Histology is a class that looks at the microscopic anatomy of tissues and is taken in the M1 year of medical school. It serves as a basic introduction for classes such as pathology or microbiology. I found histology to be quite difficult since, at first, everything just looked pink and purple to me.
Here are some of my study tips for histology:
- Read the Lecture Presentations – I found lecture PowerPoints to be quite helpful for histology since my professors annotated the PowerPoint and/or described the photo during the lecture with a few common descriptors.
- Repetition – In histology, there’s a lot of variability between images. This is due to staining techniques and the quality of the preparation, so some preparations may seem quite blurry while others are crystal clear. The key to preparing for a histology practical is to look at plenty of images.
- Actively Work Through Lab Guides – I’ll admit I’m guilty of not actively working through my lab guide. In medical school, I would just skim through the lab guide. I just ended up having to go back through the lab guide when it came time for the lab practical, so make sure to read the lab guides thoroughly.
- Memorize Structures – The key to master histology is to memorize the basic structures, such as the types of epithelium. Once I learned this information, it was a lot easier to reason out what a tissue was rather than just memorizing what a tissue looked like.
- Osmosis – I did not use osmosis for histology, but many of my classmates used it. Osmosis can be helpful because it provides simple descriptors for structures and is another resource for repetition.
Histology is a very different class, but it tends to get easier once you understand its basic components. If you can identify what structures are present vs. what structures are absent when it comes to identifying tissues, you’ll be in good shape.