How Sketchy Neurology Dives Deep into The Sketchy Method With Story and Characters

Sketchy Neurology was crafted to tell a great story with the Sketchy Method. Take a behind the scenes look at how our team developed these lessons.

Learning neurology can be quite the journey.

There’s that diagram of spinal tracts in a dusty gray matter filing cabinet. Something about…thalamic nuclei? And just when you think you’ve memorized the cranial nerves, you’re asked about head trauma. You finally know the antiseizure meds, but what about differentiating seizure from syncope?

A journey indeed—though not one you need to go alone! Our brand new neurology lessons will give you a helping hand through the third and fourth years of med school.

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And not only did Sketchy’s team put their heads together to bring you high yield neuro content for the wards and boards, but along the way we spun the threads of an unforgettable story using the Sketchy Method. For the first time ever at Sketchy, these lessons are connected by the saga of an unlikely hero and his surprising companions.

It’s a story full of adventure… 

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And tragedy…

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And maybe even a little hope…

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Story Creation

Curious how the Sketchy team came up with this? Well, twelve gallons of cold pressed coffee and a pallet of pizza pockets later—kidding, mostly…the coffee was cold because our microwave was broken—the Content Team came together to brainstorm and spitball characters and settings. What would make Sketchy Neuro truly unforgettable while still utilizing the Sketchy Method? Or rather who? And where? Fast forward through many brainstorming sessions and the skeleton of a story emerged. The faintest outlines of an epic journey to connect the neurology topics you need to know along with a handful of colorful characters to accompany you on this adventure. Of course there was a lot of planning along the way: the units, the lessons, the many elements of story. The final pieces of the puzzle were the MindSmelts, top secret gatherings of minds where symbols, art, and script are sketched into existence.

Thus Sketchy Neuro was born. We wanted neurology to be different. We wanted it to stand out, to give you something more.


Why Story?

But why go all in on creating this story? Well, if you’re familiar with Sketchy, you know that we use the Sketchy Method to create visual worlds, and to guide you through these worlds we often use elements of narrative. Narratives can give order to complexity and forge a path through challenging, unfamiliar concepts. Narratives also help us link our Sketchy symbols to key concepts in a truly memorable way. For neuro, we went a step further to create a complete, integrated storyline.

Think of it like this: Learning is kinda like navigating an unknown world. You constantly have to orient yourself to new ideas made up of a new vocabulary. Stories have helped humans navigate for a really long time…we’ve just updated a few things.

As you explore our new neuro lessons, you’ll notice that each of the units takes place in a different setting within the broader story. This is a memory encoding strategy to help you categorize and differentiate topics to keep them distinct in your mind long after you learn them. And don’t worry, we’ve brought back our recurring symbols from your favorite Sketchy sketches—because, of course, neuro extends across every field of medicine from ob/gyn to surgery.

But it’s not just the symbols that recur. You’ll get to know a cast of characters—two siblings with a deep rivalry, a loveable creature from the deep, a fearless bird, and a host of guides, tricksters, and explorers. Throughout the lessons you’ll see their hopes and desires emerge, and the perils they face. Of course there’s conflict and danger. A cataclysm. Dark forces at work. But not all is as it seems at first glance. You might even want to find out how it all ends. To get a sense for what you’re stepping into, check out the trailer below.


Though not to fear if you just want a quick review on a specific topic, as we made sure each lesson can stand alone to deliver key content. We’d love to hear what you think—send us your feedback, especially if you’d like to see more! Oh, and if you feel like you first need to brush up on some of that neuro content from years gone past, check out our lessons on the cranial nerves and skull foramina. And, hey, why not some pharmacology while you’re at it? Just don’t wait around too long…a brand new adventure awaits!

Check out Neuro today!

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