What is the importance of studying anatomy in clinical medicine?

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enginr eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Clinical medicine is medicine practiced under the attention of an attending doctor (or other authorized practitioner). This is as opposed to research medicine or laboratory medicine.

Clinical medicine involves seeing patients, diagnosing their health conditions and forming plans of treatment. Sometimes, a doctor will forego a treatment plan and instead refer the patient to a specialist. 

It is important for a clinical doctor to have a good grasp of anatomy. Anatomy is the study of the different structures of the body. Anatomy can be a taxing subject for a student because it includes a lot of memorization of the names and locations of different body structures (such as bones, muscles, nerves, etc.).

Without a good grasp of the names and locations of body structures, a doctor would be at a disadvantage. He or she would find it difficult to communicate their findings to other doctors, such as in the case of a referral, and to the patient. The doctor would have difficulty reading publications and continuing education materials, since all of these will be prepared using anatomical terms.

It may seem tedious to spend a great deal of time memorizing long lists of names. But these names are part of the specialized language doctors use to communicate. A doctor who was unable to speak this language would find it difficult to practice medicine adequately.

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