Anatomy Curriculum for Head, Neck and Vertebral Column

The following document outlines the details of Objectives of Anatomy contents to be taught during Integumentary and Musculoskeletal (Head, Neck and Vertebral/Spinal Column) System Block/Unit/Course in undergraduate medical sciences (MBBS) program.

Block/Unit: Musculoskeletal and  Integumentary System


Spinal column
Triangles of neck
Cervical fascia
Atlanto-occipital and atlantoaxial Joints
Parotid region
Temporal and infratemporal fossa
Temporomandibular Joint
Submandibular region
Cranial meninges, Dural folds and Dural Venous Sinuses
Bony orbit
Skin and its appendages


At the end of the block/unit/course, students should be able to:

  1. Discuss the normal development of face and associated common birth defects.
  2. Describe the organization, curvatures and postnatal developmental changes of spinal column.
  3. Describe the anatomy of intervertebral articulations and intervertebral discs.
  4. Discuss the role of principal group of muscles and ligaments of the spinal column in its stability and movement.
  5. Relate the anatomy of spinal column with common back problems.
  6. Describe the scalp in terms of its layers, blood supply, innervations and applied aspects.
  7. Describe the sensory and motor supply of face and consequences of injury to nerves supplying the muscles of facial expression.
  8. Describe the boundaries, subdivisions and contents of anterior and posterior triangle of neck.
  9. Identify the deeper structures in the neck.
  10. Describe the suprahyoid and infrahyoid group of muscles, their actions and innervations.
  11. Describe the formation of cervical plexus and their distribution.
  12. Describe the disposition of deep cervical fascia and its clinical significance.
  13. Describe the formation, course, tributaries and applied anatomy of external jugular vein.
  14. Describe the origin, course and branches of common carotid artery including external carotid artery.
  15. Describe the formation, course, tributaries and termination of internal jugular vein.
  16. Describe the anatomy of atlantooccipital and atlantoaxial joints and the movements at these joints.
  17. Demonstrate the regions/fossae listed below and identify the structures in each of them
    1. Parotid region
    2. Temporal fossa
    3. Infratemporal fossa and
    4. Submandibular Region
  18. Describe the anatomy of parotid gland and its relation with facial nerve.
  19. Describe the anatomy of temporomandibuilar joint, its movements and the muscles acting up on the joint including their innervation.
  20. Enumerate the muscles of mastication and their nerve supply.
  21. Describe the arrangement of the cranial duramater, its main reflections within the cranial cavity and the arrangement of the dural venous sinuses.
  22. Explain the relationship between dural venous sinuses and extracranial veins in spreading intracranial infection.
  23. Describe the boundaries and contents of orbit.
  24. Describe the action and nerve supply of extraocular muscles and explain the consequences of injury to the nerve supplying these muscles.
  25. Describe the arrangement of the lymphatic drainage of the head and neck, the major groups of lymph nodes and the potential routes for the spread of infection and malignant disease.
  26. Demonstrate the surface landmark and surface anatomy of major structures in head and neck.
  27. Describe the features of skull and individual bones of skull.
  28. Demonstrate the major sutural joints and describe the fontanelles of the fetal skull.
  29. Demonstrate the major foramina in a skull and list the structures passing through it.
  30. Demonstrate the types and features of cervical vertebra.
  31. Demonstrate the position and features of hyoid bone.
  32. Demonstrate the radiological features of head on standard diagnostic images
  33. Relate the normal developmental process of skin and its appendages with common developmental anomalies.
  34. Describe and identify the histological features of skin and hair follicle.
You can find compiled curriculum at Undergraduate Anatomy Curriculum.