MBBS UGStudy StrategyHow to study Physiology in MBBS First Year?

How to study Physiology in MBBS First Year?

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1st Year/Professional MBBS PHYSIOLOGY Strategy/Study Tip :

First year of MBBS is indeed a roller coaster ride for most of us. This is the first time we get exposed to professional life.There will be highs and lows. The trick is to not lose your composure in either.

This year is solely for making your Fundamentals strong. And if you have proper guidance & if you are already ready and aware of what you would have to face and how to react, the adaptation process would become so easy.

Lets first get started with the Basic things one must know & implement during First year & most probably also in later years of academic life.

Basic Tips to cope up with course content :

  1. “Internal marks are not a reflection of your intelligence, capability to study and your efforts.” 

Don’t get anxious, and definitely do not blame yourself if you were a good student before but ain’t doing well in semesters- it is part of the system.

  1. Be prepared for all kinds of negative energy.
  • The professors are going to taunt you. This is a sort of psychological tactic to try and scare you into studying – it works for some people, and puts others in depression.
  • The seniors are going to rag you or atleast exploit you a little. I’m not in favour of this but if not extreme, it somehow makes you more tough & helps you open up in a whole new life.
  • You may even “fail” an internal. I’m not saying take that lightly, but it’s not the end of the world. Learn from it, move on.
  • People around you will stress out and drag you into it too.  If you stay in a hostel, this may be hard to avoid, but try to stay positive anyway! Talk to your family often or do things by yourself or people outside your class when you take a break. Do not give into the peer-pressure of negative thinking.
  1. Choose your books early in the year and stick to them.

There are so many textbooks out there and way too much free advice on which of them to use. But you have to be the judge for yourself.

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Before you rush to buy your books, do some browsing at the library. Pick a topic and look it up in different books and see which one helps you understand it the easiest. Then decide the right books for you and stick to studying from them.

People all around you will tell you their books are so much better, and that may tempt you to study each chapter from a different book – refrain from this.

It’s okay to occasionally refer to other books for those topics that are a little lacking in your chosen text, but try not to go overboard.

  1. It’s okay to not know everything.

College is a whole leap forward from school, where you’re not going to know every book from cover to cover.

Accept that there will always be some things you may not know as well as others. 

Prioritise the most important content and revise it more often than content of less priority.

Individual Subject Guidance :

The First Year is divided into 3 Subjects : ANATOMY, PHYSIOLOGY & BIOCHEMISTRY.

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ANATOMY is subdivided into : Gross Anatomy, Osteology, Embryology & Histology.


  • This seems to be an easy subject but believe me if you are able to understand each and every topic of physiology then only you’ll be able to understand Pathology, Pharmacology and Medicine.
  • Physiology is the basic science for all these subjects.

Books Recommended according to difficulty level :

  1. Ganong’s : It is a difficult book to study & understand no doubt but if you are a good student & a good reader, you should read this to have an Extra edge. But I wouldn’t recommend you to make this your standard books & better let it be for reference .
  1. Guyton’s : Guyton is the most recommended book to study & build concepts in Physiology. Since you would have to manipulate its concepts in own language in examinations, average students will find a little difficulty to but if they push a little, they would have amazing concepts & ofcourse will adapt very soon to reading such books like Robbin’s, Bailey & Love’s & Davidson’s during later years of MBBS.

We would recommend to start studying this. If you can’t or it has been  late as exams have arrived, read books mentioned below.

  1. AK Jain or Sembulingam or G K Pal : This is recommended for mediocre students. These books are not just to read during exams. These have potential to make you build concepts along with mugging up the whole. It is recommended for Exam oriented study with conceptual buildup.
  1. Physiology in Nutshell : Extremely meant for exam oriented study. You shouldn’t be only dependent on this the whole year. Perfect way is to read the above mentioned books the whole year & then revise using this when the examination arrives.

Basic tips for Physiology :

  • Make notes from 2–3 books and make your own answers.
  • Make your own flowcharts and draw as many as possible in your theory exams
  • Ace in practicals as they carry equal weightage.
  • Never miss practicals.
  • Build up a good rapport with the whole department.
  • Hard work and full dedication towards the subject as it is important to know Physiology before studying Pathology & Medicine.
  • Do solve previous year University papers to prepare well for your professional exams.
  • Most Important : Keep in touch with your Seniors & get important topics marked in your textbook to be safe from Pre exam Hassle.

Also Check out :

How to study Biochemistry in MBBS First Year?

How to study Anatomy in MBBS 1st Year?

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Abhinav is currently working as an Intern doctor. Being an avid reader by day and a freelance writer by night, he has been much active among medical students since past few years. Support him on his journey of being a Medical Influencer.

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