How to Study Anatomy [10 Working Tips]

How to study anatomy

How to study anatomy (10 Working Tips)- Alongside other medical and pharmaceutical courses like pharmacology and plant biochemistry, anatomy is considered one of the toughest courses medical students must study.

Human anatomy is the study of how the human body works, and for one of the most complex organisms on earth, the human body provides so much to study, so if you are wondering why anatomy is difficult to study, do not beat yourself up for it.

Anatomy is a tough course, and you should understand this before you begin. Why is anatomy so difficult? The only major problem that students face when trying to study anatomy is memorization. There is so much to commit to memory in anatomy that after studying several concepts, 50% of students usually forget the first parts they studied.

If you are reading this you have probably tried studying anatomy and found it very difficult that you thought you were not going about it the right way. However, there is no other way to study anatomy than actually studying it.

Some students ask funny questions like “How can I study anatomy in one day? How can I study anatomy in two days? How can I study anatomy in one week?”

Anatomy is not a piece of cake, so to master it you have to put lots of effort. No matter how difficult or bulky a medical course is, there is always an easier way around it. What is the easiest way to study anatomy? How do people study anatomy?

This article will explain how to study anatomy effectively, give tips on how to study anatomy, and give other helpful pieces of information that will help you master anatomy.

Tips on How to Study Anatomy

  • Have an anatomy glossary book
  • Study very frequently
  • Use videos on YouTube to revise your studies
  • Join study groups/brainstorming sessions
  • Discuss topics one on one with close friends
  • Repetition is important
  • Carefully group the course into sections
  • Use the function of a group of structures to remember the components
  • Watch graphic videos if you need to
  • Use flashcards, mnemonics, and reference books

Have an anatomy glossary book

In anatomy, you have to learn a lot of terms that it feels like another language. Have a book for glossary of anatomy terms, as it will help you remember them. Instead of trying to understand what every word means, try understanding the component words, suffixes and prefixes all mean. That way, without ever having heard of a word, you can discern the meaning.

You can download comprehensive anatomy dictionaries and check for meanings of words you do not know. When writing down the difficult words in your glossary, write down abbreviations or short forms of the meanings so that when reading later, you can task yourself to figure out the meanings from the abbreviations.

Study very frequently

When trying to study anatomy, studying very frequently is very important. The more you study frequently, the more you can keep the bulk in your brain. Always revise it and do not spend as much as 30 hours without reading through it.

Only one concept in anatomy is very bulky and you cannot afford to keep going back and forth. Looking through the sections you have read will help you retain the memories. If you cannot study frequently when mastering anatomy, it is likely that you will forget the beginning when you move on to next chapters.

Studying anatomy is similar to studying other difficult medical courses. The huge difference is the bulkiness, glossary and complexity, and if you managed to pass other courses, simply study the same way but longer and harder.

How to study anatomy? Just study it like your life depends on it; in other words, study it frequently until you master it.

Use videos on YouTube to revise your studies

Indian Youtubers are among the best Youtubers that can help you master anatomy easily. There are also Chinese or English tutors on Youtube that have the best tricks to help you learn anatomy in the easiest ways possible.

After reading a section of anatomy, check Youtube to see videos made about the topic. The best ones would be render videos that show animated biological systems. The render videos are like practicals that take you through the human anatomical system.

By watching the videos, you can easily remember the parts and the functions.  This tip is not only very helpful for studying anatomy, it is also very useful for other tough medical courses.

While using this tip, do not check the new Youtubers. There may be mistakes and not-so-perfect explanations. An example of Youtube tutors to see is Professor Dave Explains. He is a very good tutor and explains it so you can understand and commit it to memory easily.

Join study groups/brainstorming sessions

It is very important for every medical student to join brainstorming sessions. Brainstorming with your classmates has a great advantage especially in bulky courses like anatomy.

When trying to understand how to study anatomy, the important thing you need to remember is that you are studying how the human body works, every single part and their functions. This will help you remember that it will be easier if you engage with other people and put a lot of effort into studying it.

Apart from anatomy, study other medical courses with your classmates. You can quickly get corrected when you make a mistake, and that incident will help you remember to answer the question correctly if you see the same question in the anatomy exams.

For anatomy, join study groups and engage in the discussions. Do not be afraid to answer and get corrected. This will help you when mastering anatomy.

Discuss topics one on one with close friends

Discussion is one way to tackle tough courses. Discussing anatomy after studying it will keep it longer in your memory. Remember that memorization works by association. After studying, discussing the concepts with a friend outside studying environment (like under a tree or by the pool) will help your brain retain what you studied.

You can argue with a friend about a concept and then check the correct answer. For both of you, the memory of that concept will stick forever. This is because your brain will associate the argument with that particular concept and everything will stick, from the scenery to the time of the day and the correct answer.

In other words, discuss physically with a friend and talk about anatomy topics you read.

Repetition is important

Repetition is important for memorization too, and for anatomy glossary, it could be really helpful. If you are pretty smart such that studying a concept for a few minutes is enough for you to understand it, do not try it with anatomy.

Repeat the concept many times until you can say it word for word with understanding. Memorizing without understanding it is of no good too, as in anatomy the basic concepts must be in your brain to understand the next concepts.

It is all connected and all starts from the basics. While memorizing and repeating the key sentences over and over, understand it using your mind.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answered questions about how to study anatomy that may help you further.

Here are 10 Tips to Study Anatomy Effectively:

  • Have an anatomy glossary book
  • Study very frequently
  • Use videos on Youtube to revise your studies
  • Join study groups/brainstorming sessions
  • Discuss topics one on one with close friends
  • Repetition is important
  • Carefully group the course into sections
  • Use the function of a group of structures to remember the components
  • Watch graphic videos if you need to
  • Use flashcards, mnemonics, and reference books

Most people study for anatomy by just studying harder and being consistent, and this usually works. However, it is the difficult path and most times, students forget a large part of the course after the exam.

To study anatomy, use flash cards, mnemonics, repetition, frequent studying, youtube and other study resources. The most important part is the effort you put into it. Understand one concept completely before moving on to another.

The human body is very complex, and anatomy is the study of how it works. Anatomy comprises the study of all tissues, muscles, organs, bones, and every other part of the body and how they work in relation to one another.

This is why anatomy is a tough class for most medical students.

Studying anatomy in a week is not possible. However, you can learn a great deal in one week if you dedicate the only to the study of anatomical concepts. It will be difficult to retain the memory of what you study but with great effort, you can master a good part of anatomy in one week.


Human anatomy is a very complex course and is usually the toughest for medical students in their second or third year. If you have problems, understand that it is very natural and you either need to change your study methods or put more efforts (or both).

This article helps by giving ten working tips on how to study anatomy for medical students.


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