General Human Anatomy, Embryology and Genetics, Human Histology

Anatomy is the most basic and the most important subject which lays the foundation for your entire medical career.

So don’t even for a second think that if you just drag through this year with passing you are saved. Wrong. Be it oral surgery or OMDR or pharmacology or general medicine and surgery, anatomy comes to your rescue.

Master this subject thoroughly and I promise, life will be a bit more colourful and a tad bit easier.



The anatomy department consists of :

  • The lecture hall
  • The dissection room
  • The anatomy lab
  • Morgue and the preservation room

The anatomy department staff has:

  • The head of the department
  • The teaching staff
  • The non-teaching staff who also maintain the dissection practical

The books usually referred by most of the students are:

  • Human Anatomy vol 1 2 3 –B D Chaurasia
  • Textbook of human histology – Inderbir Singh
  • Textbook of human embryology and genetics- Inderbir Singh
  • Cunningham’s dissection manual


Gray’ Anatomy for students – Henry Gray (not the fictional medical drama on ABC network)

Although its not absolutely necessary to read this. You will survive without the prodigal Gray***


The paraphernalia that you need to be armed with before entering the anatomy department is:

  • The required textbook
  • The anatomy journal
  • A rough book
  • The histology manual (ALWAYS)
  • The Cunningham’s dissection manual(ALWAYS)
  • Hematoxylin and Eosin (H & E) Pencils
  • The human skull along with the mandible*
  • The typical and atypical vertebra
  • A glass marker pen
  • Colored pencil’s set

*NOTE: while buying the human skull and mandible, check

  • For the originality of it.
  • The presence of all the sutures
  • The presence of all the foramens
  • The presence of all the skull bones
  • The presence of the tubercles on the mandible
  • The presence of the condyles

And before finally buying it show it to your anatomy professor once and only after their approval, buy it.

Now that you are armed with everything that is required, let’s get down to business.


As a good doctor you should know how the human body works. And as a good dentist, you should perfect the head and neck region.

We dental students are fortunate as compared to medical students, as we are expected to know everything but are tested only on the head and neck region.

  • The study of the skull, mandible and the vertebrae is termed as the hard part study.
  • B D CHAURASIA’S HUMAN ANATOMY VOLUME 3 is the book to be referred for this.
  • The book explains the bones all in detail.
  • The associated structures i.e. the blood vessels, nerves, muscles, tendons, etc. are of utmost importance.
  • Group study is an effective technique to achieve better understanding.
  • The study of the organs and their associated structures is termed as soft part study.
  • Observing and examining the specimen organs is what makes you better understand it.
  • During dissection of a body, pay attention. The position of an organ in the human body is to be inspected. The associated structures, the afferent and efferent blood vessels, ducts and anything else is to be thoroughly examined.
  • Only if you know the normal will you be able to point out an abnormal organ or structure.
  • Initially the stench of the dissection room and the formalin will irritate your senses, but eventually you will get accustomed to it.
  • While going to a dissection practical

Always carry :

  1. A mouth mask
  2. Rubber gloves
  3. Forceps
  4. Scalpel
  5. Cunningham’s dissection manual
  6. Rough book for noting down you observations
  7. Hand wash
  8. Hand sanitizer


  • The study of the normal human tissues under a microscope is termed as human histology.
  • Initially everything will appear pink and blue. But as you proceed further with knowledge and better understanding of the subject; the pink streaks and blue dots start to make sense.
  • Basic histology includes study of cells and epithelium.
  • Once you master the study and can easily recognize these two structures, it’s only a matter of time before you have a good grasp of all the tissue structures.
  • The different tissues differ only by cells and epithelium.


  1. Observe the slide against natural light.
  2. Compare the given slide with the pictomicrograph provided in the histology manual.
  3. Memorize the exact appearance of that tissue.
  4. Start with the cells and epithelium identification. Once you recognize the type of epithelium try to correlate it with the appearance of the tissue.

For example: On observation of the slide, once you identify the epithelium as simple squamous; recall all the tissues it is seen in i.e. alveoli of lungs, blood vessels, etc.

5. Presence of other associated cells and general appearance of the tissue should help you in correct identification of the slide.

  • Regular practice and persistence will help you achieve your goal.
  • It takes time to reach perfection in identification of the slides correctly so don’t be disheartened if you are not able to do so, in a few days.


  1. Click pictures of the slides and name them as to what they are.
  2. Check out the slide for any irregularities. Say the lung slide has a crack on the top right corner. Note it down. It helps in identification of the slide.
  3. Also some slides have a typical appearance in terms of the stains externally. Like say the liver slide has three big round stains or the artery slide has a ribbon like stain.
  4. These all are just the saving graces in case of emergencies during examination and not shortcuts to identify the slide.


  • The study of the cellular and the genetic makeup of the human body is termed as genetics.
  • The study of the development of human body inutero and the related events is termed as embryology.
  • Study the development of the embryo and the related events in a diagramatic manner. It helps you remember.

Corelate the genetics with the embryologic stage and write down the organ and system development during that period.

  • Draw up charts to compare the gestational trimesters and the embryonic development stage.
  • Associate the diseases which can occur inutero according to the trimesters.
  • For example: the organ development takes place in the second trimester so any disturbance during this period leads to organ development failure and likewise.


Theoretical anatomy is no different from practical anatomy. The theory taught during the lectures is the backdrop of the practicals.


  • Anatomy is a vast subject and is a nightmare for those who prefer pulling an all-nighter before the exam day.
  • Daily studies and regular reading of the subject is what will get you marks.
  • Write down exact answers to all the questions and always accompany them with diagrams while preparing for the exams.
  • Draw an accurate if not beautifully artistic diagram before starting every answer and then go on to describe it. This helps you in remembering and recollecting the answer. Also, the diagram fetches you more marks than statements.
  • Keep the answers to the point and accurate. DO NOT WEAVE STORIES while attempting the questions.
  • A student who has written the answer to the point and hence has utilized less pages will get the same marks as the student who has written essays describing the same concept but in a more elaborate and colourful vocabulary.
  • Remember time is of essence and more so during an Anatomy examination. It’s not an English literature and language exam to showcase your writing skills.
  • Answers should be short and accurate and accompanied by diagrams.
  • Addition of clinical points helps you score brownie points.
  • Read the text thoroughly for mcq.
  • Clinical points asked in mcqs often.
  • Bhalani’s is the ultimate guide for exam preparation. Follow it to the T.

With all this being said, enjoy exploring the nooks and crannies and all the crevices of this ultimate wonderland, an absolute masterpiece by nature that we call the HUMAN BODY.


 Muskaan Inamdar
Sarcastic. Witty. A voracious reader. History buff. A cricket fanatic. And in a habit of adopting introverts. Yet a dentist.
P.S.- I was forced to write this.

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