Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Department of Anesthesia, 1970
Although anesthetists have served on Tufts' faculty since 1893, the medical school did not establish a formal division or teaching program of anesthesia until 1949. That year Dr. Benjamin Etsten became the first full-time chair of the school's division and of the New England Medical Center Hospital's service. He subsequently recruited faculty for teaching, research, and clinical anesthesia. He also organized teaching programs for third-year students at the New England Medical Center, the Boston Veteran's Administration, St. Elizabeth's Hospital, and the Boston City Hospital; developed electives for students in their fourth year; and established a residency program.
In 1970 departmental status was achieved and Dr. Etsten became the first chair. By the time that he retired in 1974, the department had grown from one staff anesthesiologist and four residents to a group of ten staff members and fifteen residents.
In 1975 Dr. Kurt Schmidt was appointed chairman. The next fourteen years saw additional growth in the department's faculty along with the modernization of what was an already highly technical specialty. In keeping with a national trend, the residency program began to attract increasing numbers of American medical school graduates.
During this time the department's basic and clinical anesthesia research continued and was strengthened by the establishment of the Eleanor Brooks Saltonstall Professorship for Research in Anesthesia and Pain Control. The addition of the new Boston Floating Hospital, built in 1982, brought a surge in clinical activity. Faculty members became involved in cardiac interventions, vascular reconstructive surgery, major organ transplantation, and major joint replacements-as well as out-patient surgery.
In 1983 Dr. Richard Kream assumed leadership of the research laboratory. Under his aegis, several important clinical contributions have been made, ranging from studies on the temperature regulation of patients under anesthesia to alterations in patients undergoing vascular and cardiac surgery.
In 1991 Dr. Heinreich Wurm, a highly skilled anesthetist and a dedicated teacher, became the department's third chair. Dr. Wurm holds an M.D. degree from the University of Tübingen. He received his anesthesia training at T#x00FC;bingen and the Peter Bent Brigham and Children's Hospitals. Under his leadership, the program has continued to include a week in the third-year surgical curriculum as well as a fourth-year elective in the major teaching hospitals.
Source: COE, 127-28.