Basics Of Anatomy & Physiology | Anatomy - Physiology Notes



Anatomy & physiology plays the vital role in medical science, without the knowledge of Anatomy and Physiology there is no independent existence of other areas of study in medical science. Human anatomy is the branch of science which deals with the study of the internal and external structure of the human body whereas Physiology is defined as the branch of science that deals with the study of normal functions of the Human body.



    • Anterior or Ventral – Front side of the body
    • Posterior or Dorsal – Back side of the body
    • Superior or Cranial – Towards head
    • Inferior or Caudal – Towards feet
    • Medial – In the Middle

  • Lateral – Away from the mid-point
  • Proximal – Starting point
  • Distal – Ending point
  • Superficial – Close to the skin or Towards surface of the body.
  • Deep – Away from skin or Away from the surface of the body.
  • Ipsilateral – On the same side of the body as another structure
  • Contralateral – On the opposite side of the body as another structure.
  • Invagination – Projection inside
  • Evagination – Projection outside


  • Anatomical position – When a person is standing straight with the eyes looking forward, both the arms the side of the body, palms facing forwards, both feet together.
  • Supine position – When a person is lying on his/her back, arms by the side, palms facing upwards and feet put together.
  • Prone position – Person lying on his/her face, chest and abdomen.
  • Erect position – Person standing straight.
  • Lithotomy position – Person lying on her back with legs up and feet supported in straps, mostly used during delivery of the baby.


  • Median/ Midsagittal plane – A plane passing through the center of the body dividing it into two equal right and left halves is the median or midsagittal plane.
  • Coronal/ Frontal plane – A plane which divides the body into anterior and posterior halves is called the coronal plane.
  • Transverse/ Axial plane – A plane which divides the body into upper and lower parts is called a transverse plane.
  • Sagittal/ Lateral plane – A plane which divides the body into two unequal left and right halves is called the sagittal plane.


It is divided into two parts –

  • Anterior/Ventral Cavity – It is divided into the Thoracic cavity, Abdominal cavity, and the Pelvic cavity
  • Posterior/Dorsal Cavity – It is divided into Cranial Cavity and the Spinal Cavity.

Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564) for his best-known word ‘fabrica humani corporis’ in which he incorporated both anatomy and physiology, is known as the father of modern Anatomy and William Harvey (1578-1657), who discovered the system of blood circulation is regarded as the father of modern Physiology


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