14 Best Anatomy and Physiology Books

best anatomy and physiology books

Whether you are an aspiring biologist, a future surgeon, or a passionate young vet – anatomy, and physiology would be an integral part of your curriculum. In order to succeed, you need good anatomy textbooks and anatomy atlases.

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14 Best Anatomy and Physiology Books

Here is the list of the 14 best anatomy and physiology books and other learning tools for aspiring medical students and teachers.


Atlas of Human Anatomy, Professional Edition, 7th Edition.

Atlas of Human Anatomy, Professional Edition: including NetterReference.com Access with Full Downloadable Image Bank (Netter Basic Science) The first anatomy book in our list is a reliable, informative atlas based on a classic collection of images done by Dr.Frank Netter.

  • The 7th edition of a famous anatomical atlas has acquired additional useful features, including:
  • Around 100 paintings done by another accomplished medical illustrator, Dr. Carlos A.G.Machado;
  • Modern radiology images of different organs of the body;
  • Tables with relevant medical information;
  • Clear organization of the images for easier access and orientation;
  • Complete new, high-definition images of regions not displayed previously, such as some neck or prostate vasculature regions.

To make the edition more accessible to different audiences, there are two versions of this human anatomy book offered:

  • The Students’ version, which is more affordable, but with lower quality of paper and images;
  • The Professional version is more expensive but has better paper, clearer images, and a fully downloadable database of images, tables, and terminology.
  • The terminology in the edited version is also revised and is more relevant to current practice.

Overall, it is a book that can be a great tool both for medical students and clinical professionals. It contains information that is entirely current and can be used in academic and clinical settings.


Ross & Wilson Anatomy and Physiology in Health and Illness, 13th Edition.

Ross & Wilson Anatomy and Physiology in Health and Illness This anatomy and physiology textbook is aimed at a wider audience, from entry-level students to young doctors.

  • The book covers topics from the basic structure of the cell to physiology and anatomy of the major systems of the body;
  • There are individual sections devoted to revision, self-check, and testing at the end of each book chapter;
  • For better learning, animations, and online coloring tasks are offered (please check to verify if you bought the version with online access);
  • The textbook content is suitable both for medical and non-medical students;
  • The text is concise and straightforward; therefore, this anatomy book can be recommended for students for whom English is not the first language.

Despite the excellent design and the presence of modern features, such as coloring tasks and downloadable animations, students may find the glossary limited, and some definitions are lacking.

In general, it is a popular textbook required for taking two-semester A&P courses at most colleges in the United States.


Clinical Anatomy: Applied Anatomy for Students and Junior Doctors, 14th Edition.

Clinical Anatomy: Applied Anatomy for Students and Junior Doctors This edition is aimed at students that have already significant knowledge of anatomy and physiology. It is also organized differently from regular anatomical atlases:

  • The images in the edition are grouped into regions: thorax, abdomen, pelvis, lower and upper limbs, head, and neck (for easier referencing);
  • The atlas combines drawings with CT and other types of radiological images;
  • Besides images, clinical cases scenarios are included in the book;
  • An access code to a website that contains flashcards and images to enhance the learning experience is offered for some versions;
  • The atlas is suitable both for surgical and non-surgical students of medicine;
  • The information presented in the book is relevant to the Royal College of Surgeons examinations.
  • One of the newer features in the atlas is the particular emphasis on the nervous system.

This anatomy book can support interns and senior students preparing for clinical work and exams.


Gray’s Anatomy for Students, 4th Edition.

Gray's Anatomy for Students: With Student Consult Online Access The next anatomy book is a classical anatomy textbook that is now associated with the famous medical TV series. The latest version now has several modern-day additions to help students learn:

  • New design of the book and educational content besides the pictures.
  • Access to separate e-books devoted to major systems (respiratory system, Urinary System, Nervous System, and so on) besides the paper version.
  • The 4th edition contains many new illustrations, including new schematics.
  • Special emphasis on surface anatomy is included in the new version.
  • Besides images, the atlas has a text portion that offers an overview of all the concepts for revision before exams.

Despite those positive additions, there are also features in this gray’s anatomy book that some students can find inconvenient:

  • The atlas lacks a full overview of system functions in one place – the information is spread over several chapters;
  • Not all images present in the atlas are convenient to interpret;
  • The content offered in the book is overly simplified content and is not suitable for more advanced anatomy courses;
  • The book is more focused on images than explanations and is, therefore, more suitable for students with previous knowledge of anatomy, second-year medical students in particular.

