Professor’s anatomy series to be translated for international audience

August 24, 2016 | News, UToday, Medicine and Life Sciences
By Rebecca Schwan

A series of anatomy books written by Dr. Ben Pansky, professor emeritus in the Department of Surgery in the UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences, will be published in multiple languages and distributed worldwide this year.

Lippincott’s Concise Illustrated Anatomy is a series of three volumes presenting human gross anatomy in full digital color and providing clinical considerations for each region of the body. Featured in the series are Back, Upper Limb and Lower Limb; Thorax, Abdomen and Pelvis; and Head and Neck.



The books contain numerous illustrations based on Pansky’s original drawings.

First published in English in 2013, the series is co-authored by Dr. Thomas R. Gest and will be translated to Spanish, Chinese, Turkish, Greek and Japanese starting this year.

“I was thrilled to hear the books would be used by students and physicians in other countries,” Pansky said. “I am pleased to know The University of Toledo will be recognized internationally through these books.”

Pansky also is the author of numerous books including Gross Anatomy, now in its sixth edition, Embryology and Neuroscience. His work has been widely adopted in medical schools in the United States and around the world and is considered authoritative texts in their respective fields of study. He said he is approached frequently by physicians who thank him for his work.

“They will stop me to say they have the books in their libraries and reference them often. It’s satisfying to know what started as a hobby has made a difference for these physicians,” Pansky said.

Pansky began his career as an associate professor at New York Medical College, where he taught and conducted research. He then continued as a professor of anatomy with the first class at the Medical College of Ohio in 1970. In the evenings, he would work on the books, writing and drawing the structures of the body in pen and ink in exacting detail. Those drawings would later serve as the illustrations for his books.

“Over time, color has been added to the drawings and, with today’s technology, my drawings have been converted to full-color digital renderings for this series,” he said.

His medical illustration talents also were an intriguing feature of his lectures.

“I would tell students to put down their pens and just listen and watch,” Pansky said. “Then I would take them on a tour of a part of the body by drawing it on the chalkboard in three dimensions with fluorescent chalk under UV lighting. We would discuss each structure as the image took shape and relate it to the clinical perspective. I think they learned better that way.”

In addition to his books and anatomy lectures, Pansky helped to organize the anatomy and nursing departmental courses and conducted research in diabetes and immunology. He was one of the first professors to receive the University’s Golden Apple Award for Teaching Excellence and has received 11 of them since that time.

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