A Simple Tip on Self-Studying in Gross Anatomy

Diana Kim, 3rd year dental student
thetoothbank.org (3)

Hello Incoming D1s! This one is for you~

As a D1, one of the classes that took a lot of getting used to was Gross Anatomy. For the 1st week of Anatomy, I continued to ask myself DO I REALLY HAVE TO KNOW THIS?! Do I really need to know each bone, muscle, attachment, and innervation?

For the most part, the answer is YES. Some structures and facts are more high yield but the sooner you start, the easier the memorization will be. For me, Anatomy was all about REPETITION.

Learn it by understanding, memorize it by repeating, and test yourself with a study buddy!

My simple tip is using a note-taking app called GoodNotes to help me memorize each structure and in this video I go through a simple easy technique to self-test yourself if you don’t have anyone to study with that day~

(1) Use an eraser tool to block out the names of the structures.
(2) Use the lasso tool to screenshot the blank image.
(3) Copy and Paste it into a new page.
(4) PRACTICE writing out each structure.
(5) Look back to the original for some hints.
(6) Click “Clear Page” to keep practicing.

Using this simple trick, I was able to quickly test myself by labeling branches of the abdominal aorta, branches of the Cranial Nerves, the foramina of the skull, and more!

Other advice-

  • try to break up your studying over several days, cramming doesn’t work well in dental school. If your exam is on 10 lectures and your exam is 1 week out. Do 2 lectures a day, and leave the last 1-2 days for practice questions. At the end of each day, reflect on what you learned. Summarize each lecture into your own words.

How do you know when you have studied “enough”? 

I ask myself, “Would I be able to teach the material back to someone else?” This is the ultimate question because if you understand the material well enough to be able to explain it to another individual, you are on the right track!

More tricks/tips to come!

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