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Anesth Analg. 2012 Dec;115(6):1393-400. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0b013e31826f0b68. Epub 2012 Nov 9.

Special article: Francis Hoeffer McMechan, MD: creator of modern anesthesiology?

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  • 1Department of Anesthesiology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, DRH/UHC, Suite 3J.1.14201 St. Antoine, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.


If one person can be credited with the creation of the infrastructure of modern anesthesiology, that individual would be Francis Hoeffer McMechan. He has been largely forgotten since his death in 1939 despite his remarkable and enduring accomplishments. McMechan edited the first national journal devoted to anesthesiology, created and managed almost all of the national and regional societies devoted to the specialty between 1912 and his death, and created the first international physician certification as a specialist in anesthesiology. His accomplishments are even more amazing given the severe arthritis that left him wheelchair-bound for almost his entire professional life and denied him the ability to practice anesthesia. Our specialty owes an incredible debt to this largely unknown and unsung hero.

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