Monday, February 1, 2016

Anatomy goals

Reference texts:
Basic The Anatomy Coloring Book, 3d Ed. $2-30
Advanced Principles Of Human Anatomy, Tortora, 13th Ed. $60
Good idea: Mosby's Pocket Dictionary Of Medicine, etc. 7th Ed. $18-30
Fun site: The Anatomical Chart Company

Anatomy = Form and Structure of the body.
If you're going to work on the car, you need to understand the parts.

1) Learn and name the bones of the body.
Head to toe. All 206 of them.
Challenge: In the first class I took, one of the assistant instructors had a 3-year-old daughter who tagged along, and had since she was one year old. When working professionals could not name the bones of the human body, on a fill-in-the-blanks exam, or when asked in class, the instructor would point to the bone that stumped the person in question, and have Katie walk up and name it. And spell it correctly. She executed flawlessly. So if you're as smart as a three year old child, you can do this. And BTW, patients don't come with a), b), c), and d) choices helpfully tattooed on their skin. You need to know this stuff cold, looking at it. Not try a 50/50 guess after you narrow it down to the two best choices. Welcome to the medical version of Big Boy Rules.
2) Learn and name the major organs of the body.
I had a leg up here. I had a model set of the human organs, which I painted, when I was 10, and looooong before I had any inkling of my career. (Remember what I said earlier about all that knowledge inside you piling on? There you go.) So I learned all the major organs from shoulder to pelvis. And where they fit. And what they connected to. You can do this too.
(I also had a human skeleton a foot tall at the same age, but it was far less interesting because I didn't have to do anything to it except connect dem bones: it was articulated. It also glowed in the dark if you charged it up with a flashlight, which combined to give me something I could use to scare the hell out of the family cats and my little brother at night with a broomstick and some thread.)
3) Learn and name the body's 10 major systems.
You get a hint: DRESMICREN
Learn it, love it. They make submariners learn all the sub's systems in order to get their dolphins. For the same reason they make doctors and nurses learn all the body's systems before they get their diplomas.
4) Name the 12 cranial nerves, and what they control.
5) Learn the general anatomy of the brain, including the 3 cortical divisions, and the regions of the cerebrum and the body functions associated with them.
If you know what's not working, you can deduce where the problem might be.
6) Gain a basic familiarity with the major veins and arteries, and various muscles.

You'll see all this material again (and again and again and...)
Anatomy is all about structure. It's simply the terrain map of where you'll be working.
For med students, gross anatomy is a good chunk of their first year. It's a weed-out, as well as solid prep for everything else. Just like the body itself, all your medical education hangs on your knowledge of where stuff is and what it does.
For nurses, it's a semester. For EMTs, it's a week.

You'll get out of this what you put into it. Including, hopefully, some small sense of awe at the machine you inhabit. Whether you think it's there via divine blueprint, or the knitting of time and chance over hundreds of thousands of years, it's a pretty amazing contraption.

Learn the landscape. And the lingo to describe it clinically. Spelling also counts.
A passing grade on all this is 100%.


gamegetter II said...

My dad taught an anatomy and physiology course at a local college back in the late 70's up to the mid 80's.
Course was for nursing and radiology students,he used to say he hoped none of the students ever got their degrees and ended up working at a hospital he ended up in,because they had such a hard time with the course.
Didn't seem all that difficult to me,I took a few of his tests for the hell of it and I passed them-without taking the course.
Memorization and common sense are the basic requirements,along with an understanding of how the human body's systems work.
A lot of this should have been learned in high school biology courses.

Aesop said...

Do they still cover any usable biology in high schools?
I mean, besides how condoms go on and such?