Dr. Frank Netter
Dr. Frank Netter was the foremost medical illustrator of the 20th century. Trained as a surgeon he used his artistic skills to produce an encyclopedic corpus of human anatomy and an encyclopedic detailing of human diseases. The works, among many others, included “The Ciba Collection of Medical Illustrations comprising 8 volumes of 13 books and the popular Clinical Symposia encompassing a variety of clinical subjects which was widely distributed to the medical community for many years.
I was fortunate to have been selected to collaborate in both these endeavors with a contribution on human lung anatomy for the Ciba Collection of Medical Illustrations, and a definitive contribution on Bronchial Asthma for the Ciba Collection of Medical Illustrations: Volume 7, The Respiratory System. In addition I contributed to the cited popular Clinical Symposium in 1975 with a double issue involving human lung anatomy, lung physiology and a detailed review of Bronchial Asthma.
I recall Dr. Netter well. For these contributions he came to my office at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts where we spent many hours over several days conferring on the details of the illustrations he would eventually create for the subject material cited above. He was collegial, inquisitive, robust and quite humorous. Nevertheless, the collaboration on his part was always to thoroughly understand the disease he was depicting in careful, accurate and painstaking detail. He was indeed an extraordinary man.