I just finished my patho course in June. Got a 93.5%. Here is what I did:
Spend time everyday studying. Don't underestimate study time.
You need to take notes on everything you read.
You should have a good medical dictionary. I use Mosby's.
You should have a Merck manual.
Every single time you come across a word/term you don't understand, look it up thoroughly. Include the definitions in your notes.
Having chem knowledge beforehand helps quite a bit.
You may think this is overkill, but after I wrote from 15-30 pages of notes per chapter, I then re-wrote the notes, summarizing in just a few pages.
If there are any questions in the text, do them.
If there is a study guide to the text, get it and use it.
If you feel you can work well with a group, try that. I didn't do that, but I know people who did, and felt it helped.
The readings will get easier after a couple weeks, and you will acclimate to the reading level and degree of difficulty.
Do not give up, or let yourself get discouraged. When you do not understand something in the text, take a short break, and RE-READ it until you do understand it. Make sure to do the studying everyday, and never let yourself get behind.
You will get through it if you commit to doing the work.
One more thing- I enjoyed this course more than most other courses I've taken. If you decide that you will make the best of it, and really decide to love the work - you will get more out of it. It really is satisfying to learn this material.
You can also always ask questions on this message board - there will be lots of help here!
Best wishes. Regards, Susan