Anatomy is loosely defined as the study of the body and its functions.
The plant, animal or organism being studied is unimportant.
Anatomy is therefore basically the study of all living things including but not limited to; Human, plant, animal, insect, and other types of organisms. This study includes not only how these organisms are put together, but their biology, physiology, structure and function as well. Anatomy is also further subdivided into;
- Gross Anatomy ~ often called topical anatomy and studies structures that which can be seen by the naked eye.
- Microscopic Anatomy ~ Using a microscope to study minute anatomical structures
- Histology ~ study of the way tissues are organized
- Cytology ~ Anatomy of cells and cellular function as seen under a microscope
The Cardiovascular, Musculoskeletal and CNS System are just a few of the many complex systems that are considered during a study of the Anatomy of the body.
Therefore the study of Anatomy is not simply the study of one topic, but rather, is typically broken down into systems, or even further broken down into sub-systems.
There are several systems that are studied in Anatomy they are as follows:
The CNS or Central Nervous System which includes the Brain, Spinal Cord and Nerves
Sub specialties may include traumatic head injury, Chiropractic, Neruological Disorders, Spinal Cord Injury, etc.,
The Cardiovascular System which includes the Heart and Blood Vessels.
Sub specialties may include Cardiology, Circulatory Disorders, Hematology, etc.,
The Respiratory System which includes the Nose, Lungs and Airways Sub specialties may include Asthma, Chronic lung disease, EENT, Rhinology, etc.,
The Endocrine System which may also include the Lymphatic System and is often considered as the Immune System. Sub specialties may include infectious diseases, endocrine disorders, lymphatic disorders, disorders in metabolism, etc.,
The Digestive System which includes the Mouth, Stomach and Intestines
Sub specialties may include Gastrology, Dentistry, Proctology, etc.,
The Musculoskeletal System which includes the Skeleton, Muscles, Tendons and Ligaments Sub specialties may include Chiropractic, muscle diseases, sports injuries, etc.,
The Integumentary System which is the Skin (The skin is the largest organ)
Sup specialties may include skin cancers, acne, scar reduction, etc.,
The Reproductive System Includes all organs of reproduction for both male and female organisms. (sometimes referred to as the Genitourinary System which would then, also include the Kidneys, Bladder and Urethra.) Sub specialties may include Urology, Gynecology, Dialysis, etc.,
More detailed studies of Anatomy can be broken down into smaller disciplines such as the anatomy of the Brain, Heart, Autonomic Nervous System, Sympathetic Nervous System and so on...
Many Medical and Veterinary Doctor Specialties are actually broken down by system or even sub-components within a specific Anatomic System of the body. i.e., Neurology, Gastrology, Urology, Rheumatology, Pulmonology, etc.,
The study of Anatomy may also be further broken down by species, as Anatomy is not specifically a Human science, but is rather considered among the most diversified of the Biological Sciences encompassing all living species.