In 1936, at the suggestion of her mentor at Columbia-Presbyterian, Apgar made inquiries to the few existing anesthesiology
programs about getting a residency with them. Initially, none of them had any residency openings, though she eventually was
able to study with Waters and then with Emery Rovenstine, two leaders in the field.
Number of Image Pages:
1 (82,778 Bytes)
1936-04-27 (April 27, 1936)
Waters, Ralph M.
University of Wisconsin. State of Wisconsin General Hospital
Original Repository: Mount Holyoke College. Archives and Special Collections. Virginia Apgar Papers [MS 0504]
Reproduced with permission of Darwin D. Waters.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
From Surgery to Anesthesiology, 1933-1937
Letter from Ralph M. Waters to Virginia Apgar (October 29, 1936)
I have your telegram of April 20, your letter of April 21, and a letter from Dr. Rovenstine, which shall be answered herewith.
Dr. Rovenstine was right that there was some question about there being an opening July 1st on the Anesthesia service at Wisconsin.
The present outlook is that the service is full, with a very slight element of uncertainty as to one appointment following
July 1. I therefore fear that I could offer you nothing in the way of definite appointment.
Being interested in the progress of Anesthesia in the United States, it is, of course, scarcely possible that I could fail
to be intensely interested in Dr. Whipple's efforts to improve the anesthesia at Columbia. Under the circumstances of
your arrangement with Dr. Whipple I presume it would be quite impossible anyway for you to take the usual three year residency
which is the only means that we have of offering organized instruction to medical graduates. It occurs to me that you might
find it profitable to spend a certain amount of time as a visitor and observer here. The place is open at all times to visitors
so long as they are medical graduates, and the members of the service do their best to make the time of such visitors profitable.
There are usually two meetings a week of the Anesthesia staff here. The work of the week is discussed and the literature
reading of the members is reported. If you wish to plan at any time to spend time, either a great deal or a little, as such
a visitor and observer here, I am sure you would be very welcome.
This is the only suggestion that I can think of at present that might, to some extent, meet your requirements. I could perhaps
say quite unofficially that if you were available here over quite a period of tins and at a time when some of the people on
the service were taking their vacations so that help was not too plentiful, it might very readily be that there would be considerable
practical experience available to you. This I can not say officially and it would depend on your own relationships with the
members of the department and the needs at the time you happen to be here.
With best wishes for your success and with kindest regards, I am