born June 4, 1904    died November 4, 1995

Doris Leavitt Appel, the sculptor and medical historian, was born on June 4, 1904 in Boston, Massachusetts.  After graduating from Salem State College, she studied art at Boston University and at The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.  She married Bernard Appel,M.D. a graduate of Tufts University Medical School who later became Professor of Dermatology and Chief of Dermatology at the Boston City Hospital.  He inspired his wife, encouraged her, supported her, and even assisted in the casting of  his wife's works.     The noted author and medical historian Henry Sigerist, M.D.sponsored Doris Appel  for membership in the American Association for the History of Medicine in 1942, and she had many friends among the members of this distinguished organization.  

Here she is shown with Sir Alexander Fleming, discoverer of penicillin.

Fleming was sitting for a portrait commissioned by Pfizer.  

Below is the "Hall of Medicine" in its original form in her studio in Lynn, Massachusetts.  This work was originally commissioned to be in the Medical Museum for the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.  

The start of the Second World War cancelled plans for the Medical Library.  The final cast of the finished work was placed in the Smithsonian Institute then moved to the Boston University School of Medicine  where it remains today as

the Bernard Appel Hall of Medicine.

These twelve figures of scientists and physicians responsible for landmark changes in the development of modern Western medicine were chosen after consultation with the leading medical historians of the time: Siegerist, Castiglione, and others.


Imhotep 2600B.C.E.   Hippocrates 460-370B.C.E.    Galen129-199 A.D.

Maimonides                Andreas Vesalius            Ambroise Pare            William Harvey           William Morton

1135 - 1204                     1514 - 1590                     1510 - 1590                   1578 - 1657                 1819 - 1868

Louis Pasteur           Joseph Lister          Wilhelm Roentgen     Marie Curie

1822 - 1895                  1827 - 1912               1845-  1923               1867 - 1934


The original first cast of the figures make up the John P. McGovern Hall of Medical History ,

placed in the Ashbel Smith Building at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.  

See also the description on the Pasteur Foundation Newsletter:




Working on the American Medicine Panels


The History of American Medicine

The fist two panels are in the Boston University School of Medicine along with the later cast of the Hall of Medicine. 





  THE PROPHET (inspired by her grandfather)


 Inquiries may be made to: Blossom Appel Sanger  515 1st Street   Coronado  CA 92118

All material copyrighted.  Please do not reproduce without permission

Page updated 8/24/2014