Medical Definition of Anatomical position

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Anatomical position: The position with the body erect with the arms at the sides and the palms forward. The anatomical position is of importance in anatomy because it is the position of reference for anatomical nomenclature. Anatomic terms such as anterior and posterior, medial and lateral, abduction and adduction, and so on apply to the body when it is in the anatomical position.

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Reviewed on 12/21/2018

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