Congratulations on your decision to study human anatomy and physiology. The knowledge you gain from your study is of value in many aspects of your life. A little background in anatomy and physiology should be considered a valuable part of anyone’s education. Health and medical matters are part of world events and people’s daily lives. Basic knowledge of anatomy and physiology gets you started when trying to make sense of the news about epidemics, novel drugs and medical devices, and purported environmental hazards, to name just a few examples. Everyone has a problem with some aspect of his or her anatomy and physiology at some point, and this knowledge can help you be a better parent, spouse, caregiver, neighbor, friend, or colleague. Knowledge of anatomy and physiology may also benefit your own health. Sometimes, comprehension of a particular fact or concept can help drive a good decision about long-term health matters, such as the demonstrated benefits of exercise, or it may help you take appropriate action in the context of a specific medical problem, such as an infection, a cut, or a muscle strain. You may understand your doctors’ instructions better during a course of treatment, which may give you a better medical outcome. About This Book Anatomy Essentials For Dummies guides you on a quick walkthrough of human anatomy and physiology. It doesn’t have the same degree of technical detail as a textbook. It contains relatively little in the way of lists of important anatomical structures, for instance. We expect that most readers are using this book as a complementary resource for course work in anatomy and physiology at the high-school or college level. Therefore, the goals of this book are to be informal but not unscientific, brief but not sketchy, and information-rich but accessible to readers at many levels.