Intended for healthcare professionals


Emanuel M Papper

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 01 March 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:503

A founding father of anaesthesiology

Before Emanuel Papper and a few colleagues made anaesthesiology a lifesaving specialty, surgeons were limited to operations of about an hour … otherwise the patient might not have woken up. Papper was one of a few anaesthetists who, after 1945, made the USA by far the greatest force in academic anaesthesia. By 1962 he had persuaded the National Institutes of Health to fund anaesthetic research. From these endeavours emerged the subspecialties of pain treatment and intensive care.

Papper was born in 1915 in a tenement in Harlem, New York, to poor immigrant Jewish parents. His father was a stone- mason; his mother, a social activist, insisted on hard work, honesty, and academic achievement. With a scholarship, Papper graduated from Columbia College in 1934 …

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