Audio Lecture 01. Introduction and Terminology

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Anatomy is the study of the structure of the body. Often, you may be more interested in functions of the body. Functions include digestion, respiration, circulation, and reproduction. Physiology is the study of the functions of the body.

The body is a chemical and physical machine. As such, it is subject to certain laws. These are sometimes called natural laws. Each part of the body is engineered to do a particular job. These jobs are functions. For each job or body function, there is a particular structure engineered to do it.

In the laboratory, anatomy is studied by dissection (SECT = cut, DIS = apart).


No two human beings are built exactly alike, but we can group individuals into three major categories. These groups represent basic body shapes.

MORPH = body, body form

ECTO = all energy is outgoing

ENDO = all energy is stored inside

MESO = between, in the middle

ECTOMORPH = slim individual

ENDOMORPH = broad individual

MESOMORPH = body type between the two others, “muscular” type

Ectomorphs, slim persons, are more susceptible to lung infections. Endomorphs are more susceptible to heart disease.


Each profession and each science has its own language. Lawyers have legal terminology. Physicians and other medical professions and occupations have medical terminology, and educators have objectives, domains, and curricula.

To work in a legal field, you should know the meaning of quid pro quo. To work in a medical field, you should know the meanings of terms such as proximal, distal, sagittal, femur, humerus, thorax, and cerebellum.


Microscopic anatomy is the study of structures that cannot be seen with the unaided eye. You need a microscope.

Gross anatomy by systems is the study of organ systems, such as the respiratory system or the digestive system.

Gross anatomy by regions considers anatomy in terms of regions such as the trunk, upper member, or lower member.

Neuroanatomy studies the nervous system.

Functional anatomy is the study of relationships between functions and structures.

An Introductory Course for Health Profession Students