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Part 1. The Specialty of Anesthesiology
Chapter 1. The Evolution of Anesthesiology as a Clinical Discipline: A Lesson in Developing Professionalism
Douglas R. Bacon, MD, MA
1. The history of anesthesiology is an interesting and complicated story of professionals seeking to understand the anesthetic state and to safely anesthetize patients.
2. Shortly after the first public demonstration of ether anesthesia on October 16, 1846, the news spread across the world. At first anesthetics were given based on written accounts, often in the lay press.
3. John Snow, a London physician, worked out the physics of vaporization of volatile agents using ether and chloroform and used this information to design vaporizers and anesthetic techniques that were safer for the patient.
4. The first professional organization devoted to anesthesia was the London Society of Anaesthetists founded on May 30, 1893. The first similar group in the United States was the Long Island Society organized by Adolph Frederick Erdmann in 1905. The Long Island Society eventually became the American Society of Anesthesiologists.
5. Francis Hoffer McMechan, crippled by rheumatoid arthritis and unable to work clinically after 1911, organized professional anesthesia. He helped create the first national organization, the Associated Anesthetists of America in 1912, and went on to found several national and international organizations, of which the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS) remains active. He was the founding editor of the..."
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