Know the differences between: gross, surface, microscopic, pathological and regional anatomy.
Gross anatomy- This is also known as macroscopic anatomy. This studies the structures of the body which can be seen by the naked eye (i.e. without the aid of microscopes or other tools). When you perform a dissection and examine the organs and their corresponding organ systems, this is the study of gross anatomy.
Microscopic anatomy- This on the other hand, examines structures which cannot be easily seen by the naked eye. For example, if you want to look at cells or the structures of the various tissues in the body, you will need equipment such as a microscope to examine them.
Surface anatomy- is a subdivision of gross anatomy and examines the structures deep to the skin as they pertain to the skin’s surface. Physical examinations utilize surface anatomy. For example, the physician, nurse, or other healthcare provider will use will use a stethoscope to listen to the heartbeat in the thoracic region (chest area). They can also feel your pulse through your neck or wrist.
Regional anatomy- examines structures at a specific area at a given time. For example, if a healthcare professional examines the cervical region (the neck area), he or she can look at the bones, muscles, nerves, and other structures in the area pertaining to the neck.
Anatomic pathology- examines the structures of the body as it relates to diseases and other medical disorders so that a diagnosis and treatment plan can be established. Usually the macroscopic (e.g. the organs) and microscopic (e.g. a biopsy) components are studied to identify a disease.