Is anatomy and physiology hard?

Is anatomy and physiology hard?

Many students wonder is anatomy and physiology hard? The answer is yes and no. They can be tough courses that require a lot of memorization, but if I had to pick which one is harder then I would definitely say that physiology is the tougher one. Anatomy is hard because it requires a large amount of memorizing, wheras physiology is hard because there are a lot of tough concepts that require understanding. Lets dive into why each course is hard and ways you can make sure you crush them both!

Why physiology is hard

Human physiology class is tough because it is a lot of new concepts and details on how the human body works.

Beyond that human physiology courses in college cover a ton of material.

The human body is a very complex thing, and learning the intricacies of it is no small task.

From calcium channels to cardiac physiology, students struggle with this concepts often.

If is key though to push through and make sure you consistently study, and even though it is a tough college class, if you are consistent and work hard you will do fine.

Is anatomy a difficult class?

The basic human anatomy class is tough as well. Anatomy is a different kind of tough though, it involves a lot of rote memorization that is difficult.

The human body has a lot of parts and they have very strange names sometimes, so the sheer amount of material to memorize makes anatomy difficult.

There really isn’t a ton of hard thinking that goes into human anatomy, just a lot of memorization. So, I guess in that way learning human physiology could be considered harder than human anatomy, just depending on who you are and what you struggle with.

How to do well in Anatomy

Doing well in anatomy involves a lot of memorization, there is no getting around that.

You need to be able to rattle off the names of bones, and their functions quickly for quizzes and tests.

One way to help with this is by making sure you label all of your diagrams when studying.

Another is by using mnemonic devices to help you remember. For example, the order of the cranial nerves is On Old Olympus’ Towering Top A Fin And German Viewed A Hop.

This is a silly sentence that is easy to remember and it will help you recall the order of the cranial nerves when you need it.

Another way is to get a study group together and quiz each other on the cadaver or your notes. Many students find that if they get a study group together for anatomy, they will ace anatomy as long as the group is focused!

Spend time in the anatomy lab if you have to take one, then spend time with resources like netters or color atlas of anatomy.

Study hard and be consistent and you will do just fine in anatomy.

Is anatomy and physiology hard?

How to do well in physiology

Physiology is tough, there are a lot of complex system connections that you need to know like the cardiopulmonary system, digestive system, endocrine system, and more.

This is typically an entire semester course, and you need to focus the whole time.

A great strategy is to take class notes while the instructor lectures, then utilize resources like human anatomy from Costanza.

One of my favorite ways to study physiology and how I got 99% in human physiology in medical school is as follows:

  • -Study the lecture before class
  • -Take notes as the instructor teaches
  • -Read human physiology by Costanza
  • -Use practice questions from sources like COMQUEST and UWorld.
  • -Go through the topics as many times as I possible can.

This is a great way that medical student, pre meds, and pre nursing students alike can really destroy physiology.

Great resources for both Anatomy and Physiology

My favorite resources are:

There are many other resources out there and you should find what works best for you.

Plus, there are a lot of resources like Kahn academy and others like it that you can use for free to help learn about physiology!

Is anatomy and physiology harder than chemistry?

No, I would say that chemistry has a leg up on your average anatomy and physiology class in college, simply because of how difficult the material is.

I think that if you are struggling with either anatomy or physiology, then chemistry is probably going to be a tough class for you as well.

In terms of overall difficulty, I would say that college level chemistry is tougher than anatomy and physiology.

Anatomy is a lot of memorizing, but physiology is tough for the subject matter and comprehension, taking these in the same semester could make things tough for sure, and can be tough on your mental health, but it can be done and is honestly often done.

Is there a lot of math in anatomy and physiology?

No, not really. These courses are more focused on memorization of terms and some physiology concepts.

You won’t be doing a lot of math in these courses, but you will need to have a basic understanding of mathematical concepts.

For example, you’ll need to know how to calculate things like body mass index (BMI) and percent body fat. These are calculations that you’ll need to know for both anatomy and physiology.

