No subject is more relevant to a physician or other health care provider than Gross Anatomy, which is the physical form in which a patient is viewed, either externally (e.g. during a physical exam) or internally (e.g. while performing or interpreting diagnostic and therapeutic procedures). For a health care provider not to have an appreciation for how the human body is structurally assembled, and how that assembly relates to its function, would be like taking your car to a mechanic who had little appreciation for the parts of the engine and how they interrelate. Gross anatomy also makes a significant contribution to the “medical language” that allows health care professionals to interact with each other in clear and precise terms; the anatomical portion of the language is learnt early in the educational process since it contributes so much to the foundation of the broader medical language.

While appreciating the significance of gross anatomy, like any discipline its incorporation into a curriculum must be measured. NetAnatomy is designed to present a foundation of gross anatomy that would be relevant to the "undifferentiated" student of the health professions; greater depths of anatomical knowledge can be acquired in other formats when a clinical specialty is chosen. NetAnatomy is not designed to teach clinical medicine and as such clinical information presented in the Anatomy Laboratory is designed to emphasize the clinical significance of the anatomy being learnt and to expand the vocabulary pertinent to clinical and applied anatomy. Understanding the gross structural and functional relationships of the human body, mastering the language that describes those relationships, and appreciating the clinical relevance of that content are the educational objectives of NetAnatomy.