Dr. Othmar Charles Solnitzky, 82, professor emeritus of anatomy at Georgetown University School of Medicine, died Monday at the Bethesda Retirement and Nursing Center in Chevy Chase. He had arteriosclerosis.
As chairman of the anatomy department from 1937 to 1963, Dr. Solnitzky was responsible for such innovations as the establishment of a body donor program, an anatomical museum of wax models of the human structure, and development of the departmental library. He also introduced the department's first course on X-ray morphotogy.
His early anatomy classes featured his own drawings and slides and his Laboratory Guide in neuroanatomy is used by medical schools throughout the country.
Dr. Solnitzky was born in craiova, Romania. In his mid-teens, he left Romania to join relatives in Canada and subsequently won a university scholarship. His selection as a Rhodes Scholar in 1914 was canceled because of World War I.
After earning a bachelor's degree with highest honors from the University of Saskatchewan in 1917, he was awarded a Knights of Columbus Scholarship to Catholic University here. He earned both a master's degree and a doctorate from Catholic University.
In 1926, Dr. Solnitzky earned a medical degree from George Washington University. While a student there, he was appointed an instructor in anatomy and also taught at night in the College of Arts and Sciences. He remained at George Washington after his graduation and subsequently served as assistant professor and associate professor of anatomy.
He joined Georgetown University's schools of medicine and dentistry in 1935 as an assistant professor of anatomy and was named professor of anatomy and department chairman two years later. He became professor emeritus of anatomy at his retirement in 1967.
Dr. Solnitzky contributed articles in his fields, which included histology, embryology and neuroophthalmology to the medical school "Bulletin" from its first issue in 1947 until his retirement. He was a consultant in anatomy at the National Naval Medical Center, Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the Washington Hospital Center.
He was a lecturer in clinical neurology at Catholic University and in neuroophthalamology at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He was a member of the American Association of Anatomists and the American Academy of Neurology.
Survivors include his wife, Sarah Lord Solnitzky, of Chevy Chase; a son, Othmar Jr.; three daughters, Dorothy Lamar of Kensington, Eleanor Normandy of Minerva, N.Y., and Carolyn Lusk of Ringwood, N.J.; seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Othmar Solnitzky Memorial Fund, Department of Anatomy, Georgetown Medical Center.