Difference Between Anatomy and Physiology (With Table)

Anatomy vs Physiology

Anatomy and Physiology, both these terms are very commonly used in the medical field.

While most people think these terms are the same and people tend to study these subjects with each other and they understand that both of these subjects are linked to each other.

Knowledge of any of these two subjects is critical before understanding the other subject as both of them are extremely important and interrelated to each other.

Even though both these subjects appear to be the same, they are entirely different from each other.

Anatomy has the dictionary meaning of “structure”. People study about different body parts of the human body in the field of anatomy.

On the other hand, physiology which has the dictionary meaning of “function” taught people about the way these body parts function with each other and how these body parts are interlinked to each other.


 

Comparison Table Between Anatomy and Physiology (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonAnatomyPhysiology
DefinitionAnatomy is a field of medical study which taught people about the body structures of living beings. It includes the study of bones, muscles and various body parts.Physiology is the field of medical study which taught about the functioning of various body orders in a coordinated way. It includes a study related to respiration, digestion etc.
Experimented onExperiments in anatomy can be performed on either dead or living being.Experiments in physiology are performed only on living creatures.
FunctionsIn anatomy, the study is done on body organs, overall body structure, muscles etc.It focuses mainly on how different body organs functions together.
RelevanceAnatomy helps in teaching individuals about various organs of the body.Physiology helps in teaching people how different functions carried out in the body of a living being
ExampleIf we are studying the anatomy of the heart, it means study about arteries, veins etc.If we are studying the physiology of heart, it means understanding how the heart pumps blood all across the body.

 

What is Anatomy?

The word anatomy has a very significant meaning in Greek which means “cutting”. The study related to any body part of a living being is known as anatomy.

The body of any living being on the earth has various parts. Some of the body parts can be viewed by naked eyes whereas some can be seen with the help of a microscope.

Study-related the body parts of human beings is called human anatomy. The idea of the importance of human anatomy pops in the mind when soldiers get injured.

This interest helps in allowing physicians so that they can cut the human body and learn more about human anatomy.

Dead bodies of human beings are dissected in medical institutions as part of this subject so that students can gain information about various body parts.

Nowadays, there are various technologies that help in understanding the internal organs of the body. Some of these technologies are X Rays, ultrasound, etc.

There are two ways to understand the structures of the body. Regional anatomy helps in gaining the knowledge related to a particular area of the body like the abdomen.

Systematic anatomy helps in understand how different structures of different regions of the body function together.

Anatomy
Study of body parts of human beings
 

What is Physiology?

Physiology is also known as the science of life. It is that part of biology which helps in understanding the functioning of living things. It includes the functioning all organs of the body.

Physiology is the study of learning how different organs of the body work in a coordinated way to support the proper functioning of a living creature’s body.

It involves observing the functioning of various organs of the body. Some of the body functions included in this study are:

  1. Respiration
  2. Cardiovascular
  3. Urinal

To understand the physiology in detail, let’s discuss this with the example of respiration.

In respiration, it is very important to understand how a person is breathing oxygen with the help of noise and how lungs are functioning.

Physiology is how different organs work in a coordinated way
Physiology is how different organs work in a coordinated way

Main Differences Between Anatomy and Physiology

Although both are fields of biology and related to the body parts of living beings but still there exists a lot of difference between anatomy and physiology:

  1. Anatomy deals in the study of various structures of the body whereas physiology involves the study of various functions of the body like respiration and urinal functions.
  2. Anatomy is performed on the dead as well as living beings as the study is focused on various structures and shapes of the body whereas physiology is performed only on living beings as it is more focused on how different organs are functioning along with others.
  3. Anatomy makes people understand about various body parts of living being body being it human or any other creature on earth whereas physiology helps in making people understand how these parts are working.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Anatomy and Physiology

  1. What are the three types of anatomy?

    The three types of anatomy are as follows:

    The first type is the gross anatomy. The second type is the microscopic anatomy and the third type is the macroscopic anatomy.

  2. What are the two types of physiology?

    Physiology is the study of the functioning of the living creatures.

    The first type of physiology deals with the activities of life or living matter like organs and tissues.

    The second type of physiology deals with the chemical phenomena which are involved in the world.

  3. Why do we study physiology?

    The study of the normal functioning within the living creatures is known as physiology. It helps to understand the working of the organs, the anatomy cells, and the other biological compounds.

  4. What are the subjects in physiology?

    The different subjects in the field of physiology are cell biology, basic Physics, human anatomy, organic chemistry, and systems physiology.

  5. Is a physiologist a doctor?

    Yes, physiologist can be termed as a doctor.

    A physiologist is a specialist who has the skills and technique to move the body of the patient in such a way so that it provides relief to the joints and muscles of the human.

    A physiologist also helps in setting the bones to the right places if by any accident have been moved.

  6. Who is the father of anatomy?

    Andreas Vesalius who was the Belgian anatomist and physician is known as the father of anatomy.

    He was born in the year 1514 into a family that was full of physicians. He is also considered as the father of modern anatomy and his work is famous for the implementation of modern medicine.

  7. Why is anatomy so important?

    It is very important to understand the proper functioning of the human organs and the different parts of the human body.

    If a doctor or a person does not have this information, then you will not be able to treat the patient properly. Thus all of this can only be studied with the help of anatomy and physiology course.


 

Conclusion

Both of the studies i.e. anatomy and physiology are having an objective that people understand better about the organs of living beings and how they are functioning in a coordinated manner.

Both of the topics are very close to each other and this is the prime reason that both of these are being taught together in medical institutions.

On one hand, anatomy is the study of how living creatures are being organized internally and externally whereas on the other hand physiology defines how these structures function together.

In order to understand physiology, complete knowledge of anatomy is mandatory.

But all in all both anatomy and physiology are great ways for understanding completely about the body parts and their functioning.

Understanding of both of these concepts makes an individual a better doctor or biologist


 

Word Cloud for Difference Between Anatomy and Physiology

The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on Anatomy and Physiology. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.

Difference Between Anatomy and Physiology
Word Cloud for Anatomy and Physiology

 

References

  1. https://asa.scitation.org/doi/pdf/10.1121/1.1398047
  2. https://cjasn.asnjournals.org/content/3/Supplement_3/S131.short