Anatomy and Physiology

Course Overview:

The Goal of this course is to introduce students to human anatomy and physiology, with emphasis on the systems of the body and how they are interrelated.

This course presents an overview of human anatomy and physiology studies during 18 weeks of class. Areas covered include: medical terminology, basic chemistry, cell and tissue structure, and the 11 systems of the human body (integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, endocrine, circulatory, lymphatic, digestive, respiratory, urinary and reproductive).

Course Outline:
TERM III (10 weeks)
"Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology" (week 1)
  • Define the sciences of anatomy and physiology
  • List and describe biological levels of organization
  • Properly use the terms that describe relative body positions, and regions
  • Name and describe the general organs, locations and functions of the organ systems of the human body
"Skeletal System" (1 week)
  • Describe the general structure of a bone
  • Discuss the major functions of bones
  • Locate and identify the bones
  • Distinguish between intramembranous & endochondral ossification
  • Distinguish between axial & appendicular skeletons
  • List and describe the 3 classes of joints and give examples of each
"Muscular System" (1 week)
  • Describe the structure of a skeletal muscle fiber
  • Explain how a muscle fiber contraction occurs
  • Distinguish between a twitch and a sustained contraction
  • Distinguish between the structures and functions of smooth muscle
  • Compare the contraction mechanism of skeletal and cardiac muscle fibers
  • Describe the locations and actions of the major skeletal muscles
"Skin and the Integumentary System"(1 week)
  • Describe the four major types of membranes
  • Describe the structure of the skin and its functions
  • Describe the accessory organs of skin
  • Explain how the skin aids in regulation of body temperature
"Basic Chemistry" (1 week)
  • Describe the relationships between atoms and molecules
  • Describe the three types of chemical reactions
  • List the major inorganic compounds common in cells
  • Describe the functions of the various organic compounds in cells
  • Labs:
    • Acid/Base Lab
"Cells and Tissues" (1 week)
  • Describe the characteristics of a composite cell
  • Explain how substances move through cell membranes
  • Explain how a cell divides, including the cell cycle & mitosis and meiosis
  • Describe the Types/Functions/Locations of the four main types of tissues:
    1. Epithelial
    2. Connective
    3. Muscle
    4. Nervous
  • Labs:
    • Osmosis in Action Lab
    • Microscope Lab - Distinguishing between the stages of mitosis
    • Microscope Lab - Distinguishing between tissue types
"Respiratory System" (1 week)
  • List general functions of the respiratory system and the organs
  • Describe cellular respiration
  • Explain the mechanisms of inspiration and expiration
  • Labs:
    • Testing Lung Capacity
"Digestive System" (1 week)
  • Describe the general functions of the digestive system
  • Name and describe the locations and major parts of the digestive organs
  • List the major nutrients, including carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and vitamins and minerals and describe how cells use these nutrients
  • Labs:
    • Testing Nutrients Lab
"Urinary System" (1 week)
  • Name and list the functions of the organs of the urinary system
  • Describe a nephron, and explain the functions of its major parts
  • Explain the process of urine formation
  • Explain results of urine tests


TERM IV (8 weeks)
"Reproductive System" (1 week)
  • Describe organs of the reproductive system
  • List the path of the sperm and egg from production to fertilization
  • Describe symptoms and treatment of STD’s
"Pregnancy, Growth and Development" (1 week)
  • Distinguish between growth and development
  • Distinguish between the prenatal and postnatal periods
  • Define pregnancy and describe the process of fertilization
  • Describe the major events of embryonic and fetal development
  • Describe the major circulatory and physiological adjustments required of the newborn
"Nervous System" (1 week)
  • Explain the general functions of the nervous system
  • Describe the general structure of a neuron
  • Explain how information passes from one neuron to another
  • Compare and contrast the major functions and parts of the nervous system, including the central, peripheral, and autonomic nervous systems
  • Opioid receptors and cocaine inhibition of dopamine reuptake
"Somatic and Special Senses" (1 week)
  • Name five kinds of receptors and explain their functions
  • Describe the somatic senses including the sense of smell, taste, hearing, sight, and touch
  • Labs:
    • Eye Dissection Lab
    • Senses Lab
"Endocrine System" (1 week)
  • Distinguish between endocrine glands and exocrine glands
  • Name and describe the location of the major endocrine glands, and list the hormones that they secrete
  • Describe the job of important hormones and their interaction
  • Endorphin production
"Blood and Cardiovascular System" (1 week)
  • Describe the general characteristics of blood and discuss its major functions
  • Distinguish among the types of blood cells and their functions
  • Define hemostasis and explain the mechanisms that achieve it
  • Explain blood typing and how its is used to avoid adverse reactions following transfusions
  • Describe the structure and function of the heart
  • Discuss the cardiac cycle, including an ECG pattern, and explain how it is controlled
  • Compare and contrast the three major types of blood vessels
  • Describe the flow of blood through the heart and the body
  • Explain how blood pressure is produced, controlled, measured
  • Labs:
    • Simulated Blood Typing Lab
    • Blood Pressure and pulse Lab
"Microbe Attacks and Body Malfunctions" (1 week)
  • Describe various microbes (virus, bacteria, fungus)
  • List common diseases and their cause
  • Describe treatments for diseases


I am Your Body. Dr. J.D Ratcliff.
Online Version
(Printed reading assignments available)


Class participation (includes note-taking, lab work, discussion, participation)
Quizzes and open-notebook tests