What is Human Anatomy ?

Human anatomy can be precisely defined as a complementary basic medical science, which deals with the scientific study of the morphology of the human body. In simpler words, human anatomy is the study of the structure of the human body.

Subdivisions of Human Anatomy:

There are two main levels of structure of the human body (as well as every other thing): macroscopic level and microscopic level. For each of the two levels. there is a separate subdivision of anatomy. The one dealing with macroscopic level is known as gross anatomy and the other which deals with microscopic level is called microscopic anatomy or histology.

Gross anatomy:

In gross anatomy, the structure of the human body is studied as seen by naked eye. There are two approaches for gross anatomy: Regional approach and Systemic approach.

  • In a regional approach, a human body is divided into regions like arm, forearm, wrist etc and all structures within that region are studied simultaneously.
  • Whereas in a systemic approach, the body is divided into organ systems such as skeletal system, muscular system, nervous system etc and structures belonging to one system are studied together. This website follows the systemic approach. Visit “Body Systems” for detailed study of each system of the human body.


Histology or microscopic anatomy is the study of the structure of various organs and tissues of human body under a microscope. The understanding of the ultra-structure helps to understand the tissues and organs in a better way.

Basic Anatomy:

In addition to the main subdivisions of human anatomy described above, a third branch, called basic anatomy, is considered of significant importance. It explains the basic terms and definitions used in the study of gross as well as microscopic anatomy. Thus it provides an introduction to anatomy and tells how to study it.