In 1905 a group of nine specialists founded The Long Island Society of Anesthetists (LISA).This was the second society of physician anesthesiologists in the world. It rapidly grew into the world's largest, as well. In 1911 the name was changed to The New York Society of Anesthetists (NYSA). In 1936, with a nation-wide membership and mission, it became the American Society of Anesthetists, Inc. The present name, The American Society of Anesthesiologists. Inc. (ASA), was adopted in 1945 to reflect the universal recognition that physicians delivering anesthesia care are anesthesiologists. The copy shown here belonged to ASA's then-Secretary, Paul M. Wood, M.D.
Under its new name, ASA also revised its Constitution and Bylaws in 1945. The Constitution defined six broad purposes for the organization. These were to advance the art and practice of anesthesiology by reputable physicians, to publish the journal, Anesthesiology, to maintain a library and museum, to encourage education and certification in this medical specialty, to test the qualifications of specialists and protect the public against unqualified practitioners, and to uphold the esteem of the medical profession. Today, with 55,000 members, advocacy, education, research and leadership remain central to ASA's mission.