Joseph Pancoast

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Joseph Pancoast
Joseph Pancoast.jpg
BornNovember 23, 1805
DiedMarch 6, 1882 (aged 76)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Spouse(s)Rebecca Abbott
ChildrenWilliam Henry Pancoast
Parent(s)John Pancoast
Ann Abbott

Joseph Pancoast (November 23, 1805 – March 6, 1882) was an American surgeon. His name is eponymic to the practice of surgery, in general, and plastic surgery, in particular.

Pancoast was responsible for many seminal advancements in surgery that he described, and were depicted graphically, in numerous scholarly articles and books. His greatest work, A Treatise on Operative Surgery, was published in 1844. He was also famous for his lectures and clinics in anatomy and surgery.

Pancoast was born of Quaker parentage at Springfield Township, Burlington County, New Jersey, the son of John Pancoast (1771 – 1841) and Ann Abbott,[1] his wife. Joseph Pancoast married Rebecca Abbott.

In 1828, Pancoast was awarded a degree in medicine by the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. From 1839 to 1841, he was Chairman of the Department of Surgery at Jefferson Medical College. From 1841 until his resignation in 1874, Pancoast was Chairman of the Department of Anatomy at the same institution. He was succeeded by his son, William Henry Pancoast, who was also a renowned surgeon.


  1. ^ Swarthmore College; Swarthmore, Pennsylvania; Intentions of Marriage and Certificates of Removal, 1685-1756; Collection: Quaker Meeting Records; Call Number: MR-PH-109

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