endeavors. To enhance your studying performance and reinforce the concepts in Physiology, you should use all of the resources and a variety of learning approaches. You can use your textbooks, class handouts, reading materials, and lab materials provided by your lecturer, as well as various online resources available to students.
- Textbooks: For your studies, always use standard textbooks. They give you resources that are quite trustworthy. Because you can clear up any unanswered doubts or brush up on a chapter you’re unfamiliar with.
- Reading materials: You should always study your university’s reading materials and notes. Because they will give you chapter-by-chapter notes on what you need to know for your tests.
- Google: For any topic, Google is always our best friend. To make learning easier, you can look up mnemonics, infographics, and word associations. However, always make sure you’re referring to reliable sources. Because not everything you find on the internet is 100% accurate. For high-quality and reliable information, I always use and recommend websites like Medscape, PubMed, and MayoClinic.
- YouTube: There are a variety of YouTubers who make learning more fun. On YouTube, many complex issues in physiology are described in an understandable manner. This is particularly beneficial for students who are visual or auditory learners.
You can gain access to our Medical Resources Library, which has over 300 medical presentations and other medical resources that will benefit you throughout your career.
5) Don’t just memorize the theories; Understand IT!
You won’t be able to memorize facts if you don’t understand them. You can create a diagram with all of the mechanisms and a study sheet for each disease. If you attempt to memorize the facts, you will quickly forget them. Therefore, you must understand the physiological processes involved in disease.
6) Take Notes
You will not remember all you hear, but writing notes will help you in remembering more. You may not understand all your professor says in class at sometimes. However, when you come back home and study your notes, you will have a better understanding of it. These notes will be extremely beneficial in understanding the topics presented in books and in your institute’s reading materials.
These notes are also the best way of getting excellent grades on your tests. Before your exams, you can concentrate more on these notes, and they will help you answer MCQs based on theories not included in your textbooks.
Professors may also tell you about memorizing techniques they’ve used in the past, which will help you revise the subject more effectively if you write them down. Physiology is a challenging yet exciting subject. Taking good notes on your own, on the other hand, will help you do well in exams and in your clinical practice.
7) Make some good flashcards
Physiology is one of the most essential and major subjects in medical, dentistry, and nursing school. You can make different types of flashcards, such as questions and answers, diseases and physiology, and so on. Before the exams, you can use flashcards in the form of questions and answers.
Make flashcards out of the chapters that are most essential to you and the topics that you tend to forget. So, the revision will be much easier than poring over the textbooks again and again.
Additionally, flashcards have a visual impact on your brain that aids with the retention of information. Small theories like “light reflex” or “physiology of cardiac output regulation” can serve as excellent flashcards for last-minute preparations. To back up your theory, draw an occluded vessel with a thrombus to show myocardial infarction, and that image will remain in your mind for years.
I used to design beautiful flashcards to describe the pathophysiology and clinical presentation of each disease during my studies. I’ve created it as a high-resolution PDF eBook that you can download and print yourself.
8) Design Study Sheets
Creating study sheets for each exam, similar to flashcards, might be immensely helpful. You can make a note on one page that covers every important point of that chapter using other resources such as lecture notes, textbooks, and flashcards. As a result, you will be able to revise the notes in a short period of time before the exam.
If you’re building a study sheet on Cardiovascular Physiology, for example, you can add more sub-sections like Baroreceptor Mechanism, Postural Hypotension, and so on, and include the Physiology of each on one page. So you can compare and understand the progression of the disease.
9) Create Mnemonics
Mnemonics have been extremely useful in my medical career and there are excellent memory aides. Because you must remember diseases that are quite similar in physiology, mnemonics will assist you in memorizing them separately. If you do a google search on the topic you’re working on, you’ll find tons of mnemonics. Mnemonics may help you retain a lot of information in a short period of time, and you may use them for any subject in medicine, from Anatomy to Surgery.
You can make your own mnemonics and write them down to help you recall the chapter more quickly and easily. I used a lot of mnemonics during my medical school years. They are available as ebooks for download.
10) Use word association to remember facts
When studying physiology, you’ll come across a lot of unusual and challenging words that can be difficult to remember. The use of word associations will greatly assist you in this process.
For instance, you can connect the words Thrombus and Embolus as,
- Thrombus is Tight – Thrombus is fixed at a place.
- Embolus Escapes – Embolus dislodge and travel to a distant place.
I love these simple approaches for studying any subject, such as mnemonics and word associations. My friends joke me for constructing creative mnemonics to help me recall difficult concepts, particularly in pharmacology. But, even after the examinations, we never forgot them. They’re effective ways to remember any chapter for a long time.
11) Find out what kind of learner you are.
Choose your style of learning. This is applicable not only for physiology but for any medical or nursing school subject. Do you had success using mnemonics and flashcards? Are you a student who prefers to connect with words? Because most students have a combination of learning styles, you must identify your most effective learning style. Then, in your own unique method, maximize your study efforts to achieve good marks. If rewriting notes don’t work then don’t use them. If flashcards help you remember, then do that!
12) Record the Lectures
This is something I recommend after every lecture so you can catch up on anything you may have missed during the session. If you’re allowed to record the lecture, this is a good option. Recording your lectures will assist you in revising them. You can listen to them in your free time to learn more. This will definitely aid in the process of memorizing of the key theories discussed in the lectures.
However, don’t put too much weight into recording and listening to it again. Listen to the lecture and try to jot down some notes during it. Because if you try to make a note after you’ve arrived home, you’ll be wasting time twice. Because in medical school, time management is essential.
13) Study actively
studying physiology is not the same as reading a novel. Active learning strategies are critical, especially when learning about the physiological processes that occur inside our bodies.
When you’re studying a difficult topic like Physiology, it takes up a lot of your time. As a result, you must pay attention to your professor’s lectures and employ reading materials, books, flowcharts, short notes, etc
14) Engage in groups.
You don’t always grasp the concepts right away, especially in difficult subjects like physiology. Working in groups can thus be beneficial to some students. Having your peers explain complicated Physiological processes to you, quiz you, or discuss past papers can sometimes help you recall more information. Having a study group of friends, on the other hand, will keep you motivated to study. Peer teaching has been shown to be quite beneficial in helping students retain more information in studies.
15) Repetition is important.
You’re more likely to forget many complex mechanisms the more you learn. So, in order to keep whatever you’ve learned clear and simple, you need repeat what you’ve learned over and over. You can review your notes on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, but repetition is necessary to improve your memory.
16) Quiz yourself
Continue to put your knowledge to the test. You can create your own questions and quiz each other with your friends, or you can use past papers or model papers provided by your institute or lecturers. If you want to get good grades, this is a must-do task because you’ll know exactly what you need to study.
17) Analyze your mistakes.
When you undertake self-review and make a mistake, if you correct it with your reference resources, you’re unlikely to forget about it. As a result, always pay careful attention to where you went wrong.