The Gastrointestinal System
Human gastrointestinal (GI) physiology is a study of our GI system that addresses the regulation and integration ofmajor physiological functions of motility, secretion, digestion, absorption and blood flow, as well as immunity. The coordination of these processes is vital for the maintenance of GI health; thus, any dysregulation will result in GI disease. In fact, GI physiology is a fundamental subject that is indispensable not only for undergraduate but also for graduate students of any biomedical courses, including, but not limited to, medical, pharmacy, nursing, human biology, Chinese medicine, and natural science, as well as other healthrelated subjects. From my GI teaching experience over the past decade, it has always been my wish to produce a succinct monograph that can serve as a companion book for biomedical students not only for their initial studies, but also for their career paths. From the students’ viewpoint, one of the most common problems they encounter is the lack of any available textbooks that cover both the basic science and provide relevant clinical correlations. Owing to the lack of exposure to patients with real clinical problems, students often cannot see the whole picture of the patient during the diagnostic process. In view of this, students have often shared with me their thoughts on what they want from a textbook; it should cover the basic science comprehensively, but with equal emphasis on relevant clinical problems. In addition, the textbook should be user-friendly and easy-to-understand. This is of particular importance as a well-formatted textbook can facilitate the understanding of the material covered and thereby save the students’ time. Furthermore, students would appreciate the provision of relevant multiple-choice questions that would reinforce their understanding of, and ability to apply, the basic concepts, as well as honing their examination skills.