Overall, it is an excellent basic anatomy textbook and a good choice for students with some prior anatomy knowledge. The book can be used as a refresher for students taking more advanced courses and for artists interested in human anatomy.


Anatomy: A Photographic Atlas, 8th North American Edition.

Anatomy: A Photographic Atlas Anatomy is a visual science. IA future medical student needs to understand how various parts of the body connect and interact with each other. The Photographic Atlas of Anatomy helps with this task through various means:

  • The atlas contains multiple real-life photographs of human anatomical structures;
  • The images presented in the book are made during real dissections of cadavers;
  • Color schemes of the images are adjusted to give the most realistic impressions;
  • Each image in the book is clearly labeled;
  • The functional connections between the body’s organs are vividly displayed in the atlas with the help of both images and diagrams.

This atlas is considered the best textbook for preparing students for a cadaver lab. The only drawback of the book is that it contains images predominantly with few explanations and overviews.


Marieb Human Anatomy & Physiology Standalone Book, 10th Edition.

Human Anatomy & Physiology (Marieb, Human Anatomy & Physiology) Standalone Book This human anatomy and physiology textbook was explicitly written for a standard college course on Anatomy and Physiology that takes two semesters. The textbook covers several diverse topics:

  • Cell structure.
  • Tissue structure.
  • Anatomy
  • The functions of the systems of the human body.
  • Descriptions of clinical cases.

The anatomy and physiology textbook is composed in a way that places anatomy in a physiological context. It is well organized and has special features intended to facilitate learning:

  • Each chapter in the textbook is preceded by roadmaps that describe the main concepts;
  • Every chapter is followed by “Focus” boxes and revision questions;
  • The text in the book is supported by a related online website that contains videos and additional content, as well as homework.

There are several versions of this textbook:

  • A Kindle version – contains mainly the text/images;
  • Hardcover version;
  • A “Leaf” version that is composed of separate leaves with chapters with three holes that can be put into a separate bookbinder. It also comes with a CD – ROMs and an Anatomy atlas.

Access to the Mastering A&P Website must only be purchased when the instructor wishes.

The anatomy textbook is highly recommended both by professors and students alike. Based on the buyer’s recommendations, purchasing an older edition and buying additional features separately, such as access to the website and CD-ROMs with an image database, is possible.


Human Anatomy & Physiology, 11th Edition.

Human Anatomy & Physiology The new edition of the highly acclaimed textbook contains all the previous features, such as roadmaps before chapters and quality self-assessment questions. There are also newer additions:

  • The self-assessment questions after chapters have been rewritten;
  • New videos on healthcare careers and homeostatic imbalance were added to the website;
  • The book now contains updated information on clinical case studies.
  • The newer version of the textbook also can come with access to the newer version of Mastering A&P website with new interactive tutorials, animations, as well as an interactive lab;

This special edition has a serious drawback: multiple reviewers complain about the book’s fragility and high similarity to the previous, 10th edition.


The Anatomy Coloring Book.

Anatomy Coloring Book, The This human anatomy coloring book was made as an assisting tool for learning anatomical structures. It has multiple detailed images of the human body, including muscles, the skeleton, and the vasculature.

  • The coloring book offers up to 162 black-and-white images, organized by systems;
  • Besides the images themselves, there is also a guide to coloring at the beginning of the book, which explains how to color the images to get the best learning experience;
  • Both images and labels have to be colored to help associate one with the other;
  • There are also additional explanatory and description texts to enhance the learner’s understanding besides the images.
  • The users recommend using multiple tools: pencils, gel pens, and neon color pencils for better effect and convenience while working with the book.

This anatomy and physiology coloring book can greatly help exam preparations. The images inside can also be used after coloring as reference material. This tool is especially recommended for kinesthetic and visual learners.


Sobotta Atlas of Human Anatomy, 15th Edition.

Sobotta Atlas of Human Anatomy, Package, 15th ed., English/Latin: mMusculoskeletal system, internal organs, head, neck, neuroanatomy - with online access to e-sobotta.com This anatomical atlas in three volumes is specifically intended for medical students preparing to work in clinical settings.

