In This Article
- Henry Mankin, MD, former chief of Orthopaedic Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, died on December 22, 2018 at the age of 90
- He was a pioneer of biologic reconstruction with allografts
- Dr. Mankin will be remembered as a dedicated teacher, a thoughtful leader and a kind, compassionate caregiver
- In this Q and A, Santiago Lozano Calderón, MD, PhD, discusses Dr. Mankin’s impact and legacy in orthopedics
Henry Mankin, MD, former chief of Orthopaedic Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, died on December 22, 2018 at the age of 90. Dr. Mankin will be remembered as a dedicated teacher, a thoughtful leader and a kind, compassionate caregiver.
Over the course of his career, Dr. Mankin published more than 600 academic articles and book chapters and established an orthopaedic oncology fellowship. His groundbreaking research in cartilage, osteoarthritis and musculoskeletal tumors was funded continuously by the National Institutes of Health from 1962 to 2003. Dr. Mankin was named the Edith M. Ashley Professor Emeritus of Orthopaedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School.
Santiago A. Lozano Calderón, MD, PhD, Orthopaedic Oncology Surgeon, discusses the impact and lasting legacy for Dr. Mankin’s work.
Q: Can you describe the nature of Dr. Mankin’s research?
A: Dr. Mankin was a pioneer and one of the fathers of orthopedic oncology in the United States and in the world. His research spectrum was very wide and ranged from the initial description of the clinical behavior and course of conditions that before him were not well understood, to the modification of treatments that were considered standard. He contributed to the field by reporting on the development of new surgical techniques and treatments, but more importantly in reporting on the results, complications and pitfalls. Today, this is the standard.
On his time, he was one of the first ones, if not the first, in reporting his research in an organized manner, dividing the outcomes in oncologic control and functional results. He was a pioneer of biologic reconstruction with allografts. He did extensive research on allograft reconstruction, which led to the skeleton of the current practice and what we know now about the surgery.
Q: How did his research or his style inspire you as a clinician and researcher?
A: His innovative and genius mind serves as an inspiration for thinking and finding solutions outside the box. The philosophy of his clinical and research practice was to be critical about the current practices and to constantly question whether we are doing the best we can for our patients.
For him, teaching was the most honorable and challenging of tasks. Great teachers look to their students to achieve greater things. Every generation that has been touched by Dr. Mankin has developed great changes and advances in orthopedic oncology.
Q: What did it mean to you to have Dr. Mankin as a member of the Department of Orthopaedics?
A: It was an honor and a great opportunity to have him available for teaching and advice.
Q: What do you think is the legacy of Dr. Mankin’s work for the field of orthopedics?
A: His legacy is so large and transcendent that it is almost impossible to summarize or express in words. There are countless patients and families who our unit continues to follow who are grateful for his care. The memories and comments they express are always loving thoughts and grateful appreciation.
Academically, he simply developed the specialty of musculoskeletal greatly, from a set of procedures performed from different specialties to a very structured profession that now is a subspecialty of orthopedic surgery.
Learn more about Orthopaedic Care at Mass General
Learn more about Orthopaedic Research at Mass General