What is Human Anatomy?

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OpenStax Anatomy and Physiology

Human anatomy is the study of human body parts. Some parts are very small or microscopic while other parts are large and can be readily seen by the naked eye. The word “anatomy” comes from a Greek word which means “to cut apart.” The study of human anatomy was first used by observing the body and wounds of injured soldiers. Eventually, physicians were permitted to dissect dead bodies to improve their knowledge. Today, dissection is still used in anatomy college courses and medical schools. In the wake of technological revolution, imaging techniques are used to study living internal human structures such as tumors and fractured bones.

Human anatomy do have areas of specialization. Below is a list specialization:

– is the study of large body parts which is visible without the aid of microscope. It is also called macroscopic anatomy.

– is the study of small body structures that can only be seen with the use of microscopic. This area includes cytology, the study of body cells, and histology, the study of body tissues.

– is the study of all the body parts in a specific region and how they relate to each other such as organs in the thoracic or chest region.

– is the study of body parts that make the distinct body system such as cardiovascular system or skeletal system.


Betts, J. G., Young, K. A., Wise, J. A., Johnson, E., Poe, B., Kruse, D. H., … DeSaix, P. (n.d.). Anatomy and Physiology. Houston, Texas: OpenStax. Access for free at: https://openstax.org/details/books/anatomy-and-physiology