  • The atlas covers general anatomy, musculoskeletal system, internal organs as well as neuroanatomy. It also offers additional useful features.
  • A booklet with tables devoted to muscles, vessels, and nerves.
  • An access card to the electronic version of the atlas and an exam coaching application.
  • The electronic version also offers printable images with the information needed for dissections.
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One of the main features of this atlas is the presence of Latin nomenclature of the parts of the body together with descriptions in English.


Mader’s Understanding Human Anatomy & Physiology, 8th Edition.

Mader's Understanding Human Anatomy & Physiology (Mader's Understanding Human Anatomy and Physiology) This human anatomy textbook is written for entry-level students starting on Medicine and Biology track. It has many good qualities:

  • The content is written in understandable languages using simple terms;
  • Anatomical information in the textbook is discussed in a physiological context;
  • The book provides sufficient information for learning both Anatomy and Physiology;
  • The book contains check-up questions after each chapter and other materials focusing on forensics and health-related topics.

The anatomy textbook is popular among the instructors and is often required for college A&P courses.


Color Atlas of Anatomy: A Photographic Study of the Human Body, 7th North American Edition.

Color Atlas of Anatomy: A Photographic Study of the Human Body This atlas is another example of a companion tool for the dissection practice required during medical studies.

  • The book combines multiple visuals, including color photographs, diagrams, and CT/MRT images;
  • The images in the atlas display both surface views and actual dissections;
  • Images are organized by the order and regions of the dissection;
  • Many photographs from previous editions of the book were replaced: black-and-white images for color images, older images with those with better resolution;


Color Atlas of Veterinary Anatomy, Volume 3, The Dog and Cat, 2nd Edition.

Color Atlas of Veterinary Anatomy, Volume 3, The Dog and Cat This Veterinary atlas is intended as a learning tool for veterinary students.

  • It is a part of 3 volumes, each atlas in the series devoted to a particular class of animals likely to be encountered during the veterinary practice: ruminants (mostly cows), horses, and household pets such as cats and dogs.
  • This atlas has the same features most human anatomy atlases have.
  • The book contains color photographs of animal dissections;
  • Besides photos, the atlas contains images that show the relationships between muscles, vessels, nerves, and other parts of the body;
  • For better orientation, the atlas also offers dissection schematics and human anatomy drawings;
  • The structures are presented layer by layer for better understanding;
  • It is possible to purchase an access card to the website with an image database and quizzes that help with revision together with the book.

The atlas is suitable for students that study veterinary medicine, as well as veterinary technicians. It can also be used as reference material for professional vets.


LL Human Physiology, 15th Edition.

LL Human Physiology This physiology textbook is intended for entry-level students taking a one-semester physiology course. It has several excellent features:

  • Concepts in the book are explained in a language that is easy to understand.
  • The text in the textbook is accompanied by high-quality illustrations.
  • Clinical health applications for various concepts are described to motivate students.

With the paperback/hardcover version, one can access the Connect A&P website, which offers the students simulations, initial applications, and visual demonstrations of anatomy and physiology principles using cadavers.


Human Physiology: An Integrated Approach, 7th Edition.

Human Physiology: An Integrated Approach (7th Edition) This college textbook is recommended for courses in Human physiology, both for medicine and biology students. The edition has several innovative features:

  • This anatomy book combines homeostasis-based approach to teaching physiology with introductory information on molecular physiology;
  • The first chapters start with explaining the basic structure of the cell and cellular processes; then the course builds upon that framework to explain more complex systems;
  • The students can buy an access card to the Mastering A&P website, which offers additional features like video tutorials and coaching activities.

It is advised to ensure which version is being bought beforehand, as many college professors require access to the website to accomplish the coursework.

Cite This Page

BioExplorer.net. (2024, July 14). 14 Best Anatomy and Physiology Books. Bio Explorer. https://www.bioexplorer.net/best-anatomy-and-physiology-books.html/.
BioExplorer.net. "14 Best Anatomy and Physiology Books" Bio Explorer, 14 July 2024, https://www.bioexplorer.net/best-anatomy-and-physiology-books.html/.
BioExplorer.net. "14 Best Anatomy and Physiology Books" Bio Explorer, July 14 2024. https://www.bioexplorer.net/best-anatomy-and-physiology-books.html/.


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