I Want to Be a Doctor
17-Embryology?!?!
May 25, 2022
Today's question is from a first year medical student who asks "I'm so confused with embryology. What do I do?" As someone who is still confused with embryology, let me tell you, you are not alone. I don't know any practicing physicians who are really clear on embryology unless they did research in the field before medical school. It's a really confusing subject. It helps to https://podcasts.bcast.fm/i-want-to-be-a-doctor
Welcome to the I want to be a doctor podcast where insider information about what it takes to become a physician is available for anyone. I'm Dr. Robin Dickinson, a board-certified family physician and I will give honest answers to your questions. Today's question is from a first year medical student who asks "I'm so confused with embryology. What do I do?"

As someone who is still confused with embryology, let me tell you, you are not alone. I don't know any practicing physicians who are really clear on embryology unless they did research in the field before medical school. It's a really confusing subject. 

It helps to remember WHY you're learning embryology. It's so you can understand differences like cleft lips, limb differences, and VACTERL. So for each section, if your book doesn't already have a clinical correlation, just Google it. Then go to YouTube and search for that diagnosis, maybe with the words Children's Hospital. So you might search "Children's Hospital Cleft Lip". Then you'll have lots of patient stories to choose from. If surgery is a treatment option, try to include one that says something about the surgery. They are usually less than five minutes each so you could even watch a couple. Now that you have those patients in mind, study embryology to understand the patient and the treatment. 

Next, learn how you learn best. Basically everyone learns best if they learn using multiple modalities. Watch animations online, create your own drawings, listen to explanations. I finally understand embryology the best I ever have because I created models from polymer clay to use while teaching. You can get a huge amount of clay for $20 on Amazon. 

And teach! Teaching someone else embryology helps you understand information in a whole new way because you have to simplify it to something that makes sense for people with no medical background. If you can simplify it, you'll understand it better and create a framework for learning the complexity of the whole thing. If you don't have a willing human, teach your cat, dog, or iguana. Or create a Youtube video or podcast. I used to make an audio recording of summaries of everything I needed to know so I could listen to it while I was commuting to and from school. 

Episode 7 also had more tips on how to study. 

That's it for today. Subscribe, share with your friends and mentors; and remember to live the life that is right for you with your personality interests and values. 
Please send your questions to me at podcast@docrobinschool.com. That's podcast at d-o-c Robin like the bird school dot com.
Show notes are available on the podcast website linked below. 
This episode was sponsored by Dr. Robin's School, the first premedical curriculum for kids, and recorded and produced in beautiful, downtown Englewood, Colorado. 

https://podcasts.bcast.fm/i-want-to-be-a-doctor