Although “anatomy” is commonly taken to refer to human anatomy, it is a branch of natural science which deals with the structural organization of living things.
This includes the study of organisms’ structure, their different parts and how they work together as independent and interdependent units of the whole organism.
It is a very old science, with a beginning that is traceable to the prehistoric times. The history of anatomy is characterized by a progressive understanding of the functions of the organs and structures of the human body.
Human anatomy is one of the essential basic sciences that are applied in medicine and many other medical-related courses in the health sciences, as well as in physiotherapy.
The study of anatomy is divided into Microscopic and Macroscopic. While Macroscopic anatomy, also known as gross anatomy, refers to the study of biological structures that are visible to the naked eye, Microscopic anatomy focuses on the study of cells and tissues of animals, humans and plant, that are too small to be visible with the naked eye.
Developmental knowledge of anatomy is inherently tied to developmental biology, embryology, comparative anatomy, evolutionary biology, and phylogeny, as these are the processes by which anatomy is generated, both over immediate and long-term timescales.
Outstanding anatomical observations of the human body helped advance the understanding of the brain, eye, liver, reproductive organs and the nervous system, as well as how they work and interrelate with one another for the effective functioning of the human body.
All these became possible only after mankind gained the knowledge to dissect the human body, something the older civilizations generally held in superstitious and associated with spirits and the unknowns.
This has led to a deeper knowledge of the human body and the human organ systems such as the integumentary system (skin, hair, nails, and so on), the skeletal system, muscular system, the Lymphatic system, respiratory system, digestive system, nervous system, the endocrine system which regulates hormone production, the cardiovascular system, the urinary system and the reproductive system.
Even though these systems are treated as independent units with different names, they all work interdependently and rely on each other for the overall normal functioning of the human body.
This is why the study of Anatomy is essential and an important subject in all medical and medical-related fields. Aside from the pure medical fields such as general medicine, most health-care related fields require knowledge and training in anatomy. Paramedics, physical therapists, occupational therapists, nurses, orthotists, prosthetists, and biological scientists all need a good knowledge of anatomy.
Hence, the knowledge of anatomy is very essential in understanding the structure and functioning of the cells, tissues and membranes that make up our bodies and how our major systems function to help us develop and stay healthy.
For medical students, therefore, it is very essential and inevitable knowledge. For medical students that study medicine in Ukraine, anatomy is one of their most important courses, which is usually a multi-semester course that culminates with a make or mar exam, dreaded by lazy medical students.
It is, therefore, very important to start preparing for this all-important course in earnest within the limits of free time as it is one of the backbones and requirement for becoming quality and knowledgeable medical doctor, not just for passing exams, but for a successful professional career.