||Cadaver dissection has been a central part of the education of medical professionals for centuries. Throughout that time, anatomists have claimed that dissection is a learning experience rich with life lessons encompassing more than simply gross anatomy. Yet, no published empirical data exist of the long-term impact that dissection has on medical professionals. The objective of the current study was to explore the aspects of cadaver dissection that remain salient following the transition from medical student to medical professional. This qualitative research utilized grounded theory methodology exploring the autobiographical narratives of physicians (n=38) 5 to 57 years postgraduation. Data were drawn from multiple sources: interviews, written reflections, focus group, and archival data. Four interconnected themes emerged from the data. They are (a) Working with Peers, (b) Future Learning, (c) Patient Care, and (d) Confidence. Foundational learning for the future was the overarching core concept that connected the multitude of experiences within the dissection laboratory, and each of the four themes played a specific role within that concept. Implications of these results add to the pedagogical value of dissection. The consolidation of the important aspects of healthcare reflected in the four themes arising from the data provide empirical evidence that dissection does in fact offer a multifaceted learning experience as noted in the conceptual literature. Although many of the experiences can be acquired in some form or another at various points through the process of medical education, the gross anatomy laboratory provides a situation where it is possible for all of these factors to occur in unison.