Title: Great Ways to Learn Anatomy and Physiology - second edition
Author: Charmaine McKissock
Reviewer: Rebecca Myatt, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
What was it like?
This is an anatomy and physiology book with a difference. The author combines discussion of the systems of the body with different approaches to learning. So, for example there are mnemonics, tricks for remembering unfamiliar numbers and a variety of memory techniques all incorporated into discussion of how the body works.
There are multiple opportunities to practice what is being described through the use of practical exercises such as creating drawings, posters and filling in crosswords. The exercises are all used really effectively throughout the book to make it an interesting, well written and varied read rather than a typical anatomy text book.
The author has expertise in adult dyslexia and there is a chapter devoted to memorising spelling techniques, which would be useful for anyone getting to grips with some of the complex terms found in this subject. It also makes the text accessible to those who may find conventional anatomy and physiology books overwhelming
What were the highlights?
All of the techniques described are transferable to other areas so as well as learning anatomy and physiology and the reader gains an insight into their own learning profile and the methods that work well for them.
The book is visual with colourful sketches to break up the text and there are numerous opportunities for independent work.
Strengths & weaknesses:
This is a fantastic book to use alongside a heavy weight anatomy and physiology text book. It summarises key systems and gives easy to use tips for remembering difficult concepts. It would also be useful for those who have found academic concepts tricky to learn as it gives a wide variety of methods and memory techniques, which would be relevant to other topics. There is an excellent chapter that describes ways to relax and take control of learning. This covers how stress affects our brain functioning and academic performance. It offers ways to calm nerves as well as ten top tips for reducing stress.
Who should read it?
This innovative book would be beneficial to any students learning anatomy and physiology especially those struggling with anatomical concepts. Many of the ideas for learning and stress management are transferable to other areas. It also has some great ideas that could be adopted by those teaching the subject.