Why Do I Have to Take Anatomy and Physiology Classes Before Medical School?

 What Majors Require Physiology Classes?

Physiology has a lot of very detailed and important information associated with it. Bones, Muscles, Nerves, etc.





All of that has many applications in many different jobs, and all of that is covered in physiology courses.

nerves system


This means that for a lot of careers, physiology information is needed and required.  We have listed here some of the majors that require at least one physiology class.



Why Do I Have to Take Anatomy and Physiology Classes Before Medical School?

Keep in mind that very few of these majors will require a single physiology class, and most will require many more than that.




  • Nursing: You can’t be a good nurse unless you know where everything goes.
  • Medicine: This is obvious, I would hope.  Can you imagine trusting your life to a doctor who wasn’t strong in his physiology background?  Scary!
  • Surgery: This should be another obvious one.
  • Psychology: A good psychologist knows how the whole body works and interacts with the brain. 
  • Sports Medicine: Knowing how to medically work with athletes requires detailed knowledge of the body. 
  • Art: Here is a surprise!  Many art degrees will require an anatomy or physiology class.  The idea behind this is to make sure they know how the body is put together so they can realistically draw it. 
  • Counseling: This goes along with the psychology. 
  • Physical Therapy: These people MUST know how the muscles and nerves all work with each other. 
  • Biology: Biology and physiology are more connected than you might think. 
  • Anthropology:  Guess what anthropologists
  • sometimes find- bones.   Guess what class helps you know more about the skeleton- physiology! 
  • Coaching: This is a fairly recent requirement for professional coaches.  It is to help avoid injuries in sports. 
  • Phlebotemy: How can you get the needle in the right place without knowing about muscles and veins? 
  • Pharmacology: Drugs affect the body, so a pharmacist should really know a lot about the body. 
  • Veterinary Medicine: Learning the physiology of animals is a piece of cake once you have mastered the physiology of humans. 
  • Midwifery: Delivering babies requires some physiology wisdom. 
  • Lab Technology: Many things involved with laboratories can have direct affects on the body. 
  • Dentist: There is a lot more to dentistry than teeth! 
  • Photography: The reasons for this are similar to the art degree. 
  • Chemistry: Not all chemistry degrees will require physiology specifically, but many will as the two fields have many connections with each other. 
  • Medical Assisting:  Whether you want to assist a physician, a surgeon, a midwife, or a lab tech, you will need to bone up on your physiology information.




We could go on and on. Basically, what majors require a physiology class?  Lots!  Anything that is remotely related to a medical or health care related field will require physiology classes, and even some majors NOT connected with medicine still have anatomy and physiology classes on their required roster.



We think that if you take a physiology class, you will never regret having all of that information, even if you change to a degree and career that are not directly related to the medical field.


Do I Need to Take Physiology Classes in Medical School?

Only if you want to be a good doctor!  Yes, you will have to take all kinds of anatomy and physiology classes in medical school.  Without the knowledge from those classes, your knowledge base of the human body would be woefully lacking, which would make treating patients challenging, and dangerous.

We know that a lot of students ask this question because they took a few anatomy and physiology classes while getting their pre-medical degree.  That is all good, and you will not at all regret having a foundation of anatomy and physiology information to build from.  In Medical school, your anatomy and physiology classes are going to get a lot more intense and a lot more detailed. 


muscular system diagram

For example, when you studied anatomy and physiology in your undergraduate degree, you had a unit about the muscular system.  In Medical School, you will have an entire class about the muscular system… of you leg!  You are about to dive into the nitty gritty bits and pieces of the human body that you never imagined you could memorize.  But memorize you will, or a medical degree will be beyond your reach.

muscular system
muscular system leg


This is a large order to ask of medical students, but believe us when we say that it is necessary.  Can you imagine getting treatment from a doctor that was not well versed in his anatomy and physiology classes?  Would you ever want to have your baby delivered by a doctor who didn’t think anatomy and physiology classes were important?  How would your opinion of a pediatrician change if you found out he only got a C grade in anatomy and physiology courses? 

That puts it in a different perspective, doesn’t it?  Physiology classes are hard, but if you thought that medical school was going to be easy, then you have something else coming!  Medical school is hard because being a doctor is hard.  Physiology classes are hard because they are preparing you to be a doctor which is a hard job.  Do you see the connection here?

Don’t be too intimidated, though.  Lots of people fail out of physiology and anatomy classes, but you do not have to be one of them.  Study hard, and use the study tips that are provided here in the other articles, and you should be fine.

When things get really tough just remember what your final goal is.  If you over reaching goal is to be a knowledgeable and successful doctor, then physiology will be an easy burden to take on because you will know that it is just a piece of the medical school puzzle- an important one at that.

Even if you decide later on that medical school is just not for we, we can pretty much guarantee that you will never regret taking anatomy and physiology classes.  The information you can get in just one of those classes can help in you in pretty much any career path imaginable and can make you a valuable resource even outside of the professional community.

