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Medicine LibreTexts

1: An Introduction to the Human Body

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    • 1.1: Introduction to the Human Body
      An understanding of human anatomy and physiology is crucial for those who work in the health care field.  Knowledge of these subjects can also be beneficial outside of a health care career, allowing for a better understanding of nutrition, medications, medical devices and procedures, and genetic or infectious diseases.
    • 1.2: Overview of Anatomy and Physiology
      While this textbook focuses on the subject of human anatomy, an understanding of how anatomy and physiology are linked is an important concept.  Anatomy is the study of structure, which can be studied at several different levels.  Physiology is the study of function.  Structure determines function, so a strong foundation in anatomy is essential for the study of physiology.
    • 1.3: Structural Organization of the Human Body
      The human body can be studied at many different levels of organization.  These levels of organization start simple and increase in complexity.  It is important to consider these levels when learning anatomy.
    • 1.4: Functions of Human Life
      Structure determines function, and in the study of anatomy it is important to keep this in mind.  There are a few key functions of life which include organization, metabolism, responsiveness, movement, development, and reproduction.
    • 1.5: Homeostasis
      The human body works to maintain a constant state of homeostasis.  The two key mechanisms that the body can uses to maintain homeostasis include negative feedback and positive feedback.
    • 1.6: Anatomical Terminology
      In an effort to reduce ambiguity and increase accuracy, anatomical terminology is used by anatomists and by professionals in health care fields.  Understanding and using this terminology is essential for the study of human anatomy.
    • 1.7: Medical Imaging
      The ability to see inside a living human body can be essential to diagnose and treat many conditions.  There are several medical imaging techniques used today to accomplish this including x-ray, CT, MRI, PET, and ultrasonography.