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A Little Bit of History: 
The Angus Gordon Cathie Museum of Anatomy


August 1, 2022
By Jennifer Schaffer Leone

President Thomas M. Rowland, Jr., LLD (Hon.) and Ruth Waddel Cathie, DO ’38, unveil a bronze plaque at the dedication of the Angus Gordon Cathie Museum of Anatomy (1983).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.”

A sampling of anatomical specimens housed in the Angus Gordon Cathie Museum of AnatomyToday, 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.

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