Review | Questions | Glossary


Human anatomy studies the structures of the body. Some of these structures are very small. They can only be seen using a microscope. And there are other larger structures too. The word “anatomy” comes from a word that means “to cut a part”. Human anatomy was first studied by looking at the outside of the body and seeing the wounds of soldiers. Later, physicians were allowed to dissect bodies of the dead to increase their knowledge. When a body is dissected, its structures are cut apart so we can see what they are and how they work with other structures. Dissection is still used in medical schools, anatomy courses, and in pathology labs. There are other techniques that help the clinician see inside the body in people who are a live.

Review Questions

Which specialty might study the structures of the ankle and foot?
microscopic anatomy
NO, microscopic anatomy studies the structures that can be seen only with the use of a microscope
muscle anatomy
NO, muscle anatomy studies ALL the muscles in the body, not just the muscles of the ankle and foot.
regional anatomy
CORRECT! Regional anatomy studies the relationships of all of the structures in a specific body region. And the ‘ankle and foot’ are a specific body region.
systemic anatomy
NO, systemic anatomy studies structures that perform a specific body function. For example, the cardiovascular system.
A scientist wants to study how the body uses foods and fluids during a marathon run. This scientist is most likely a(n) ________.
exercise physiologist
microscopic anatomist
NO. Remember that microscopic anatomy looks at body structures too small to see without a microscope.
regional physiologist
NO. Regional physiologist look at a specific region of the body.
systemic anatomist
NOT THE BEST ANSWER. Yes, the scientist would be looking at the digestive system (food and fluids) but in this case, they are more interested in the effects during exercise.


science that studies the structures of the body.



gross anatomy
study of the larger structures of the body, typically with the unaided eye; also referred to macroscopic anatomy

steady state of body systems that living organisms maintain

microscopic anatomy
study of very small structures of the body using magnification

science that studies the chemistry, biochemistry, and physics of the body’s functions

regional anatomy
study of the structures that contribute to specific body regions

systemic anatomy
study of the structures that contribute to specific body systems