Why Do I Have to Take Anatomy and Physiology Classes Before Medical School?

anatomy and Physiology



Well, in all honesty you don’t.  The only requirement to get into medical school is to have an undergraduate degree.

However, we feel that if you don’t take anatomy and physiology classes in the less stressful and less intense phase of your education in undergraduate school, then you may as well punch yourself in the face right now.

It would be a huge mistake to try and get through medical school without first apprising yourself of the basic structures and functions of the human body.


the basic structures and functions of the human body

Medical school moves fast and it leaves no prisoners.  If you can’t keep up then you have two choices- get cut, or repeat.  The more you have to repeat the longer your training will take and the more debt you will rack up as you flounder through your classes.

The best insurance against medical school whiplash is to prepare yourself with anatomy and physiology classes as part of your Bachelor’s Degree.

You may be looking at the required class list for your major and find a lack of anatomy and physiology on there.  If this is the case, so what?!  Take the classes offered anyway.

Mark them as electives, or if you have to audit the courses.  The more anatomy and physiology classes you take before you get into medical school, the better shape you will be in when you get to medical school.

Here are just some of the benefits you can get from taking anatomy and physiology classes before medical school:

You will know how to study.  There is a lot of memorization involved in anatomy and physiology classes.  If you don’t know how to do that well, then this is your chance to figure it out before it hinders you in medical school.

It will look good on your transcript.  Medical school boards are going to like seeing classes like this on your Bachelor’s transcript when they consider who to allow into their medical programs.

You will know which parts challenge you.  Some people struggle with muscles, others have a rough time with the nerves.  If you know which part of anatomy and physiology you struggle most with, you will know which parts to study hardest in medical school.

You can skip right to the hard stuff.  If you can skip over the introduction to the class, you will be ahead of the other students, and will have time to focus on the aspects of anatomy and physiology that you know will be harder, or that you have yet to encounter.




The terminology will be more familiar.  There is a lot of funny words in anatomy and physiology books.  Having a basic foundation of this verbage will help you to keep up with the professor as he spits out all the possibly foreign language.

These are just the most basic benefits you can receive from taking anatomy and physiology classes before you get into medical school.  Even if those classes are not required for your major, find a way to fit them into your schedule.  You will thank yourself later.

The Essentials of Human Anatomy and Physiology

Why do you want to learn about the essentials of human anatomy and physiology?
There are many reasons to want to learn about or study human anatomy and physiology. Maybe you want to enter into the medical profession, and become a doctor or a nurse, or to become a vet. Maybe you want to become a sports professional – either a sports person or someone involved in the field of sports, for example a sports coach or a physiotherapist.
Maybe you are interested in health and well-being and would like to become a dietician or nutritionist. Perhaps you would like to run a fitness center or become a personal trainer. Or maybe you would simply like to learn more just to further increase your general knowledge.
How can you learn about the essentials of human anatomy & physiology?
Whatever your reasons for wanting to know about the essentials of anatomy and physiology, you need to research the best way for you to undertake this learning.
For example, most professions which require knowledge of these two interlinked subjects require some kind of degree, diploma or certification.  If this is the case, then you need to look into which center of learning is best for you and is most appropriate to your needs.
Alongside any course and fundamental to self-learning, a good text book on your subject is essential for reference and clear understanding.
The essentials of human anatomy and physiology text book
The “Essentials of Human Anatomy and Physiology” text book by the best selling author Elaine Marieb is now in its tenth edition, demonstrating the popularity of this well-constructed book.


In it, Marieb covers all of the main anatomy and physiology topics as follows:
  • The Human Body: An Orientation
  • Basic Chemistry
  • Cells and Tissues
  • Skin and Body Membranes
  • Blood
  • Special Senses
  • All ten main systems of the body:
  • The Skeletal System
  • The Muscular System
  • The Nervous System
  • The Endocrine System
  • The Cardiovascular System
  • The Lymphatic System and Body Defenses
  • The Respiratory System
  • The Digestive System and Body Metabolism
  • The Urinary System
  • The Reproductive System
Body Membranes diagram


The book is well written, well organized and thought out and contains clear diagrams which illustrate the text excellently. In addition, the book comes with an interactive CD-ROM and features great 3D illustrations and clear process diagrams to facilitate ease of understanding.
The book also contains quizzes, self-tests and tools to really hammer home the memorization of the contents.
The book is suitable for both students and teachers alike as it is easy to follow and also provides excellent material for organizing and creating lessons.
A well-structured and interactive way to learn
Learning about the essentials of human physiology and anatomy is vital if you want to enter many different professions, or if you want to improve your general knowledge in this area.
If you are looking for a clear, well-illustrated text book that also provides good interactive methods to bring learning to life, then Marieb’s “Essentials of Human Anatomy and Physiology” has to be a strong contender.