Two millimeters below the surface of a cadaver’s cold skin, a number 12 surgical blade incises smoothly. Reflection of dermis reveals subcutaneous fat, sunflower yellow and overwhelmingly abundant. As the dissector’s eyes strategically scan the internal elements, a thread-like structure is found embedded within the cadaveric tissue. Frequently damaged by rookie gross anatomy students, the lateral sural cutaneous nerve is identified and isolated. A meticulous hand, acute visual sense, and a great deal of knowledge are necessary for an anatomical prosector to excel at this rare form of art.
While obtaining my first doctorate, I filled the role of senior prosector in the anatomy lab, a task typically reserved for elite anatomists, which created a powerful self-realization and redirected my life’s objective. My purpose gradually presented itself while investing copious amounts of hours into thinking, studying, and working with cadavers. An innate artistic ability not only allows me to captivate detail but also to refine the hand motor skills necessary to execute meticulous dissections of human specimens.
I aspire to produce work that will outlive me and live by the statement of Ben Franklin, "Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing." Trained in science, I objectify uncertainty from a logical perspective. My artistic side allows me to reveal answers to scientific questions from an imaginative angle. With these character traits, I am able to weave the web of the scientific literature.
By fearing what we are inside, there is little hope in accepting anything beyond ourselves. While I am receptive to the aesthetic beauty that is available to everyone, I also attempt to reveal a greater beauty by understanding the wondrous design beneath the skin of the noble men and women who have donated their bodies to science.
-Dr. Frank Scali has dissected human specimens over the course of his medical education for prosection demonstration, research purposes, Gray's Anatomy, and other scientific publications.