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Gross Anatomy (1989)

PG-13 | | Drama | 20 October 1989 (USA)
A smart first-year med student takes nothing seriously, except the pursuit of his Gross Anatomy (human dissection) lab partner. It's up to her and their teacher to find a way to convince ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Slovak
Laurie Rorbach
Dr. Rachel Woodruff
David Schreiner
John Scott Clough ...
Miles Reed
Kim McCauley
Dr. Banks
Dr. Banumbra
Interviewing Professor
John Petlock ...
Interviewing Professor
Interviewing Professor
Interviewing Professor
Lecturing Professor
Michael Flanagan ...
Lecturing Professor
Don Perry ...
Lecturing Professor


A smart first-year med student takes nothing seriously, except the pursuit of his Gross Anatomy (human dissection) lab partner. It's up to her and their teacher to find a way to convince him to take his studies and life seriously. Written by Blue Dragon <movies@sharyl.mailstop.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


It Takes Hard Work, Discipline, And Committment To Get Through Med School. But Joe's Never Done Anything By The Book. See more »




PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

20 October 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Cut Above  »

Box Office


$11,604,598 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


J.C. Quinn, who plays Papa Slovak (Joe's Father), also starred with Matthew Modine in the movie "Vision Quest", as the cook (Elmo) in the Hotel where Louden (Modine) worked. See more »


The buccinator muscle is primarily a muscle of facial expression, although it is also an assistant muscle of mastication. See more »


Interviewer: Tell me. Joe or Joseph, why do you want to be a doctor?
Joe Slovak: That's easy. I want to help people.
Interviewer: Come one Joe, you can be honest with me. Why do you want to be a doctor?
Joe Slovak: Well, uh, I want to make lots of money.
See more »


Take a Better Look at Yourself
Written by Kevin Dever, Dale Chadwick
Performed by Roadwork
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User Reviews

Interesting Caricature of Medical School
8 November 2004 | by (America) – See all my reviews

Having been through the first two years of medical school (including, of course, Gross Anatomy) it is obvious to me that whomever wrote the original material for this movie had some understanding of the precise pressures an fears that medical students suffer. Many people say that "medical school is difficult" and it is, but that idea gives you very little understanding of what really goes on that makes it difficult. Many movies get basic ideas essentially wrong - take "Flatliners" where the characters do hospital rounds routinely, although they are still just conducting Gross Anatomy classes (albeit in a dankly lit dungeon environment).

In Gross Anatomy, the basic characters you seen in Med School are there. David Schreiner, the guy who burns out, represents all the people who got in off the wait list and barely eek by, all the time hating the rest of the people who find it easier. Miles Reed is your typical "Gunner" who gets by not only by obsessing over every detail of class, but by incessant campus climbing. Kim McCauley is the lovable girl who seems oblivious and ambulant to her own performance (and will likely become the best doctor of the bunch). Laurie is the girl who "always wanted to be a doctor" and has a single-minded ambition to put nothing between her and her school work, much to the detriment of her social life. Joe Slovak is probably the least realistic character - there aren't too many happy go lucky people for whom medical school is so easy. You see jovial people around who never seem to get behind, but at the same time always participate in extra curriculars, but not with Joe's laid back, devil may care attitude, and certainly not his contempt for patients.

Many of the classroom and test scenes are sort of over-hyped - think about how many times they professors say, "People this IS Gross Anatomy". However, at the same time, there is always an importance placed on the seriousness of the school environment that hints at what the experience is really about.

I enjoy the movie because it does almost seem like an inside job in the medical field poking fun at many of the people and practices we see on the way to medical licenser and is only thinly wrapped with the hint of a storyline.

2 of 5 as a movie, but probably the best around as medical student movies go.

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