[Skip to Navigation]
Sept 25, 1967


JAMA. 1967;201(13):1042. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130130068019

Joseph Pancoast, descendant of a family which came from England with William Penn, was born in Burlington, NJ. His medical education and a long professional career were completed in Philadelphia; the MD degree was granted by the University of Pennsylvania in 1828 and soon thereafter he entered the Philadelphia Hospital as resident physician.1 By 1831, he had begun the practice of surgery and added instruction in practical anatomy and surgery to his duties. Pancoast was elected physician to the Philadelphia Hospital (Blockley) in 1835 and, from 1838 to 1845, served as visiting surgeon; from 1854 to 1864 he attended the Pennsylvania Hospital. Meanwhile, in 1838, the Board of Trustees of Jefferson Medical College elected him to the vacancy which followed the retirement of George McClellan, professor of surgery. From 1841 until 1874 he held the chair of general, descriptive and surgical anatomy, retiring as emeritus professor of anatomy.