March 28, 2003, 3 - 4 pm
Doctor's Day Lecture
"Doctors' Day and Anesthesia, the Legacy of Dr. Crawford W. Long"
William D. Hammonds, M.D., M.P.H.
Professor of Anesthesia, University of Iowa College of Medicine
On March 30, 1842 Crawford W. Long--using sulphuric ether--gave the
first anesthetic for a
surgical procedure. That historic event in Jefferson, Georgia allowed
perform painless surgery for the first time. Anesthesia has been referred to
as America's greatest contribution to medicine and clearly anesthesia
dramatically reduced the burden of suffering for all mankind. For much of
the one hundred and sixty-one years since the first anesthetic, Crawford W.
Long received little recognition for his accomplishment. In the past two
decades some credit has at last been granted for Dr. Long's role in
introducing this important innovation in medicine. Doctor's Day is one
tangible and important symbol of the restoration of Dr. Long to his rightful
place in history.
This presentation will cover the historical facts of
Crawford W. Long's life. His early years and education, his first use of
ether as an anesthetic, the ether controversy and Dr. Long's response to the
bitter rivalry between the principals in the ether controversy will be
discussed. One of Dr. Long's most ardent supporters was Dr. J. Marion Sims
of Alabama. The influence that this prominent physician had on Dr. Long will
be explored. The talk will conclude with a discussion of how March 30 came
to be Doctors' Day.
Please join us for a reception following Dr. Hammonds' lecture, and
the opening of a major exhibit on the history of anesthesia that will remain
Reynolds through May. Admission to the lecture and exhibit is free and open
public. The lecture will be held in the Reynolds Historical Library's
Third Floor of the Lister Hill Library, 1700 University Blvd, on the campus
the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The reception and exhibit will be
the adjoining Alabama Museum of the Health Sciences.
This lecture and exhibit are a joint project of the History of
Anesthesia Section, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Alabama
School of Medicine and
the Reynolds Historical Library, University of Alabama at Birmingham. We
like to thank the Alabama State Society of Anesthesiologists, the Medical
the State of Alabama and Abbott Laboratories for their support.
More information about the Reynolds Historical Library collections
can be found at http://www.uab.edu/reynolds/
. More information about the
Anesthesia Section, Department of Anesthesiology UASOM can be found at
We hope to see you there!!---aj
A.J. Wright, MLS
Associate Professor of Anesthesiology
Director, Section on the History of Anesthesia
Dept of Anesthesiology/Library
School of Medicine
University of Alabama at Birmingham
619 19th Street South, JT965
Birmingham AL 35249-6810