Other things are simply there for you and you need to understand he concepts, really not that much math is involved with either of these courses.

Is physics harder than anatomy?

I would say yes, because physics is memorization and application. Anatomy is more memorization and recall.

This is often asked because these are common courses that pre med students take on their way to med school, and other allied health professions.

It also depends on how you learn. If you are a visual learner, then physics will be tougher then anatomy, but if you learn by reading and calculating then anatomy will probably be harder than physics.

How do you prepare for anatomy and physiology?

You don’t spend a ton of time preparing before you start your anatomy and physiology class, you just focus hard in the course and spend time every day studying.

Like any health sciences course, focus and work hard during the course and don’t try to prepare beforehand a ton, just focus and work hard during the course.

Do med schools require anatomy?

Not usually, it is a nice course to take, but most schools don’t make you have it. It is a great course for you to have under your belt, but not a requirement.

I would recommend taking it if you are interested and have the time, but if you need to focus on other things then don’t feel like you need to take it just because.

In terms of medical school, is physiology or anatomy more important?

I would say that physiology is more important, because it is the study of how the body works.

Anatomy is the study of the structure of the body, so while it is important, I would say that physiology is more important when you are going into medical school.

How do you survive anatomy in medical school?

Focus on going to anatomy lab, using resources like UMich, and BRS anatomy.

Don’t get behind on the work, you have to absolutely stay up on the studying because if you get behind it will be nearly impossible to try and catch up.

Another tough thing is that if you fail one test block, you run the risk of not passing. So, always study every day and continually stay caught up on the material and you will do well.

Why do nurses study anatomy and physiology?

Nurses study this because they need to understand how the body works in order to provide care for patients.

They need to understand human anatomy and physiology in order to be able to assess patients, plan care, and provide interventions that are evidence based and will help improve patient outcomes.

Sure the physicians ultimately order the meds and tests, but nurses are there with the patient at the bedside all day. They need to understand and recognize when a patient starts to decompensate.

What anatomy should a nurse know?

Nurses typically aren’t doing too much in depth anatomy, but they need to know some basics.

For example, nurses need to know where veins are typically found so that they can draw blood or start an IV. If a nurse is going to be working in the OR, then they will need to have a more in depth knowledge of human anatomy.

Then a good understanding of anatomy and physiology of the heart and lungs is good too because these are often the areas that go wrong first with patients and they need to understand the simple things that can go wrong.

How many hours a day should I study anatomy?

At least 1-2 hours per day, but even more important is that you should study anatomy until you feel comfortable with how well you know it.

Putting a time on it is good, but what if you know it in 30 minutes? What if it takes you 4 hours to understand, either way it doesn’t mean you should go to 2 hours or stop at 2 hours, do it until you understand the concept.

Do med students work on cadavers?

Absolutely! Med student work on cadavers all the time, it is a great way to learn human anatomy.

Cadavers are real people who have donated their bodies to science so that future physicians can learn from them. It is an incredible gift that these individuals give and it is something that med students are very grateful for.

Human anatomy and it’s corresponding lab in med school is one of the most feared courses because of the cadaver work and the huge amount of material you need to know.

Do nurses and doctors take the same classes?

No, they take similar classes, but doctors courses are much more in depth than nurses classes.

This is because nurses need to understand human anatomy and physiology in order to be able to assess patients, plan care, and provide interventions that are evidence based and will help improve patient outcomes.

Doctors need to know this information as well, but they also need to be able to understand and apply it in a much more complex way.


These are tough classes, and they are a lot of work, but if you focus on going to anatomy lab, using resources like UMich, and BRS anatomy you will be successful. It is so important that you don’t get behind because it is very difficult to try and catch up. If you study every day and continually stay caught up on the material then you will do well.

So is anatomy and physiology hard? Yes, these can be tough courses that require a lot of memorization, but if you focus and work hard you will do well in these courses.

Thanks for reading, I hope this has helped.

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