How To Study Anatomy and Physiology in PA School


Hi everyone! Quarter 2 is over, and I'm currently back home in Atlanta enjoying the time off with my family and friends. I am so happy to take a break from school (even though it is for a week) to relax, catch up with some sleep, and have some much needed me time.


I have been getting a lot of questions about how I studied for Anatomy and Physiology.
Anatomy in undergrad is a lot different than in PA school. In PA school, the information is coming at you at a faster pace, and it is more detailed than it was in undergrad. At times it can get overwhelming, but with a few study tips, hopefully you will be able to overcome the demands of a rigorous anatomy course.


Studying for Lecture

Everyone is different and have different learning styles. I am a very visual learner, and I learn best from videos and pictures, and I also learn best from repetition and practice. Figure out what learning style you are, and how you retain information the best, and find ways to apply this when studying for anatomy. 

For anatomy, I found YouTube videos that covered the topics that we were learning in anatomy at the moment. Here is a link to my YouTube channel, which has some of the topics that we covered in anatomy (disclaimer: I do not have a video for every topic that was covered). I also rewrote the PowerPoints in outline form, so that way all of the information was in one area, and I did not have to go back and forth between PowerPoint slides, and since I workout and study at the same time, this enabled me to study and workout at the same time. My professor also provided us with worksheets for the majority of the topics, so I would go through all of my notes, and do the worksheets at the end to see how well I knew the information. 

Studying for Anatomy is about trial and error, and what might work for one exam, might not work for another exam. It is all about being flexible and making sure that you stay on top of your work and do not fall behind. My class is very sharing, and a lot of people share their study guides with the class (which is a BIG help!), however, DO NOT rely on this only. It is good to have as supplemental information, but it should not be the sole thing that you rely on. It is always more helpful to make your own study material, and I find that I retain the information better when I make my own material.


Studying for Lab

I know every PA school is different when it comes to their anatomy labs. Some schools are tested strictly on cadavers, while others mostly utilized the models. My school only went to cadaver lab a few times a quarter, and the majority of the time we utilized the models. 
  • Label the models yourself! This is the best way to know the structures on the models, and it saves you the time from cramming right before a midterm/final (trust me, it sucks to learn this information last minute!)
  • Our school required us to get Anatomy&Physiology through McGraw Hill, which is an online program that shows cadaver images of the structures that we were tested on. I would spend at least 20-30 minutes a day reviewing our structure list and making sure I knew what the images looked like on a cadaver (even though we weren't test directly on cadavers, we were responsible for knowing what the structures looked like on a cadaver). This helped alleviate the last minute cramming before an exam. 

If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to ask! I am always free for questions (despite my busy question). 

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