What is an Anatomy Chart?
An anatomy chart refers to a visual depiction of the human body.
It can show the entire body or focus on a particular system using systemic anatomy such as the muscular, skeletal, circulatory, digestive, endocrine, nervous, respiratory, urinary, reproductive, and other systems.
There are many different branches of anatomy dealing with the human body: surface anatomy, gross anatomy, embryology, histology, radiographic, pathologic, and more.
Gross anatomy deals with large, visible body parts. Surface anatomy is a subset of gross anatomy that deals with only external features of the body. Embryology deals with the development of anatomical systems prior to birth. Radiographic anatomy studies the parts of the human body made visible using a variety of radiation techniques such as X-rays or MRIs. Pathologic anatomy focuses on how diseases affect and change the human body. Histology studies microscopic anatomy such as tissues and cells visible only under a microscope.
Anatomy charts serve two main purposes: education in the form of anatomy worksheets and presentation in the form of simple healthcare illustrations. Anatomy illustrations are pre-made illustrations with descriptions of a particular part, or system of the body. Anatomy worksheets are an illustration of a certain part or system of the body, with 'fill in the blank' spaces pointing to different sections of the illustration. Anatomy charts can be specific to one part of the body, such as a knee joint, or cover a combination of body parts: the skeletal system, for example.
Typical Uses of Anatomy Charts
Anatomy charts are used mostly for educational purposes for students of all ages. An anatomy illustration would likely be used for study guides, whereas an anatomy worksheet might be used as test material. These illustrations can also be used by doctors to educate patients. Doctors often use them to explain different conditions.
Anatomy illustrations are sometimes used by X-ray technicians to determine what bones need to be visible in an X-ray and what specific bone is fractured. If an X-ray technician is conducting an MRI they can also use these illustrations to determine what muscle or tissue is torn.
Have you ever been in a treatment room at your doctor's office and seen a picture of a heart or a digestive system? These will commonly isolate or direct your attention to a specific artery or provide the names of different organs. These are great examples of anatomy illustrations.
SmartDraw offers one of the largest selections of excellent pre-made anatomy worksheets and illustrations for you to use. You may modify any of these for your specific need. They are a useful resource for:
- Students looking to learn more about the human body.
- Professors wanting ready-to-use worksheets for students.
- Doctors or other health care professionals looking for relevant visuals to display in the office to better educate patients.
How to Draw an Anatomy Chart
If you were a professional designer, you could use a tool like Adobe Illustrator to draw detailed illustrations of various anatomical systems. Even if you were good, it would probably take hours. SmartDraw has anatomy chart templates that you can just drag and drop to a page so you don't have to be a professional designer or waste a lot of time redrawing something that has a standard look.
You can easily customize the included anatomy chart templates with colors and labels as you see fit.
Anatomy Chart Examples
The best way to understand anatomy charts is to look at some examples of anatomy charts.
Click on any of these anatomy charts included in SmartDraw and edit them:
Browse SmartDraw's entire collection of anatomy chart examples and templates