sixteen anatomic medical mnemonics

Mnemonics are prolific within medicine, and helpful!

When I began medical school, I became intrigued by the idea of using mnemonics as "found imagery", starting points for whimsical illustration, collage, color experimentation and graphic design.

Thus, in the summer of 2016, I undertook a project to visually explore 16 “high-yield” mnemonics, most of which were gleaned from the white boards at Stanford’s clinical anatomy Dissection Lab*.

I began the project by selecting 16 mnemonics*, based on their potential as found imagery and utility during our examinations.

I then generated brief descriptions of each mnemonic (found here) and used Adobe Illustrator to merge text with imagery, resulting in the below 16:9 aspect ratio panels:

Next, I printed the 16:9 panels at A3 size, added more color using Sharpie oil paint markers and scanned the results (shown below) at Stanford's Tech Lounge*

sixteen anatomic mnemonic scans

Close-ups of scans (please note, clicking on these will open a further illustrated explanatory page with relevant wiki-links):


At this point, I realized that the 16:9 aspect ratio was not particularly suitable for printing on US letter paper --- too much wasted space.

In addition, I reckoned that a distributable version of the project should contain embedded explanatory text for each mnemonic.

Thus, I reformatted the 16:9 panels into US letter paper-sized mergings of mnemonic, explanatory text, shape, color, scribbles and dermatopathomicroscropy*:

US letter compilation



A major goal of the project was to release it freely --- please download free Kindle/iBook version here --- or what about a one-off, at-cost printed version? (cover of print version below)

sixteen anatomic mnemonics front cover

Near the end of the summer of 2016, I made a final collage containing one image from each mnemonic, resulting in the title image of the website:

To conclude the project, I thought it might be fitting to install a print of the anatomic mnemomics where I was first exposed to them --- the white boards of Stanford's clinical anatomy Dissection Lab!

anatomy dissection room.jpg

That's it --- thanks for viewing the site! :)

And please allow me to extend my deepest gratitude to Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, Dr. Audrey Shafer, Dr. Sakti Srivastava, Dr. Darren Salmi, Dr. Ian Whitmore and the Stanford School of Medicine for their generous support, teaching and guidance during this project and beyond --- BIG thanks! :)