||Human physiology provides the scientific foundation for the field of medicine and all other professions related to human health and physical performance. The scope of topics included in a human physiology course is therefore wide-ranging, yet each topic must be covered in sufficient detail to provide a firm basis for future expansion and application. The rigor of the course, however, need not diminish the student’s initial fascination with how the body works. On the contrary, a basic understanding of physiological mechanisms can instill a deeper appreciation for the complexity and beauty of the human body and motivate the student to learn still more.
This text is designed to serve the needs of students in an undergraduate physiology course. The beginning chapters introduce basic chemical and biological concepts to provide these students—many of whom do not have extensive science backgrounds—with the framework they need to comprehend physiological principles. In the chapters that follow, the material is presented in such a way as to promote conceptual understanding rather than rote memorization of facts. Every effort has been made to help students integrate related concepts and to understand the relationships between anatomical structures and their functions.
Abundant summary flowcharts and tables serve as aids for review. Beautifully rendered figures, with a functional use of color, are designed to enhance learning. Health applications are discussed often to heighten interest, deepen understanding of physiological concepts, and help students relate the material they have learned to their individual career goals. In addition, various other pedagogical devices are used extensively (but not intrusively) to add to the value of the text as a comprehensive learning tool.