Let’s see, what can I say? Yet another anatomy exam is just a week away, which brings with it unwanted anxiety. I woke up today with a knot in my stomach. It was anatomy calling. My nervous system is preparing itself for the onslaught of mind numbing memorization that is going to take place this week. The only way you can pass this course is repetition, repetition, repetition–hoping that my last review sticks long enough to remember on the exam. To my surprise, I’ve actually enjoyed this exam’s material much more than the pervious one. (I’ll take limb muscles over the urogenital triangle any day!). A good omen perhaps?
I have a love/hate relationship with anatomy. When it’s clicking and things are getting committed to memory and I can rock the identification game in the lab, I feel anatomy and I are great friends. So far, anatomy and I have been BFFs. Let’s hope this relationship lasts. It is mainly when I’ve spent days studying the arm and shoulder feeling confident, then I look back at the muscles of the anterior thigh and realize I no longer remember what nerves are there that anatomy and I begin to have major relationship issues. You son of #&%*!
To give all my non-med school readers a glimpse into how studying for an anatomy exam works, below is a picture of the brachial plexus (basically a big tangle of nerves that innervate lots of stuff in the shoulder, arm, etc.). Now memorize each nerve, what it innervates, how the nerve changes names as it courses to different areas of the body and of course, don’t forget what cranial segments contribute to it! This little map, that I now have solidly burned into my brain, represents maybe 5% of the material you’ll need to know.
Of course, in the body things are never quite as clear…not once appearing as a Netter’s or Gray’s Anatomy illustration may have you think.