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J Am Coll Surg. 1995 Nov;181(5):464-6.

The forgotten first career of Doctor Henry Van Dyke Carter.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Cedars-Sinai Research Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA.



While Henry Gray's Anatomy: Descriptive and Surgical, first published in 1858, is distinguished by superb illustrations, its original illustrator is remembered for an entirely different set of accomplishments, notably significant contributions to tropical medicine.


Literature review.


Dr. Henry Van Dyke Carter, Professor of Anatomy and Physiology and subsequently Dean of the Grant Medical College in Bombay, India, was a skillful researcher and keen clinician who made significant contributions to tropical medicine, including the discovery of Spirillum minus, the spirochetal organism that causes relapsing fever. For his discoveries he was honored by both the British Medical Association and the English government. Before his departure for India in 1858, however, he and Henry Gray worked at St. George's Hospital Medical School and collaborated on the first edition of the text that is still the "Bible" of anatomy to many medical students. His drawings have appeared in every subsequent edition, up to the present day.


During his first career as a medical illustrator, Carter was responsible for the drawings that have helped generations of physicians to master the intricacies of human anatomy.

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