Some medical practitioners embraced the art of moving images as a modern means of communicating their work, educating other doctors, or documenting procedures.
The NLM holds 22 titles by Brooklyn surgeon Jacob Sarnoff (1886–1961), most from his Human Body series. As Miriam Posner notes in her essay, “Sarnoff was no dabbler. A busy surgeon who helped found Brooklyn’s Maimonides Medical Center, he spent some $8,000 to $10,000 a year on his filmmaking activities…”
Arnold Gesell, director emeritus of the Yale Clinic of Child Development, filmed many of his studies, introducing child development not only to academics but also to lay people, nationally and abroad. The Mental Growth of a Mongol is a Gesell title in NLM’s Digital Collections, and the library holds another 25 or so titles by Gesell, as well as other productions that present Gesell’s developmental assessment tools.
Norman P. Schenker
Schenker did early work with fluoroscopic (X-ray) imagery, including the films Carcinoma of the Esophagus and Malignant Tumors of the Lungs, and coauthored Short Films for Cancer Teaching in the Medical School, published in 1953.
Other Scientists and Doctors
Other notable scientists and physicians represented in NLM’s collections include obstetrician Joseph DeLee, surgeon Alton Ochsner, epidemiologist Telford Work, heart surgeons Charles Hufnagel and Michael Debakey, and breast cancer specialist Francis D. Moore.