Date: November 22, 2005
It's been a busy couple of years for John Banks, Andrews University professor of anatomy and physical therapy. On top of his already busy schedule teaching classes like gross anatomy, neuroscience, and pathophysiology to physical therapy students, he managed to squeeze in 600 hours in the dissecting lab, working on the Atlas of Clinical Gross Anatomy, the textbook he recently co-authored with fellow Andrews graduates, Kenneth Moses, staff physician and assistant professor at Loma Linda University, and Darrell Petersen, biomedical photographer and architect in Elkhart, Ind., and the chair of the pathology and human anatomy department at Loma Linda, Pedro B. Nava.
Published in May 2005 by London-based Elsevier Publishing, the world's largest publisher of medical education materials, the atlas can already be found in the classrooms of Harvard Medical School, the University of Connecticut Medical School, and the University of Southern California's physical therapy program. It's the first book of its kind to be published in 20 years, and the first-ever to also include text. It is also being marketed extensively for international distribution.
About seven years ago, Moses, a former student of Banks, approached him with the idea of putting together a new anatomy atlas. Though somewhat skeptical at first, Banks agreed to work on the project, and the two began putting together a sample chapter that they then took around to several different publishers. Two companies showed interest in the project, especially Mosby, who gave Moses and Banks funds to put together a second, more professional, sample chapter. Nava and Petersen joined the team, and after much negotiating, Mosby, who had now been bought by Elsevier, offered them a contract and a $314,000 grant to cover production costs.
The contract was signed in May 2002, and the crew got to work dissecting immediately. Banks put together the section on extremities, which makes up 20 of the textbook's 47 chapters. Moses focused on the trunk, Nava on the head and neck, and Petersen took all of the book's photographs.
Banks spent many late nights and weekends working in the Andrews dissecting lab. "I was even there on New Year's Eve," Banks notes. "But, I didn't mind the hours. I would get in the lab, and before I knew it, two or three hours had passed." For Banks' portion alone, he clocked 600 hours dissecting, 200 working on labeling and text revisions, and 100 with photography. "I enjoyed the extensive personal review I experienced learning the details."
The work for the book was completed in February 2004.
"I feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment at seeing my name listed as a co-author on a piece of work of this magnitude," comments Banks.