Med: The Anatomy of…an anatomy exam

November 27, 2007


Some of my friends have been wondering what exactly a medical school anatomy exam entails, so I’d like to do a quick summary of it.

The exam consisted of two distinct components: a lab practical and a multiple-choice question (MCQ) test. We started in the morning with the lab exam. For this exam, there were a total of roughly 50 stations setup–each having a labeled structure and a question about it. We received 1.2 minutes per station, and rotated through the series over the course of the exam period–with rest stations as well. Some of the questions required simple identification (i.e., ‘What is this structure?’) while others were secondary questions requiring identification and additional knowledge (i.e., ‘This structure passes through what before it exits the body?’).

All in all, I did not do as well on this component as I was hoping. I spent a considerable amount of time studying up in the lab prior to the exam (including both Friday and Saturday nights) and legitimately thought that I was ready; however, I still found myself flustered due to the time constraints. I started off the exam pretty well, but soon ran into sections in which I would miss 3-4 in a row. I still passed and everything–just nothing special.

The MCQ was setup like all of the other exams we’ve taken this semester–same room, same proctors, same time limits. I found this part of the exam MUCH more enjoyable–mainly because of its clinical basis. The questions were quite different from the practical–as we obviously would not be asked to identify structures on a written exam. Instead, we were presented clinical situations (GSW/Gun Shot Wound, for example), and then needed to use our anatomical knowledge to discuss penetrated layers, location of fluid buildup, etc. I feel that I did better on this part than the practical, but I suppose I’ll find out for sure soon enough.

A blog entry about examination–how fun! I’ll be more exciting later, I promise.


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