The subject of Anatomy, to me, seems very boring, dry, and sometimes hard because of the boring nature of the subject. Unfortunately, the question banks don’t really give enough images to fully grasp the anatomical figures in the questions. You probably heard that Anatomy subject is low-yield, but don’t count on it. The Anatomy subject should be given a good amount of attention, especially CT scans. Neuroanatomy is very high-yield and you should be familiar with the overall picture of the brain. Questions can give you a scenario of a dysfunction of a patient, and they may ask you which part of the brain contains the nucleus that is damaged that caused the dysfunction.
The best way for me to grasp Anatomy is to look at the body in all angles. For example, I had a hard time to distinguish the cricothyroid muscle from the other surrounding muscles because the images online doesn’t show an isolated picture of the target muscle. I’m a visual person so, picturing the anatomical structure helps in me answering questions. For example, horseshoe kidney is fused at the inferior poles in Turner Syndrome patients, and it cannot ascend because the inferior mesenteric artery stops it. I had to imagine that in order to grasp the concept.
I found 3D Human Anatomy Atlas 2 by Visible Body; it is a software for both PC and Mac. It’s also an app which is also available for iPhone and iPad users on the Apple App Store and Android users on Google Play store.. The App is incredible and it’s one of the top-rated medical app on the Apple App Store. If you don’t have a tablet, you can still get the computer-based software; however, navigating via a tablet makes things more efficient. The software allows you to rotate the anatomical figures in 360 degrees position so you can see the anatomical figure in all angles. Also if you have an organ or tissue that is blocking the view of your target anatomical structures then you can either fade is or hide it from view. The app also allows you to take screen capture and share it with others. I used the software to draw out the figure for a previous post, Adrenal Glands – First Aid for the USMLE Step 1. If you have the iPad with retina display, the app takes advantage of the sharp display and shows it with incredible precision. The app costs about $40 for the iPad; I’m not sure about the prices for other platforms. When I bought a MacBook Pro with a student discount, I was given a $100 Apple gift card, which I used to buy the app.
Anyways, studying anatomy just from pictures is hard, and I prefer to study smart not hard so, I invested the money in getting what I need to study better. I recommend 3D Human Anatomy Atlas 2 by Visible Body for everybody, especially for people who are visually oriented learners. This study tool worked for me, but I can’t guarantee that it’ll work for you, but try it and see.