Difference Between Anatomy and Physiology (With Table)

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 vs Physiology

The main difference between anatomy and physiology is that 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 Comparison




Anatomy 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 on

Experiments in anatomy can be performed on either dead or living being.

Experiments in physiology are performed only on living creatures.


In anatomy, the study is done on body organs, overall body structure, muscles etc.

It focuses mainly on how different body organs functions together.


Anatomy 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


If 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?

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.

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.


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.

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

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

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

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.



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.

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



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