The Aqualumni Tree

WLMD ID: alfd

Dr. Ralph M. Waters (1883-1979) earned his medical degree in 1912, and by 1916 he had chosen to specialize in anesthesia. Postgraduate training opportunities were few, but he sought them out. In 1915 he took the course offered by Dr. Elmer I. McKesson (1881-1935) in Toledo, OH. In 1926, Dr. Waters studied under Dr. John S. Lundy (1893-1973) at the Mayo Clinic. At the invitation of the surgeon Erwin R. Schmidt (1890-1961), Dr. Waters joined the medical faculty of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, in 1927. There he founded the world’s first postgraduate academic residency program in anesthesiology. His goals for the program were ambitious, both to train good doctors and to raise the standards of the entire profession. He was a charter member of the first continuing education organization in the field, the Anesthetists’ Travel Club, founded in 1929. He also served as a President of the American Society of Anesthesiologists in 1945, and received its Distinguished Service Award in 1946.

Dr. Waters’ residents called themselves “the Aqualumni”. Many of them went on to become leaders of the specialty, and several founded new residency programs, themselves. The tradition continued as many of their own trainees founded yet more academic programs. This lineage is represented in the “Aqualumni Tree”, created by Aqualumnus Dr. Lucien Morris and his wife. Among the other members of this eminent group were Drs. F. A. D. Alexander, Virginia Apgar, Stuart Cullen, Noel Gillespie, Torsten Gordh, Robert Hingson, Carlos Parsloe, Emory Rovenstine, Ivan Taylor, and Perry Volpitto.

Catalog Record: The Aqualumni Tree Catalog record unavailable.