clinical anatomy teaching mnemonics as "found imagery", starting points for whimsical illustration, collage, color experimentation and graphic design.

title image collage, using images from each mnemonic

Collage of Sixteen Anatomic Mnemonics.jpg

a poster print of the 16 mnemomics where i was first exposed to them: the whiteboards of Stanford's clinical anatomy dissection lab

anatomy dissection room.jpg

the poster was eventually mounted on a whiteboard, finding a home in the hallway outside

sixteen anatomic mnemonics on whiteboard

looking back on the project, however, i may like the original studies most

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BIG thanks to Dr. S.R., Dr. A.S., Dr. S.S., Dr. D.S., Dr. I.W. and the Stanford School of Medicine for the kind support and guidance! :)




aortic arch, proximal to distal : ABCs ; Aorta, Brachiocephalic trunk, left common Carotid artery, left subclavian artery


descending aorta, proximal to distal branches : canned soup, really good in cans ; celiac, superior mesenteric, renal, gonadal, inferior mesenteric, common iliac arteries


thoracic duct, location in thorax : a duck between two gooses ; thoracic duct is found between azygous vein and esophagus


diaphragmatic piercings, vertebral levels : I ate ten vegan eggs at’a noon ; IVC at T8, vagus nerve and esophagus at T10, aorta, thoracic duct and azygous vein T12


retroperitoneum, structures : SAD PUCKER ; Suprarenal (adrenal) glands, Aorta/IVC, Duodenum (2nd and 3rd segments), Pancreas (except the tail), Ureters, Colon (the ascending and descending parts), Kidneys, Esophagus and Rectum


ureter and gonadal artery, relative orientation : water under the bridge ; urine i.e., water carrying ureters lie posterior to the anterior gonadal artery, vas deferens, or uterine artery “bridge


femoral triangle contents, lateral to medial : NAVEL ; Nerve, Artery, Vein, Empty space, Lymphatic


pulmonary arteries to bronchus, relative orientation : aRALS ; pulmonary arteries, the Right is Anterior the Left is Superior


external carotid artery, branches :  some aardvarks like fruit, others prefer single malt ; superior thyroid, ascending pharyngeal, lingual, facial, occipital, posterior auricular, superficial temporal, and maxillary arteries


facial nerve, branches : to Zanzibar by motor car, please! ; temporal, zygomatic, buccal, mandibular, cervical and posterior auricular branches.


brachial plexus, organization : real truckers drink cold beer ; brachial plexus organized via roots, trunks, divisions, cords, and branches.


brachial plexus, spinal nerve contributions : 3 musketeers assassinated 5 rats, 5 mice, and 2 unicorns musculocutaneous (C5, C6, C7), axillary (C5, C6), radial (C5, C6, C7, C8, T1), median (C5, C6, C7, C8, T1), and ulnar (C8, T1) nerves.


radial nerve, muscular innervations : BEAST ; brachioradialis, extensor muscles of the hand, anconius muscle, supinator, triceps.


serratus anterior, spinal nerve innervation : five six seven raise your hands to heaven ; raising one’s arms up towards the heavensinvolves the serratus anterior muscle, innervated by the long thoracic nerve (cervical spinal nerves 56, and 7)


rotator cuff, muscles : SItS ; Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, teres minor, Subscapularis


bicipital groove, attachments : a lady between two majors ; latissimus dorsi attaches to the humerus in between pectoralis major and teres major.