Clinical Sciences 200. I’m sure you have all heard horror stories about this course. Is this course as terrible as it sounds? Well that depends on how you best study. It is however, a lot of material to cover. Despite having a good background in anatomy and physiology, I did spend a lot of time going through the textbook and workbook (since I had forgotten most of it after 4yrs!). So I do recommend starting early (especially if you don’t have a background in anatomy/physiology/human biology), and just let the info trickle into your brain overtime rather than cramming.
Overall, the exam wasn’t hard if you have a good general grasp of the all systems, but there are a few questions where they ask random details, and I think it’s near impossible to really prepare for those. For example, they would ask how many teeth you have (32), or how many mL of blood is expelled during menstruation (50mL), or what the GFR (glomerular filtration rate) is (180mL/min). There aren’t too many of those questions so don’t focus on that too much. Grasp all the general understanding of each system and their key points.
I can’t stress enough the importance of using mneumonics or other methods to help you remember things. There’s too much material to just cram in, so use whatever that helps you. It could be words that sounds like other words like osteoblast vs osteoclast, think “blast build, clast kills”. You can use imagery, think of insulin as a “key” you (glucose) need in order to open the door into the cells (think of the cells as a house), hence insulin is a facilitator and helps bring glucose INTO the cell from the blood and without this key, glucose can’t get in. If it helps you, draw out pictures, graphs, diagrams, or make up story lines like “Prothrombin grabs his buddy Calcium and kicks Thrombin in the butt to wake him up, telling him ‘HEY! Wake up! We need to make a fibrin clot!’ etc.
I personally found this course difficult to study because:
- I’m studying it on my own
- The material can be very dry in certain sections
- It’s hard to motivate yourself when there are Christmas and New Year holidays along the way
- Grab a buddy or two and have a study session, but make sure you have read the materials ahead of time. I find bouncing ideas off each other a good way to learn (well, for me personally anyways), and you might just pick up some nifty ways to remember things.
- For the dry material, see if you can apply it somewhere to certain scenarios. Say if learning just the anatomy of the integumentary system is boring or if learning about the plasma is boring, then apply it to a burn patient and how it’ll affect the patient (hypovolemia, hypothermia, 1,2,3rd degree burns, affects on breathing, and ask how and why for each, etc), hopefully that’ll make it a bit more interesting. Also, once again, study with friends. You’d be surprised how many weird menumonics you can make up.
- About the holidays (if you’re starting in the winter session). Enjoy Christmas and New Years, just remember to stay on task afterwards 😉
Here are some useful study tricks and mneumonics I made up, and some of which my friends had made up or I had found online. If you have any other ones to add to the list, feel free to post it here under “reply”.
The 8 Major Endocrine Glands
- Since I’m a visual person, I just recall the diagram of the human body and I can see it in my head from the top to the bottom and list out all the glands. But for those who can’t memorize like that, my friend came up with a good menumonic:
How Peter Taught Paul To Pour A Good Pint
Hypothalamus, Pituitary gland, Thyroid gland, Parathyroid glands, Thymus, Pancreas, Adrenal glands, Gonads, Pineal gland
- Okay, I made this one up, it sounds a bit weird, but it works for me.
Steroids Causing The Growth of Gonads and Breasts
CRH-Corticotropin releasing hormone; it is also a steroid hormone
TRH-Thyrotropin releasing hormone
GHRH/GHIH-Growth hormone releasing hormone/Growth hormone inhibiting hormone
GnRH-Gonadotropin releasing hormone
PRH/PIH-Prolactin releasing hormone, Prolactin inhibiting hormone; PRH causes lactation or milk production hence “breast”.
Pituitary “Master Gland” Hormones
- This one I got off the internet. The menumonic FLAGTOP can also be used, but I like GOATFLAP because the O and A are together, and Oxytocin and ADH is released by the posterior pituitary, whereas the rest is released by the anterior pituitary
G-H (growth hormone, aka somatotropin)
A-DH (antidieuretic hormone)
T-SH (thyroid stimulating hormone)
F-SH (follicle-stimulating hormone)
L-H (luteinizing hormone)
A-CTH (adrenocortiotropic hormone)
- For this one, I think of a cat (CaT3T4) curled up on someone’s shoulder with it’s tail wrapped around the person’s neck (exactly where the thyroid is located).
Ca = Calcitonin
T3 = Triiodythyronine
T4 = Thyroxine
Adrenal Gland Hormones
For this one I thought of MAG as in MAGazines, but not the magazines you would read, but the ones you would load into a gun. Shooting a gun at an enemy can cause a lot of adrenaline to rush through your body (although ironically these hormones aren’t Epi or NE), hence MAG or you can think MAGnum.
For this one, I had trouble which recepters do what. Since they are just listed as Alpha1, Alpha2, Beta1, Beta2. I remember sitting at work looking at my notes, then it all clicked! Think of it this way: How many hearts do you have? If you’re like most of us, you’d have ONE heart. How many lungs do you have? Well, most people have TWO lungs. And guess what? Beta 1 receptors are primarily found in the heart and causes increased HR, contractility, conduction and automaticity. Whereas Beta 2 receptors are primarily found in the lungs (also found in the peripheral blood vessels causing vasodilation) and causes bronchodilation. So there you go!
ONE Heart (Beta 1), TWO Lungs (Beta 2)
So what about Alpha1 and Alpha2? Unfortunately, I don’t have anything clever to remember that one, I just remember that Alpha2 is mainly inhibitory (to NE), and that leaves Alpha1 to cause peripheral blood vessel constriction.
Categories of WBCs
- Here’s a menumonic I got off a website and it’s neat because it goes in the order of the most prominant number of WBCs to the least (not that you really need to know that much detail).
Never Let Monkeys Eat Bananas.
Lymphocytes (25%) – T-cells and B-cells
Monocytes (6%) – Macrophages
Basophils vs Eosinophils in Allergic Responses
This is another one from the internet:
Basophils are “Bad-o-phils” because they contribute to acute allergic reactions
Eosinophils or “Easy-on-me-phils” are good because they counteract our allergic reactions
Oxygen-Hemoglobin Dissociation Curve
- The diagram in the workbook can be sort of confusing in understanding the right and left shifting of the curve. So here are two websites that have better illustrations, and the second one being interactive:
- http://people.eku.edu/ritchisong/301notes6.htm(scroll to near the bottom)
- http://www.rnceus.com/abgs/abgcurve.html(Scroll to the very bottom and for the graph you can choose right and left shift)
- The 12 cranial nerves are hard to remember. I don’t have a very good way of remembering it to be honest, but I did find it easier after I separated it into groups.
X Vagus nerve
AH! and you’re finally done!