Anatomy & Physiology is the beginning to the ‘why’ behind why we do what we do. You need to understand how things truly work before you understand how they go wrong. A&P makes a Clinician better, and opens the doors for further learning and understanding.”
First, we recommend every medical professional take an Anatomy & Physiology class if not already done so. If unfeasible at the current time, the following resources may still help for self-study. This is especially true if aspirations are attending the Special Operations Combat Medic school where the second block is accelerated A&P crammed into 20 days. If you have access to Army Knowledge Online (AKO) and the Army Learning Management System (ALMS) you can enroll in the SOCM Prep Course which includes Anatomy and Physiology.
I like videos to break up the monotony of staring at a textbook for hours.
Crash Course is series of short, ten- or so minute long animated clips that explain complex systems in basic, simple to understand concepts. Not everyone likes it, but I think the high energy makes it easy to absorb the info and stay awake. Watch one or more of these a day and they can help you out. If currently studying A&P, I like to watch them before reading a chapter as a quick intro. The Crash Course Anatomy & Physiology playlist is now up to 47 videos for a total of about 8 hours.
Khan Academy Medicine presents more in-depth free medical education. If you want a concept broken down, from respiration to the Kreb’s cycle, this is a good place to start. It can go as simple or as advanced as you want it. The instructors draw it out as they speak, so it’s not just pointing at a picture but building it as you learn. The Healthcare and Medicine playlist is current up to 27 videos for a total of about 5 hours.
Websites are a great way to interactively explore and reference information. Online courses can give you access to information in a way that is difficult to find elsewhere.
Get Body Smart is the work of a college professor to create a fully animated and interactive eBook about human anatomy and physiology.
Khan Academy Anatomy and Physiology is a structured course which takes advantage of the videos mentioned above. Each course includes flashcards, quizzes, and other study aids.
Ken Hub is a collection of 135 video tutorials, 160 personally adaptable quizzes, 289 articles and 2925 atlas images arranged in logical sequence. The resources are very professional and well-presented. You can sign up for free or purchase a premium account. The video narrator speaks very slowly, so I generally use the “Play Speed” feature in YouTube to speed it up by 1.25x-1.5x.
The Carnegie Mellon University’s Open Learning Initiative has a ton of great programs available for free. Their Anatomy and Physiology course may not be as pretty as some of the other options above, but it is rock solid. You will have to sign up for an account through the university.
Inner Body is an interactive anatomy site which allows you to visually explore the human body. The graphics are mid-90’s spectacular, but the information is solid and the visual navigation may appeal to some learners. Click here to visit the page.
Good ole books. Nothing beats the sheer reference utility of a textbook. When combined with a structured class and a good instructor, textbooks can provide the foundation of a great education.
The Army Learning Management System (ALMS) has a long list of medical courses available for medics. These courses include a PDF manual and can be taken for promotion points. Specifically, the SOCM Prep Course (081-18D) includes both Basic Human Anatomy and Basic Human Physiology. These manuals are about as dry as any field manual, but the basic information is there and the course has a lengthy post-test for credits.
OpenStax Anatomy and Physiology is a dynamic textbook for the two-semester human anatomy and physiology course for life science and allied health majors. The book is organized by body system and covers the standard scope and sequence requirements. Its lucid text, strategically constructed art, career features, and links to external learning tools address the critical teaching and learning challenges in the course. The web-based version of Anatomy and Physiology also features links to surgical videos, histology, and interactive diagrams.
Learning on the go is essential in our line of work. Whether you’re waiting for the jump or stuck on a coverage, the ability to pull out your phone and start learning is invaluable.
Combat Medics, what would you add to this page?
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