General Anatomy

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Course Director(s):

Arthur Washburn, PhD


General Anatomy, Anatomy 102, includes the developmental and general anatomy of the entire body excluding the lower extremity. The Fetal Period of development (ninth week to birth) will be the focal point for the embryological aspects of the course. This period of study will include an introduction to Teratology - the study of abnormal development. Three approaches to the material are used concurrently throughout the course: lectures present concepts of structure and function, films and radiographs demonstrate structures in specific regions, and dissections of cadavers reveal the interrelationships of all structures of the body.

Following the satisfactory completion of General Anatomy, the student will have an understanding of the relationship between the developmental processes and the other primary anatomical sciences: gross anatomy, neuroanatomy and histology. The student will be able to describe and discuss, using proper anatomical terminology, the embryological development and gross structural organization of the following body regions:

  • Back
  • Thoracic and abdominal walls
  • Thoracic cavity
  • Abdominopelvic cavity and perineum
  • Head and neck
  • Upper extremity

The student will demonstrate, through successful completion of both didactic examinations and laboratory practicals, a working knowledge of the general anatomy of the various somatic and visceral systems, including organogenesis, of these body regions and their visceral contents. While all body systems will be studied, the musculoskeletal, nervous and circulatory systems will receive the most emphasis because of their direct functional significance to the lower extremity. The student will achieve an understanding of general anatomy as a series of regions which are integrated by the different systems into the entire human body. This knowledge will provide background for courses in Lower Extremity Anatomy.


General Anatomy is included in the podiatric curriculum because it is necessary that the podiatrist understand the fundamental anatomy of the entire body in order to deal successfully with a specialized part of it. This course provides not only a basic foundation in human anatomy which will be of use in later courses but also an appreciation of the fact that the foot is not an isolated entity.

A working knowledge of gross and developmental anatomy will give the student of podiatric medicine an understanding of three-dimensional anatomical relationships. This ability is necessary in order to evaluate a patient when conducting a complete physical examination. It will also increase the podiatrist's ability to communicate with other physicians.