How do I study physiology??

I hear this question a lot, so I decided I wanted to share my study advice with others in the hopes that I will help many more students become efficient in their work and gain an understanding of the material that they can apply to not only exams but their own lives as well. Many students that take physiology are planning on going into a career in health, but not always. So I want to give examples of ways to apply this information to your own daily life, not just medicine or therapy.

My biggest, biggest fear is that students see all the detail that is involved in physiological processes and automatically think, Ok I need to memorize this. DON’T DO THAT PLEASE!!! That will send you down a slippery slope of 500 flash cards and hours and hours of memorization that will not help you in the slightest for many of the kinds of questions found on exams at the collegiate level. So I always say, “Flashcards are not your friends.” Now of course there are some exceptions. If there is something you do need to memorize, although rare, if flashcards help you with it then by all means do what works for you. BUT, that is not ALL you should be doing. You need to take that information and relate it to other concepts and understand how things fit together.

So, my broadest, least specific study advice I can give: study to understand and make connections. Don’t focus on memorization. The details will be so much easier to remember when you have a fundamental understanding of why they’re there and what they’re doing.