We receive many emails from Kenhub users telling us how much our platform has helped them to learn anatomy. One such person was Kiron, a first year medical student studying in the Czech Republic. We got in touch to find out more about how Kenhub has helped him to send his grades and confidence soaring. This is what he had to say...
When you finished your first year of med school, you emailed us to say that you started at a C average but since becoming a Kenhub Premium member, you’re now an A average. What would an average study session look like for you?
I like to learn by using videos, so I would first start out by searching the necessary topic and then watch the video a few times over. Then, just to test myself, I would use the Kenhub quizzes. This was really helpful as it pinpointed where my knowledge was lacking. It was all well and good knowing what “I knew”, but it was actually better to focus on what I didn’t know so I could go back an hour or a day later and review that particular section. Doing that, over time, my knowledge of each topic got better and better.
How Hard is Anatomy?
That sounds like a surefire way to succeed! What has been the biggest challenge in learning anatomy for you?
I think the biggest challenge of learning anatomy was the actual size of it, because when you first look at it, you see how large it is and you think ‘oh my god!’. There’s so much knowledge to take in. So what was helpful for me was planning out my time spent learning things. It’s important to know about not just the muscle itself, but what it relates to - for example what it’s innervated by - and where does that nerve come from? Does it come from a larger plexus? Where does that plexus pass through?
Taking my time taught me how to link knowledge together - not just take information as singular snapshots but really combine everything into one massive picture. So to answer the question: the biggest challenge is taking a large subject, breaking it down into bite sized chunks and then building it up again. That really takes time, in my opinion.
Sometimes it’s not about learning the content required, but how to actually go about learning it.
Exactly. Because I don’t feel that it’s actually difficult to learn. But how to learn it - that’s something that we’re not really taught. We sort of have to find out for ourselves.
What would you say has been most helpful for you in using Kenhub?
I feel like everything really helped. It was just a combination. I first learnt the material using the videos as well as having a look at the atlas and articles. But what really solidified my knowledge was finding out where the holes and gaps in my knowledge were by using the Kenhub quizzes. That was so important for me because I feel like I could have read about or heard about a topic, but to really understand it… that was determined by whether I could do the quizzes or not.
Do you plan to use Kenhub in your consecutive years at med school?
Absolutely. I mean, next year I’m studying pathology so I’m going to have a look at your histology content to refresh myself. And of course, histology is just like an extension of anatomy, so it’ll help to go over the anatomy I’ve already learned using Kenhub. We always have to revise and refresh what we thought we knew, because there’ll always be gaps.
Struggling With Anatomy?
That sounds like a great plan. Pathology is the really fun part! Do you have anything to say to other students who are struggling with anatomy?
I would say first and foremost: practice how you are going to be performing in the exam. For example, if you’re doing an MCQ exam, practice more MCQ’s. If you’re doing an oral exam, practice your oral communication skills. In terms of where to start gathering learning materials, I would recommend Kenhub. But also, know which books to use - just pick one material that you feel really confident with.
I would also say use the lecturer’s materials like the presentation slides, and get at least one atlas, like the one from Kenhub. And organise your time as well. For me, I took it week by week. As an example, one week I knew we were studying the upper extremity, and the next we were studying the lower extremity. But I made sure that in the following weeks I always revisited the topics from the previous weeks. That repeated cycle of learning makes sure you consolidate everything you have learned so far.
Yes, that’s a great point. That technique is known as spaced repetition and we really recommend it here at Kenhub. Well done for using it!
Thank you so much. I just wanted to let you know how much your website helped me to conquer what seemed like such an impossible task. And actually I just want to let people know that anatomy may seem like an impossible and boring task but actually it can be learned by anyone. You just need the right preparation.
How to Get an A in Anatomy
Getting an A is very impressive. Before they begin med school, a lot of students are top of their class, getting 100% in their exams. Then they start med school, and suddenly they’re getting C’s and wondering ‘what did I do?!’. It’s not that they’ve lost their intelligence, or that a ‘C’ is even a bad grade - it’s just that med school is really hard. How did you manage to go from a C to an A?
Thank you. It’s quite a common phenomenon where you have the high-flyer in high school or college and then they get to med school and realise that that’s perhaps not the case for them anymore. But it’s important to not give up. Keep at it. It teaches you to be resilient and persistent for years to come.
I think that’s what makes it an even more amazing subject - the fact that it seems difficult, but once you ‘crack the code’ you can see how interesting it is and how amazing it must have been for the first people to discover these structures, elucidate them and put them in a clear manner so that other people can learn about anatomy, too.
Absolutely. There were no techniques like embalming at that time and they had no framework to work from… so it’s crazy to see how the subject has evolved. Have you performed any dissections yourself, yet?
I have, yeah. That’s where I got my first A, actually. In fact, during the examination I was asked a question about a random vein. It was such an uncommon vein… but I watched a Kenhub video about it - I think it was narrated by Joao. And his voice just came into my mind, and the structures lit up in green… [laughing]
Amazing... it helps that Joao has such a memorable voice!
Thanks so much for chatting with us Kiron, and good luck from everyone at Kenhub with your second year!
Would YOU like to share your story of how Kenhub helped you to learn anatomy? Get in touch!
If you want to supercharge your anatomy learning and boost your grades just like Kiron, be sure to register for your FREE Kenhub account today. Our quizzes, articles, videos, atlas AND anatomy geeks are here to guide you through your anatomy education every step of the way.