Improving medical students

Archive for the ‘Anatomy’ Category

Regional Anesthesia – Review of Basic Nerve Blocks

Posted by medliorator on March 21, 2010

The New York School of Regional Anesthesia describes the anatomy, technique, and complications of common nerve blocks.  Medical students,  especially those rotating on surgery or anesthesia, will benefit from this exceptional collection of classic nerve block techniques including…

  • Genitofemoral Block
  • Saphenous Nerve Block
  • Wrist Block
  • Thoracic Paravertebral Block
  • Digital Nerve Block
  • Ankle Block

Nerve Blocks [NYSORA]

Posted in Anatomy, Anesthesia, Surgery | Comments Off on Regional Anesthesia – Review of Basic Nerve Blocks

Online Medical Gross Anatomy

Posted by medliorator on October 18, 2008

Medical Gross Anatomy Learning Resources [The University of Michigan Medical School]

Contents include:

Posted in Anatomy, Tools | Comments Off on Online Medical Gross Anatomy

Forum Filter: Simple Strategy for Anatomy

Posted by medliorator on October 15, 2008


I always thought of things in two ways when learning about anatomy. They are basically opposites of one another, but I think it’s really important to be able to do both.

1. If I see something, I want to be able to identify it – i.e. know the name, understand the general function, etc. (Turn pictures into words)

2. If I read something, I want to be able to picture it, understand where it lies in relation to other structures, and sketch it out a little bit in very rough detail. (Turn words into pictures)

I think for the first skill, it’s fairly straightforward. Just look at a lot of pictures and practice naming things.

The second skill takes a bit more work. I think the best way is to just grab a pencil and some sheets of paper and sketch things out a bit after you’ve been studying for a while. It doesn’t have to look nice, what matters are the relationships between things. It’s a nice break from staring at a book and, after a few goes, you’ll have all sorts of lovely art for your fridge.

The last thing I can suggest is to always keep function in mind. I think it’s easy to get bogged down with insertions, attachments, innervation, etc, but if you are able to step back from all of that stuff and just ask yourself “what is this thing supposed to be doing?” a lot of it will just make sense and feel a lot less like memorization. I was an engineer as an undergrad, so I always found myself thinking back to physics when looking at muscles and how they operated. The body is a remarkable thing, and learning about it all should be a really fun experience. Make sure you enjoy it.

Anatomy study tips [LiveJournal]

Posted in Anatomy | Comments Off on Forum Filter: Simple Strategy for Anatomy

Forum Filter – Tales from Gross Anatomy

Posted by medliorator on September 6, 2008


So today was my first day of anatomy lab. I’ll be honest, i was a little freaked out about it… I was very concerned about how I was going to handle lab

So we’re looking at this lady…she’s face down, naked and there’s a towel wrapped around her head.  Oh, did I mention her back was cut open in a manner not unreminiscent of a trout being de-boned? well, it was.

And I noticed something.
Her finger nails were painted. A bright, peachy, summery color.
I started thinking about what Dr. Wallace said in her talk on “observation” on Tuesday, about “the lipstick sign”.  what that means is is that when a woman is in the hospital recovering from whatever, one of the first signs that they are feeling better is that they’ll start putting on (in a lot of cases) lipstick.  This lady (er…cadaver) was wearing nail polish.

I really wonder who she was.  I wonder what made her do something so cool as to donate her body so *I* could learn anatomy, so I could be a better doctor.  I wonder if she knew she was going to die soon when she painted her nails that bright peachy color (must have really been no more then a few days before she died).  I wonder about her. And I’m grateful to her.

Med School Forum [LiveJournal]

Posted in Anatomy, Tips & Advice | Comments Off on Forum Filter – Tales from Gross Anatomy

Gross Anatomy Advice

Posted by medliorator on April 13, 2008

Panda Bear, MD recollects his pre-clinical years:

Dissecting can be difficult and, particularly for delicate structures like nerves and small blood vessels, can also be extremely frustrating. Imagine trying to pick through a piece of chicken or roast beef looking for something the size of a thread. That’s what a lot of your time will be spent doing.

You want to avoid using a scalpel for this as much as possible because it tends to cut across planes and distort anatomy. Blunt dissection with your fingers or a small instrument is the preferred method.

I didn’t like anatomy lab very much so I spent as little time as possible there. …I was tired of picking at the damn things and smelling like embalming fluid.

I did very well on all the tests however because I had a good photographic atlas that showed perfectly dissected specimens. Gross Anatomy tests, you understand, are “practicals” where you circulate through the lab from tank to tank, identifying tagged structures on other people’s cadavers. The instructors looked for well-dissected structures that usually looked almost exactly like those in the atlas. If they couldn’t find a good example they dissected one themselves. So you see, my photographic atlas was like anatomy lab without the bad smell.

I did better on the practicals than many people who came in on their own time, after hours and on the weekends, to dissect. You are certainly allowed and even encouraged to spend as much time in lab as you want.

Get some cheap scrubs to wear in lab. We were not allowed to wear street clothes in our lab but even if you are resist the temptation unless you don’t mind throwing them away. I discarded all of my gross lab scrubs when I decided to stop going as well as my shoes.

get an anatomy atlas to keep in the lab as well as a “dissector,” the book that gives instructions for dissection. We kept ours in a plastic bag in the tank on top of the cadaver. The reason for this should be obvious. Do you really want to study on your kitchen table with a book that is soaked in corpse juice and may have small bits of human flesh stuck to it?

Get a turkey baster. …there is nothing better for draining fluid out of body cavities and it beats rolling the body to drain it.

Medical School Pre-Clinical Years: Twenty Questions (Part 2) [Panda Bear, MD]

Posted in Anatomy | Comments Off on Gross Anatomy Advice