frank-netter

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Frank H. Netter (1906-1991)

Netter is the Norman Rockwell of Medical Illustration.

“Dr. Netter’s contribution to the study of human anatomy is epochal. He has advanced our understanding of anatomy more than any other medical illustrator since the 16th century, when Vesalius introduced drawings based on cadaveric dissections.” - Dr Michael Debakey

Unlike most sterile medical illustration, Netter aimed to include the human element in his pictures. His characters are real, they cry and they sweat and show emotion through the blood and disfigurement. Netter was as much about the psychology of the human condition as he was about accurate anatomy. 

Frank Netter, MD: The Michelangelo of Medicine

To generations of medical students, from mine to the present, the name Frank Netter has a magical connotation. He was the doctor who drew the remarkably lifelike images that we all used to learn anatomy. They were so lifelike, we joked, that we trusted them more than what we actually saw in our cadavers or on CAT scans.

Who was Frank Netter and how did he come to be the world’s most famous medical illustrator? Fortunately, his daughter Francine has written a forthcoming biography of her father, entitled Medicine’s Michaelangelo

As we learn, if Netter’s mother had had her way, Netter would have retired his paintbrush in favor of a stethoscope.

Read more. [Image: Copyright Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved]

What is the science book that has influenced you the most?

The “Atlas of Human Anatomy” by Frank H. Netter.

If I wanted to talk about the best book out there, it would definitely be.. actually, I’m not sure what it would be – but Netter’s life is simply amazing. He went to both art school and medical school, drawing thousands of anatomical images to be used everywhere around the world.

This is his Wikipedia article.

“Dr. Netter’s contribution to the study of human anatomy is epochal. He has advanced our understanding of anatomy more than any other medical illustrator since the 16th century, when Vesalius introduced drawings based on cadaveric dissections.” - Dr. Michael DeBakey

..if only he was still alive!