Sketchy Medical Review: Is it a Must-Have Resource for Both Pre-Med & Med Students?

Starting from MCAT to surviving medical school can be a daunting task, mainly due to the overwhelming amount of information that needs to be absorbed. Many students, including myself, struggle with memorizing complex subjects like anatomy, microbiology, and pharmacology. 

However, the introduction of Sketchy into my study routine proved to be a game-changer. With the help of this invaluable resource, I not only managed to pass my microbiology and pharmacology blocks but also successfully completed Step 1 of my medical journey. 

As I progress into my fourth year, I feel compelled to share my experiences and shed light on why Sketchy should be embraced by all medical students.

Note that Sketchy has separate modules for Medical, MCAT, Nursing/NCLEX NextGen, PA, Pharmacy and Nursing.

Who Can Benefit from Sketchy?

  • Medical students from allopathic or osteopathic schools or preparing for USMLE: Regardless of the type of medical school you attend, Sketchy can be immensely beneficial.

Sketchy For Medical Students

  • Undergraduate students preparing for MCAT: Sketchy’s approach can also be valuable for those studying microbiology at the undergraduate level.

  • Pharmacology for Nursing/Pharmacy students: Students in nursing or pharmacy programs may find the memory palaces created by Sketchy useful for memorizing drugs and their side effects.

Understanding Sketchy: An Overview

Sketchy is an animated video resource that aids students in memorizing complex material, particularly in the fields of microbiology and pharmacology. It employs a technique known as “memory palaces,” where students imagine a place or “palace” with various objects representing specific concepts. 

It brings these memory palaces to life through animated drawings or “sketches.” This approach takes advantage of the concept that although recalling specific details may be challenging, we often have an easier time remembering the location of a place by relying on its surrounding environment. For instance, a memory palace may feature an imaginary mansion with a cluster of bananas, symbolizing potassium.

You can watch this video

In general, Sketchy offers both pre-clinical and clinical decks for medical students. “Sketchy Medical” covers all the necessary material for Step 1 and Step 2.

When Should I Incorporate Sketchy into My Studies?

I recommend that you incorporate Sketchy into your study routine early on, ideally during your initial year of medical school while undertaking pathology, microbiology, or pharmacology courses. Recently, Sketchy has unveiled a Step 2/Clinical series that can prove advantageous for students in the clinical years of medical school.

Accessing Sketchy: Where to Find It

Sketchy is readily available through its website, providing easy access to its comprehensive resources.

Reasons to Embrace Sketchy in Your Medical Journey

1. Effective Memorization Technique

Sketchy’s Memory Palace approach is highly effective. By associating concepts with vivid visuals, information becomes easier to retain.

2. Long-lasting Knowledge

The knowledge acquired through Sketchy extends beyond Step 1. You’ll find that the information sticks with you, enhancing your abilities even during clinical rotations. For example, I have impressed colleagues on rounds by recalling rare associations, such as the JC virus in renal transplant patients.

3. Enhanced Memorization

Sketchy makes the often tedious task of memorization more bearable and significantly easier. Personally, I credit Sketchy for helping me pass my microbiology and pharmacology blocks successfully.

4. Continued Utility

Although I regret not utilizing Sketchy for Step 2, I recently gained access to it and highly recommend it. If you struggle to remember certain diseases or concepts, Sketchy can aid in recalling challenging topics such as pericarditis and its etiologies and associations.

Utilizing Sketchy: Best Practices

1. Review Cards

Each Sketchy video includes a “review card” at the bottom, featuring a sketch of the entire video with labels explaining the meaning of each symbol. These review cards provide an excellent opportunity to consolidate and review the material covered.

2. Purchase Workbook

I strongly advise obtaining a printout of all the Sketches, allowing you to take notes and serve as a helpful review before exams. Having a tangible copy of the Sketches can be beneficial for comprehensive studying.

3. Anki

To reinforce your learning, consider using the Anking Step decks alongside Sketchy.

What’s the Latest with Sketchy?

Sketchy now offers a combined subscription plan for Step 1 and Step 2 materials. Take advantage of their Black Friday offer, providing a 20% discount on all subscription plans. I highly recommend securing your subscription before the offer ends.


As a medical student, the challenges of memorizing extensive material can be daunting. However, Sketchy’s innovative approach with memory palaces and animated sketches has proven to be a game-changer. 

By using Sketchy, you can improve your ability to retain information, even beyond Step 1. Don’t miss the opportunity to optimize your studying and enhance your medical knowledge with Sketchy’s comprehensive resources.


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