How To Study Anatomy Without Losing Your Sanity!


>>Hi, everyone. Welcome to the Penguin
Prof Channel. This is part of my college
success series on how to study anatomy without
losing your sanity. As you probably know, if
you’re a student of anatomy, anatomy is all about
naming structure. It’s all about memorizing names. It can be extremely dry
and difficult to get all of those strange names
in your head mainly because the names
themselves are very foreign. Most anatomical names
come from Greek and Latin. Some of them are actually
descriptive, if you happen to know Greek or Latin. Other names are eponyms. If you look at a lot
of names in anatomy, they’re extremely
descriptive, like I said, and it’s really worth
your while to get a book of Greek and Latin roots. I have some online, but a lot
of these words that you’re going to see here, you’re going to
see them over and over again. So the more familiar
you are with the terms, the easier it’s going
to be in the long run. Eponyms our terms that are named
for a person and, unfortunately, there’s no way of
getting around it. You just got to memorize them. So here are some general
tips that I have on how to get all these structures and
all of their names in your head. The first thing, of course,
is to stay organized. If you have a study guide,
that is your lifeline. You want to make copies
of it so you can color and make notes all over them. You want to partition out
all the things that you need to learn over the amount of time that you have before
you’re tested. And every day, you
want to add new terms, new structures to your brain. Study those. And also review the
previous ones that you’ve already covered. I call this “oh,
yeah” in your notes. So you look at something. You look at the list and you
say, okay, I know that and oh, yeah and close your eyes and see
can you visualize this structure in your head. If you can, then you’re
doing pretty well. The idea here is that the brain
learns new things by taking them and connecting them
to information that you already know. So that’s the key with all of
these techniques that I’m going to share with you today. You have to make connections
if you are going to learn new and often very foreign material. So some of the basic techniques that you’ve already probably
tried include the use of color, I love the anatomy
coloring books, drawing and writing not only the words, but actually sketching
the parts, especially if you’re
a visual learner. That can be really helpful. The value of repetition
for memorization, everybody knows, right? You got flashcards. They have flashcards
that are online. They have them that you can
carry on your mobile devices, whatever works for you, but
you want to use a variety of different types of
material because, otherwise, your brain’s going to get bored. It can be very numbing if you
use only one type of material. So get yourself lots and
lots of different versions of the same things so
you look at them in lots of different ways
from different angles. And that’s what’s going
to make them stick. I’m going to talk about
storytelling and etymology when I do the little demo here. I want to mention
mnemonics really quick. Mnemonics are extremely
powerful. They are memorization tools. There’s a little
bit of history here. There was actually a
Greek goddess of memory. That’s where this
term comes from. And basically, they’re fun. They’re often sexual. They sometimes make no sense. I actually love this one. It’s to help you learn the bones
in the wrists, the carpal bones. “Sacred lovers try positions
that they can’t handle,” right. So they’re stupid, little
sometimes rhymes or statements that help you to memorize
things that, quite frankly, otherwise may not have
any meaning for you. So here we go. I’m going to use some other
techniques in etymology and storytelling as we
approach bones of the skull. So the first thing
that you want to do — So here’s my study guide
here, part of my study guide, for bones of the skull. And don’t panic, okay. Don’t panic. Start with what you
already know. You’re going to have
terms and structures that you may already
be familiar with, so make the easy
connections first, okay. Most people know frontal. At least it’s a word that you’re
familiar with and, of course, it’s the front of the skull. So that’s not too difficult. A lot of people know
the temporal bones because most people can
touch their temples, if you ask them to. Those are the temporal bones. A lot of folks know nasal,
right, referring to the nose. And you may know the mandible,
meaning the lower jaw. So start with those. That’s pretty cool, right? S you’ve already got
some terms that you know. Now, you want to approach the
ones that aren’t so familiar. Let’s start with
the parietal bone. So let’s say I don’t know
anything about the parietal bone and I’ve never seen
this word before. The first thing that I want to
do is see if it means something. So here’s some references
where you can go and look up the meaning of words. And if you look parietal,
you’ll see where it comes from. It comes from the Latin,
referring to walls. So basically, if you look back
at the skull and you think about a wall, well, that
kind of makes sense. The parietal bone is an
enormous bone, two actually, that make up a huge
percentage of the cranial vault. So the connection
here is tell a story, something that you can remember. So the parietal bone
surrounds the brain and protect it just like walls. So if you can attach something
which you already know, that is a wall, to
something that’s new, that’s the parietal bone,
your brain kind of has a place to put that information. So that’s kind of cool. Let’s look at another one. Here’s the occipital bone. So the occipital bone — By the way, you notice
I’m using colors. I color code my study
guide to match the colors that the textbook uses
for each of these bones. So here’s the occipital bone. I look it up and it
means back of the skull. Okay, well, that’s not
super, super helpful. But you might notice that the
root of the word is also used in a lot of terms relating
to vision, like ocular. So it turns out that
the occipital lobe of the brain is responsible
for vision. Okay, well, that’s something
that I know something about. So now I can relate
occipital bone to vision. And now look, the
professor has two features on the occipital bone
that I also have to know. I don’t know what those are
either, so I want to look at my handy-dandy list
of Greek and Latin terms to see what those guys mean. A condyle is a knob
at the end of a bone. It reminds me a lot of knuckles. So I have an image of knuckles that I can associate
now with a condyle. Foramen means whole,
and it comes from the Latin, meaning
to pierce. Actually, that’s still used
in Italian as well, forame. The more languages
you know, by the way, the better anatomy gets. Now that’s kind of
a gross picture, but you’re actually
going to remember it. So foramen means hole. Magnum is a word you
probably already know. It means big or great. Most people associate
magnum with a handgun from Smith and Wesson. So now, I’ve got the
occipital condyles here. Those look like knuckles, right,
and I’ve got the foramen magnum, which is a big hole,
right there in the middle. So what you want to do
is put it all together and tell yourself a story. These are the connections
that are going to help you to remember. The occipital bone is
at the back of the head and protects the
occipital lobe of the brain, which controls vision. So I’ve got that all
attached there in my brain. I’ve got the occipital condyles. I think about knuckles
when I see that term. I’ve got these two
knuckles here. And then I’ve got a
huge hole, the foramen, which I can shoot with a magnum. Now I admit that
that’s a strange story, but what you’ve done
is you’ve taken terms, which were completely
unfamiliar, and you’ve put them together
in a story of pieces, which are familiar,
albeit strange. A lot of people like to
have one single image to put all these
things together. I often look for a single image
that can tie my story together because that, I can
remember fairly quickly. And I found this one. This is really strange but real. This is called iGiveUp. It’s a real Bluetooth
headset for the iPhone. Now it’s stupid, right? I mean, everybody
would admit that, unless you just bought one,
in which case, I apologize. But you will remember it,
and that’s the key, right. You have to excite your brain when you are trying
to remember things. And the brain remembers
information when it’s attached to emotional experiences. Boy, the media and advertisers,
they sure know that. So why not use it
for your studies? One of the best ways to
excite your brain, of course, is to be social,
study with friends. It eases the pain and it
allows you to share the stories that you’ve come up with
so you don’t have to come up with all of them on your own. Share them with friends. I wish you good luck. And as always, I thank you for visiting the
Penguin Prof Channel. Please comment, rate
and subscribe. Thanks so much.