Why "Foundational"

Anatomy provides the foundation for the other biomedical sciences or information domains. For this reason, anatomy is the first subject taught in health related educational and training programs. Manifestations of health and disease can be thought of as properties (i.e., attributes) of anatomical structures ranging in size from biological molecules to cells, tissues, organs, organ systems and body parts. Therefore, anatomy is fundamental to all biomedical sciences, and the classes or types represented in the Foundational Model of Anatomy ontology generalize to essentially all biomedical domains. In other words, it is not possible to represent or describe the content domains of other, non-anatomical, biomedical disciplines without explicitly or implicitly referring to anatomical entities. For example, the circulation must take for granted the existence of the heart and blood vessels, and the same is true for gastritis and the stomach as well as for dementia and the brain. This means that anatomy is foundational to non-anatomical biomedical disciplines because they reuse anatomical classes.