Education Services
   Learning Resources
   Medical Media Services
   Scott Memorial Library
   University Archives

   Staff Directory

   Donate Now

Jefferson Medical College Alpha Omega Alpha Guide to the First Year


Anatomy is the only class without a syllabus of the lectures, which makes preparing for anatomy exams different from what you will do for the remainder of the year. You will get a copy of all of the slides for all of the lectures and you should take good lecture notes on these. You can use Grant's anatomy textbook to study but the lecturers will be emphasizing the most important points, so pay attention. If you're not going to go to class, it is beneficial to listen to lectures online as most of the tested material comes straight from lecture. There is always a debate over which atlas to use—they will tell you that Grant's is better than Netter's (any maybe it is), but all of their slides will use the pictures out of Netter. Rohen's atlas is a book of cadaver photographs that can be very helpful in studying for practicals. If you are struggling to find a cadaver with certain structures well teased out, look at Rohens! There are numerous other resources that you can use including the models in the learning resource center, online dissection videos, and atlases (Jeffline -> Learning Resources)

Anatomy Lab and Practicals

  • Using the cadavers in the lab is an integral part of learning anatomy. Groups of 8 students will be assigned to each cadaver, with two different lab sections so that there are four on one body at a time. You should split the cost of a lab guide, dissecting instruments, and Netters to keep at your lab table. (I believe next year, with the new anatomy lab, they will have virtual/computerized dissectors and atlases and will not have to purchase them on their own to use during lab.)
  • The most important advice we can offer is to study the anatomy before you go to the lab. If not, you'll be lost and waste 3 hours of your life looking for things you aren't familiar with.
  • Although they are multiple choice, the lab practicals are notoriously difficult, To do well you'll need to spend extra time in the lab. It is best to find a few students who you study well with, go to the lab outside of dissection times, and quiz each other. Larger groups will not be as helpful as things get too crowded.
  • Some students find outlining the dissector to be a very helpful way to organize lab material, so reviewing for lab practicals can go smoothly. Outlining labs ensures that you preread and understood the material, and makes life easier closer to the exam. It also helps you to organize your notes, in a class where a syllabus is not provided.
  • Keep the lab clean and the floors dry.
  • Maintain your bodies (keep them moist). If there are a lot of good examples it will be easier to identify the structures.
  • If a lab table has a good example of something, look at it because things look different on different cadavers. Try to keep a list of the lab table and the structure. Do not forget to examine the opposite gender body.
  • Learn all of the structures in relation to each other. Learn the "Landmarks" and triangles.
  • Study the radiographs and CTs. There are typically 10 scans on every practical (of fifty questions) so do not skimp!
  • Do not purposely destroy structures. If the professors can't find it they have other bodies they can use or they can just choose a different, possibly harder, structure.
  • When you are learning the structures and studying for practicals answer the following questions:
  • Arteries and Veins: What is its origin, what are its branches, what organs/structures does it feed or drain, what is its relation to other structures, why is it clinically important
  • Muscles: What is its origin/insertion, what nerve innervates this muscle, what is the function of this muscle, what is its relation to other structures, why is it clinically important
  • Nerves: what is the nerve's origin, what does it innervate, what kind of fibers does it contain, why is it clinically important, what is its relation to other structures
  • Bones: what are the Tendons and Ligaments associated with the bone, what is its relation to other structures, what are the fractures associated with this bone and what injuries produce them
  • Organs: what is its blood supply, what is its innervation, what is its function, what is its relation to other structures.
  • During Practicals:
    • Each station will have a card with a question on it. Read the card before you look at the structure.
    • Take each question one at a time. Do not let one question bother you. Just take notes about it on your answer sheet and try to think of the answer when you have extra time after an easier question.

Revised: 7/12

Jefferson home

JEFFLINE is brought to you by
Academic & Instructional Support & Resources (AISR)
Thomas Jefferson University
1020 Walnut Street · Philadelphia, PA 19107

Suggestion Box |
Disclaimer & privacy policy
Promotions policy
AISRnet and AISR Wiki (staff intranets)
Copyright ©, Thomas Jefferson University