Anatomical Terms


Right vs. Left

When examining a patient, right & left refers to the patient's right and left, not to the examiner's right and left.
right vs left


Posterior vs. Inferior

Posterior: toward the top of the head.
Inferior: toward the bottom of the feet
Superior vs Inferior


Lateral vs. Medial

Lateral: toward the right or left.
Medial: toward the median plane.
Lateral vs Medial


Superficial vs. Deep

Superficial vs Deep


Anterior vs. Posterior

Anterior vs Posterior


Proximal vs. Distal

Proximal: closer to the origin.
Distal: farther than the origin.

For the skeleton, the origin is the acial skeleton (vertebral column).
For the circulatory system, the origin is the heart.
For the nervous system, the origin is the brain.

Relative to Axial Skeleton
Proximal vs Distal Skeleton

Relative to the Heart
Proximal vs Distal Heart


Median Plane

Median Plane


Coronal & Horizontal Planes

Coronal Plane

  • Anatomy Topics