A Little Bit of History: The Angus Gordon Cathie Museum of Anatomy
August 1, 2022
By Jennifer Schaffer Leone
Angus G. Cathie, DO ’31, MSc, FAAO, was one of the most highly-respected anatomists of his era. Upon his graduation
from Philadelphia College of Osteopathy (PCO) in 1931, he immediately joined the faculty.
He would serve the College for 40 years as professor and chair of the Departments
of Anatomy and Osteopathic Principles and Practice.
While he influenced generations of students in the classroom, Dr. Cathie’s most enduring
legacy may be the College’s collection of pathological and anatomical specimens that
bears his name: the Angus Gordon Cathie Museum of Anatomy. The museum was dedicated
in January 1983, as part of the Founders’ Day/Alumni Weekend program. Dr. Cathie’s
widow, Ruth Waddel Cathie, DO ’38, former chairman of pathology at PCOM, attended the ceremony.
President Thomas M. Rowland, Jr., LLD (Hon.) offered remarks at the time: “Dr. Cathie
firmly believed that a thorough knowledge of human anatomy was essential to the practice of osteopathic medicine. He drew upon every resource at his command to instill that appreciation in our students.”
Today, the Angus Gordon Cathie Museum of Anatomy is located on the sixth floor of
Evans Hall. Antique glass cases house a repository of medical specimens that represent
illness and trauma as well as normal anatomy. The collection, which dates back to
1935 and includes over 1,000 samples, enables the history of medicine and public health
to inform health care and the health sciences.
Many of the specimens were enhanced by Dr. Cathie’s own artistry: arteries painted
red, veins blue and nerves yellow. Vintage labels—oxidized by time—still proffer the
pathology. The specimens also impart the spatial orientation of structures—critical
to learning palpation and diagnostic skills.
Specimens from the Angus Gordon Cathie Museum of Anatomy are eligible to review for
research purposes upon request.
About Digest Magazine
Digest, the magazine for alumni and friends of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine,
is published by the Office of Marketing and Communications. The magazine reports on
osteopathic and other professional trends of interest to alumni of the College’s Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) and graduate programs at PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia.