Pre-Columbia Years, 1915-1949

Emanuel Martin Papper was born July 12, 1915 in New York City to immigrant parents, Max and Lillian (Weitzner) Papper. [Image] His father was a stone mason, his mother a social activist. He graduated from Boys High School in Brooklyn in 1931 and from Columbia College in 1935 with an A.B. degree, Phi Beta Kappa. [Image]

Dr. Papper earned his medical degree from New York University in 1938 [Image] and was appointed a Fellow in Medicine at NYU the same year under Elaine P. Ralli, director of the Metabolic and Endocrine Laboratories in the Department of Medicine. At Dr. Ralli’s urging, he did his internship in internal medicine in 1939 at Bellevue Hospital in New York under A.W. Wright. The internship included a rotation in the Department of Anesthesiology, only because Dr. Papper was assigned as a substitute for a surgically oriented house officer who had come down with tuberculosis.

It was this one-month rotation, under E.A. Rovenstine, [Photo] chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology at NYU, which attracted him to this new discipline. He was inspired by both the importance of anesthesiology in the operating room and the opportunity for research to which anesthesiology lent itself so well. His internship was followed by a fellowship in physiology at NYU in 1940 under Homer W. Smith, an eminent renal physiologist, and a residency in anesthesiology at Bellevue Hospital under E.A. Rovenstine from 1940-1942.

Dr. Papper found Dr. Rovenstine to be an expert teacher and clinician who believed excellent science was a requirement to support and modify clinical practice for the benefit of patient care. During his internship rotation and residency in anesthesiology, Dr. Papper also had the opportunity to work with the physicians and surgeons from the three medical schools that were in charge of many divisions at Bellevue Hospital: New York University, Cornell and Columbia. Through his first wife, Julia Fisher, an aide to President Roosevelt, he had other opportunities.

Dr. Papper’s first publications in 1941 with E. P. Ralli and others on renal pathophysiology and wound healing appeared in the Archives of Internal Medicine and Annals of Surgery respectively. They were followed in rapid succession during his residency by nine publications with E.A. Rovenstine and others, all on anesthesiology research, and all published in leading journals, such as Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapy, Anesthesiology, and JAMA. [Bibliography] When Dr. Papper finished his residency in 1942, he was one of only about 50 completely trained and educated anesthesiologists by the standards of the day.

In 1942 Dr. Papper’s academic pursuits continued with his appointment as instructor in anesthesiology at NYU, but they were soon rechanneled by wartime military service where his knowledge and skills were critically needed. From 1942 to 1946 he was a Major in the Army Medical Corps and the chief of the Section on Anesthesiology at Torney General Hospital in Palm Springs, then at Dibble General Hospital in Menlo Park, and, following duty in Europe, at Walter Reed Hospital in 1945. At Walter Reed, Dr. Papper was chief of both Anesthesiology and Operating Rooms. When he became a diplomate of the American Board of Anesthesiology in 1943, he was one of the few board certified anesthesiologists to serve in the European Theater of Operations.

He published nine research papers between 1943 and 1946. [Bibliography] In 1945, Dr. Papper was awarded the Army Commendation Medal. In 1946 he was inducted into Sigma Xi. In 1948 he was accepted to Alpha Omega Alpha.

Following the war, Dr. Papper returned to New York University in 1946 as an assistant professor and as E. A. Rovenstine’s first assistant. His collaboration with the Department of Physiology resumed and clinical care flourished, including the development of a successful part-time private practice. He became a member of the Medical Society of the County of New York in 1946 and served on its Committee on Hospital-Physician Relations. In 1947 he joined the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the New York Academy of Medicine. In 1949 he joined the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics and the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

The post-war years were a productive period of research for Dr. Papper. Sixteen research papers were published in three years with other leading colleagues, and his first of many chapters on anesthesia appeared in Atlas of Amputations by Donald B. Slocum. [Bibliography] He rose to associate professor at NYU in 1949 and was the apparent successor to E. A. Rovenstine upon his retirement about 15 years later.

Columbia Years, 1949-1969 - The Emergence of Modern Anesthesiology

In 1949, Dr. Papper accepted an appointment at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University as professor and director of the Anesthesiology Service in the Department of Surgery, and as director of the Anesthesiology Service of Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. George H. Humphreys II, who had been appointed chairman of the Department of Surgery in 1946, believed that in addition to clinical competency, anesthesiology needed to develop a strong academic and research mission. In 1951 Dr. Papper was also appointed director of anesthesiology and visiting anesthesiologist at Columbia’s Francis Delafield Hospital for cancer care. [Photo]

Between 1949 and 1951 his research flourished; pioneering anesthesiology studies were conducted which strengthened clinical expertise. Together with other prominent colleagues, including E. A. Rovenstine, B.B. Brodie, J.S. West, T. F. McDermott, and V. Apgar, he published 19 research papers in three years. [Bibliography] In 1950, Dr. Papper became a member of the Committee on Anesthesia of the National Academy of Sciences and of the American Thoracic Society. In 1951 he joined the New York Academy of Sciences and the Harvey Society.

From 1949 to 1951, Dr. Papper raised the presence of anesthesiology at Columbia University and the Board of Trustees endorsed his recommendation that an independent department be established. On January 1, 1952, he was appointed chairman of the independent Department of Anesthesiology at Columbia University, only the fourth such department in the world. [Photo] During his chairmanship, from 1952-1969, the new department of anesthesiology rose to the forefront and anesthesiology achieved equal status with surgery and the other medical disciplines, which, during this period, were all outstanding and highly respected. In Dr. Papper’s words, “At Columbia the time was as exciting as Camelot must have been in ancient Britain … there was unlimited support for academic anesthesiology among a galaxy of stars.” [1]

His creation of subspecialty groups in pediatrics, obstetrics and neurosurgery and his continued support of pioneering research programs strengthened clinical competence. His expansion of the residency program and requirement that all students take a clinical clerkship in anesthesiology continue to this day. His collaboration with basic science and clinical departments and his decision to develop leaders in anesthesiology and research as a formal part of faculty development led to the development of strong faculty and many future leaders in academic anesthesiology. His efforts led to the generous support of the NIH of the department’s studies on the pharmacokinetics of anesthetic drugs, control of respiration, and on obstetric anesthesiology and physiology of the neonate. During his 18-year chairmanship, Dr. Papper authored or edited five books and wrote more than 130 scientific papers. [Bibliography]

In 1949 Dr. Papper served on the Committee on Programs of the New York State Society of Anesthesiologists and as its chairman from 1957-58. He addressed the Post Graduate Assembly in New York City in 1950 and was general chairman of the Assembly from 1950-54. He served on the Subcommittee on Postgraduate Education in 1951 and the Subcommittee on Medical Schools in 1952-53. In 1952 he was elected president of the New York State Society of Anesthesiologists.

In 1953 he co-founded the Association of University Anesthetists and served as its first president in 1954. He joined the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the American Association for Thoracic Surgery in 1953, the American Trudeau Society in 1954 and the Halsted Society in 1960. [Photo] In 1961, he was named director of the New York State Society for Medical Research.

He served as president of the section on anesthesiology of the Pan American Medical Association in 1965 and was named an Honorary Member of the Maryland-District of Columbia Society of Anesthesiologists in 1966, the Society of Air Force Clinical Surgeons in 1967, and the California Society of Anesthesiologists in 1969. He was elected an Active Member of the American College of Physicians in 1968, and a Fellow in 1977. In 1969 he became an active member of the Society of Medical Consultants to the Armed Forces. In recognition of his contributions to the development of air transportation safety, he was made an Admiral of the Flagship Fleet of American Airlines in 1965 and a member of Pan Am's Clipper Club in 1969. [Photo]

In 1956, Dr. Papper became a director of the American Board of Anesthesiology, [Photo] its vice-president from 1963-4 and its president from 1964-5. [Photo] He joined the AMA in 1946, served on the Residency Review Committee for Anesthesiology in 1960 and as chairman from 1963-4. He served on the Committee to Coordinate the Relationships of Medicine and Allied Health Profession and Services in 1962.

A member of the American Society of Anesthesiologists since 1940, he served on the Sub-committee on Resuscitation Equipment in 1958 and chaired the Committee on Annual Session Arrangement in 1960. He served as Second Vice-President and on the Committee on Refresher Courses in 1961. In 1962 he served on the Committee on Annual Sessions. In 1963 he was MEDICO, Representative on the Advisory Board of the ASA. He served on the Committee on Consultants in 1964 and became chairman of the Committee in 1965. In 1965 he served on the Committee on Delegates to the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists. In 1966 he served on the Committee on Liaison, Committee on Research, Committee on Legislative Activities, and Committee for Planning Professional Activities committees. He was elected first vice-president in 1966 and president in 1967-8. He served on the Board until 1969. [Photo]

He served on the United States Pharmacopoeia Scope Panel on Anesthesiology in 1960 and on the American Heart Association Council on Cardiovascular Surgery, Scientific Council of America in 1969. He was a member of the World Federation Societies of Anesthesiologists and served on numerous committees from 1949 through 1972: Committee on Programs, 1949-1958 and chairman 1949 and 1957; Subcommittee on Postgraduate Education, 1951; Subcommittee on Medical Schools, 1952-53; Subcommittee on Resuscitation Equipment, 1958; chairman of the Committee on Annual Session Arrangement, 1960; Committee on Refresher Courses, 1961; Committee on Annual Sessions, 1962; and Executive Committee, 1964-72. He was also Second Vice-President in 1961. [Photo]

Dr. Papper held major government positions during the Columbia years. In 1960 he served on the Advisory Committee on Health Policy of the Democratic National Committee. [Image] Between 1962 and 1968 he was chairman of the Committee on Anesthesia of the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences and of the Panel on Drugs for Anesthesia which advised the Food and Drug Administration. He served on the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on the Interplay of Engineering with Biology and Medicine from 1967-68.

Between 1963 and 1970, he was national consultant to the Surgeon General, consultant in Research in Trauma of the United States Army, consultant, Third Naval District, United States Navy, and a member of the Advisory Committee on Metabolism in Trauma of the United States Army. He served on the President’s Commission on Heart Disease and Stroke in 1965. [Photo] [Image] From 1958 to 1966 he held several positions at the National Institutes of Health. He was a consultant to the Surgery Study Section from 1958-62 [Photo] and to the Pharmacology Training Committee from 1960-62. He served on the National Advisory Heart Council from 1962-66. [Photo] and as a Special Consultant for Anesthesiology in 1965-66.

Perhaps his most significant government position was as principal consultant to the National Institutes of Health in 1965-66 to establish a new institute, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. He continued as chairman of its General Medical Research Program Project Committee from 1966-70. In developing the program for anesthesiology, he and Dr. Fred Stone presented its mortality data as a danger to the public health of the nation. They sought funding for various research and training programs to lessen the mortality rate of the time. “The net result of all these activities was a very rapid improvement in the knowledge required for a major lowering of the consensus estimate about mortality due to anesthesia.” [2] Another significant result was the availability of research funding which attracted bright people to the specialty.

Dr. Papper’s scientific and professional activities extended well beyond American shores. In 1955 he was a professor of the World Health Organization’s anesthesiology course given in Copenhagen. He served as lecturer at the Westminster Hospital of the University of London during 1957 and gave the Jenny Hartmann Lecture at the University of Basel the same year. He was a visiting professor at the University of California, San Francisco in 1958, at the Central University of Caracas, Venezuela in 1962 and 1966, and at the University of Washington, Seattle, in 1962, 1968, and 1971. He was a Guest Lecturer at the Wilford Hall USAF Hospital 13th Annual Anesthesiology Review Course in 1966 and the 17th in 1970.

Dr. Papper delivered numerous named lectures, including the AOA Lecture at the University of Miami in 1960; the Guedel Lecture at the University of California, Los Angeles in 1962; the Whitacre Lecture in Cleveland in 1963; the Joseph Clover Lecture at the Royal College of Surgeons in London in 1964; the Wesley Bourne Lecture at McGill University in 1964; the Rovenstine Memorial Lecture in 1966; the Horace Wells Oration in Boston in 1966; and the McKesson Memorial Lecture in Toledo in 1967. He was awarded honorary doctoral degrees in medicine by the University of Uppsala in Sweden in 1964 and the University of Turin, Italy in 1969.

In 1960 he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine and in 1964 Fellow of the Faculty of Anaesthetists of the Royal College of Surgeons. [Photo] He became a corresponding member of the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland in 1961 and an honorary member of the Swedish Society of Anesthesiologists in 1964, Finnish Society of Anesthesiologists in 1969, the Australian Society of Anaesthetists in 1969, and the Israel Society of Anesthesiologists in 1970. He helped found the Latin American Center of Anesthesiology in 1966,

He was made an honorary member of the National Association on Standard Medical Vocabulary in 1961. Between 1962 and 1968 he was chairman of the New Miami Action Committee of the Chamber of Commerce. He was a member of the editorial committee of Pharmacology for Physicians in 1964 and of the Annals of Clinical Research in 1969. He served as consultant to seven hospitals in the New York area during the 1960s.

“After some twenty years of serving as Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center’s Chief Executive Officer of the Anesthesiology Program it seemed that my mission was reasonably close to being accomplished and that perhaps I should consider moving to another venue.” [3] That venue was to be a medical school that he could shape as its dean. Still in his early 50s, he was old enough to have already built a premier department and pioneered a whole field, but still young enough to have an important new chapter in his professional life.

Deanship, University of Miami School of Medicine, 1969-1981 - A "Decade of Progress"

In December 1969 at the age of 53, Dr. Papper was appointed Vice-President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the University of Miami School of Medicine. [Photo] The 17-year old medical school was united geographically that same year on the N.W. 10th Avenue campus with the opening of the Rosenstiel Medical Sciences Building several months before. For the first time, both the basic and clinical sciences were on one campus and most fittingly being led by an internationally known statesman, clinician/scientist, and educator. Dr. Papper viewed Miami as a good medical school that was committed to moving up to a higher tier of excellence. During his deanship, from 1969-1981, [Photo] the School of Medicine and the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center created during his tenure, grew to one of the largest in the country and prospered, not only physically, but academically, clinically, and in recognition and prestige.

The physical expansion of the School of Medicine began with the Mailman Center for Child Development and the creation of the University of Miami Hospital and Clinics in 1971. The Louis Calder Memorial Library building followed in 1972. [Photo with Mildred Langner, President Stanford, and Student Council President] The Anne Bates Leach Eye Hospital opened in 1976. [Photo with Mrs. Leach and President Stanford] The Medical Training and Simulation Lab was built in 1979. An affiliation was formed with the National Parkinson Foundation in 1979. Dade County’s “Decade of Progress” bond issue passed in 1972 and led to the West Wing of Jackson Memorial Hospital and the Primary/Ambulatory Care Center in 1976, and an expanded Rehabilitation Center in 1981. [Photo with Steve Clark, Metro Mayor, at Ground-Breaking for the Rehabilitation Center] An international medical center was taking shape and named the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center.

The physical expansion supported a major increase in faculty and students and the recruitment of outstanding new chairs and directors to complement the nucleus of outstanding individuals already at the School. This expansion, in turn, supported major strides in clinical, educational and research programs and activities. During his deanship, numerous specialty centers were created which became internationally known: Comprehensive Cancer Center for the State of Florida in 1973; Diabetes Research Center in 1974; and Comprehensive Pain and Rehabilitation Center in 1975. The Transplant Program was reborn in 1979.

At Jackson Memorial Hospital, the Sickle Cell Center, Tay-Sachs Identification Program, Child Action Project, Rape Treatment Center, Center for Blood Diseases and the Adolescent Clinic were formed. Strong relations were formed with Latin American and the Caribbean and an Office of Latin American Affairs was established with the Public Health Trust, created during his tenure to administer the Hospital.

By 1981, the relationships among the Public Health Trust of Dade County, the Veterans Administration, and the medical school were the best in 30 years. As the chiefs of service at Jackson Memorial Hospital, the School’s faculty were involved in the administration of the clinical care and educational programs based at the Hospital. This was “one of the earliest, if not the first, marriage between a private university medical school and a publicly owned hospital.” [4] Based on this unique relationship and no private university hospital, a single standard of care for all patients was adopted and remains in place today.

Academically, the School achieved international recognition with the creation of “Harvey”, a breakthrough in cardiac simulation training; the innovative PhD–MD Program that was introduced in 1971 and became the largest in the nation; and the combined MD/PhD Program which began in 1980. The undergraduate medical curriculum was revised and praised twice by the Association of American Medical Colleges between 1969 and 1981. Courses were integrated across departments and there was more central coordination of the curriculum. The undergraduate enrollment more than doubled and student body attrition dropped to one of the lowest in the nation. [Photo at June 2, 1974 commencement] Student achievement on national exams rose continuously during his deanship and attained a high level of superiority. “The upper twenty percent of students could compare favorably with the upper twenty percent in any of the major institutions which with I had experience, including Columbia from whence I came.” [5]

Four new departments were added: Oncology, Family Medicine, Epidemiology and Public Health, and Orthopaedics. The first female chair of a Department of Radiology and the first female chair at the School of Medicine was named in 1978, and three associate deanships were filled by women. During the 1970s, the active recruitment of minority students began. In 1975, after the death of his wife Julia in 1974, Dr. Papper married Patricia Meyer.

Research programs flourished during his deanship, growing by almost 200% and classifying the still young medical school as one of the nation’s leaders in sponsored research. By 1976/77, the School had risen to 20th among the country’s 119 medical schools in total research funding. Pioneering breakthroughs were made in cytology, clinical pharmacology, transplantation, ophthalmology, cardiology, surgery, hematology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, and other areas.

As Vice-President for Medical Affairs and Dean, Dr. Papper continued to serve the National Institutes of Health on the General Research Support Program Advisory Committee of the Division of Research. He also expanded his professional society memberships and activities. In 1971 he served on the Executive Council of the Association of American Medical Colleges and from 1972-74 as Chairman-Elect and then Chairman of its Council of Deans. He joined the Association for Academic Health Centers in 1971. From 1973-1976 he served two terms on the Board of Overseers of Harvard University to the Visiting Committee for the School of Medicine.

He served on the Committee on Medical Schools of the Florida Medical Association in 1970, its Committee on Medical Education in 1974 and from 1977-79, and its Committee on Professional Liability Insurance in 1975. He served on the Florida Health Planning Council in 1970, Governor Askew’s Community Hospital Education Council in 1971, and on the Governor’s Panel on Malpractice and the Governor’s Committee of the Florida Medical Liability Insurance Commission in 1975. He was a member of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Visiting Committee for the Commission on Colleges in 1974. In 1978 he joined the American Physicians Fellowship, Inc. for the Israel Medical Association.

Dr. Papper served on the board of trustees of the Papanicolaou Cancer Research Institute (1970/71), Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Miami (1973), the Comprehensive Health Planning Council of South Florida (1972) and the Cooper Research Foundation (1975). He served on the board of Directors of the City National Bank of Miami (1972), Bankers Club (1973), National Parkinson Foundation (1974), Group Health Inc. and Health Systems Agency of South Florida (1975), the Museum of Science and Space Transit Planetarium (1975-76), and the National Health Council (1977). He was a Counselor of the National Health Council from 1977-1980. He served as chairman of the Royal Society of Medicine Foundation and of the board of governors of the Anne Bates Leach Eye Hospital (1972). He was elected medical staff president of Jackson Memorial Hospital for 1973-74.

From 1971 to 1984 he served on the board of directors of Abbott Laboratories and the Mount Sinai Hospital in Miami. He served as an ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees of the Public Health Trust of Jackson Memorial Hospital. From 1978 to 1990 he served on the board of directors of Northern Trust Bank of Florida. During his deanship, Dr. Papper continued to publish articles on the practice of anesthesiology and medicine, undergraduate and continuing medical education, academic medical centers, acupuncture, and malpractice. [Bibliography]

Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Miami, 1969-1981
Department of Pharmacology, 1974-1981

While Vice-President for Medical Affairs and Dean, Dr. Papper had an appointment as professor in both the Department of Anesthesiology beginning in 1969 and in the Department of Pharmacology beginning in 1974 at the University of Miami and continued his scientific and clinical activities. In 1970 he joined the Florida Society of Anesthesiologists and was named a Corresponding Member of the Latin American Association of Toxicology. He was named a Fellow of the American Surgical Association in 1972. He joined the Eastern Pain Association in 1971. He was a Founder Member of the American Trauma Society in 1973-74. He joined the International Association for the Study of Pain in 1974 and the New York Academy of Sciences in 1975 and was named a fellow of the Academy in 1977. He was a charter member of the American Pain Society in 1978 and made a Life Member in 1982.

He served on the Drug Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences in 1971, in the Division of Drug Metabolism of the Food and Drug Administration in 1973, and on the Council on Cardiovascular Surgery of the American Heart Association in 1978. He was elected president of the Section of Anesthesiology of the Pan American Medical Association in 1971 and vice-president of the World Federation Societies of Anesthesiologists for 1976-80. In 1978-79 he served on the Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel on the Treatment of High Blood Pressure in America, part of the Select Committee on Aging and Sub-Committee on Health and Long-Term Care of the U. S. House of Representatives.

Dr. Papper was named an honorary member of the Cuban Medical Association in Exile in 1973, the Royal Society of Medicine of Spain in 1971, the Philippine College of Anesthesiologists and La Sociedad Mexicana de Medicina del Trabajo in 1973, the New York Society of Anesthesiologists in 1974, the Venezuelan Society of Anesthesiology and the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland in 1976, and the European Academy of Anaesthesiologists and the European Congress of Anesthesiology in 1978. He received honorary fellowship in the Faculty of Anaesthetists of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland in 1975. He was elected honorary president of the French Society of Anesthesiology and Resuscitation in 1970 and 1972. In 1980 he was named Honorary Professor of the University of Santiago de Chile.

He was named honorary professor of the Faculty of Medicine of the Universidad Nacional de Buenos AIres in 1970, of the Universidad Catolica de Santiago de Guayaquil in 1973 and of the University of Madrid School of Medicine in 1974. He was appointed visiting professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin in 1971, the University of North Carolina and Duke University in 1973, the University of California at Los Angeles in 1975, the University of California, Monterey in 1976, the University of Uppsala in 1977.

He gave many named lectures: the Crawford W. Long Memorial Lecture at Emory University in 1970, the Ralph M. Waters Lecture at Marquette University in 1971, the M. Murray Peshkin Award Lectureship in 1974 and the Shields Lecture in Toronto in 1980. He was a guest lecturer at Tokyo University and Osaka University in 1973; at Jefferson Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C. and the California Society of Anesthesiologists in San Francisco in 1975; at the Japan Society of Anesthesiologists and the United States Air Force Society of Anesthesiologists in 1978; and the International Association for the Study of Pain in 1979. He gave the commencement address at the University of Utah in 1977.

Dr. Papper served as the National Consultant Emeritus in Anesthesiology to the Surgeon General in 1970. He was consultant for issues of The Anesthesiologists’s Forum, Life Sciences and Minerva Anestesiologica in 1970, 1973 and 1977 respectively. He served on the Editorial Advisory Board of Life Sciences in 1974-75. He served on the Lasker Scientific Awards Jury from 1960-1985. [Photo of 1969 Awards Jury] He was a consultant to the National Advisory Council’s Biomedical Electronics Resource Center and, in 1975, to the National Institute of Dental Research’s Pain Research Program and Medical One Communications. He helped plan the Instituto Territorial de Barcelona and the Insituto Territorial de Higiene y Seguridad del Trabajo de Sevilla in 1976-77. Her served on the Board of Governors of the Hospital Coporation of America in 1976. He received the Diploma of Honor of the Cuban Medical Association in 1977. He was a member of the Society of Medical Consultants to the Armed Forces in 1978.

His awards during this period included the Wisdom Award of Honor in 1970; the Distinguished Service Award of the American Society of Anesthesiologists and the Torch of Friendship of the Miami City Commission in 1971; the Medal of Honor of the City of Paris, France in 1972; and the Distinguished Alumnus Award in the Health Sciences for 1973 from New York University. In 1974, he received Honorary Alumnus status in the University of Miami School of Medicine, the Outstanding Educator of America award, honorary membership in Omicron Delta Kappa, and the AAMC Meritorious Service Award. In 1975 he was Alumnus of the Year Award from Boys High School.

A major highlight of this period was Dr. Papper’s chairing the 1974 Committee on Scholarly Communications with the People’s Republic of China of the National Academy of Sciences to study acupuncture for anesthesia in the People’s Republic of China. This was one of the projects in the exchange program designed to establish diplomatic, economic and other types of relationships between the United Sates and the People’s Republic of China. The delegation of 12 included neurosurgeons, neurologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, and anesthesiologists and took place at the height of the Cultural Revolution in China. In 1976, Dr. Papper [Photo] prepared an extensive report titled Acupuncture: Anesthesia in the People’s Republic of China for the National Academy of Sciences which was published by the Academy in 1980. Dr. Papper was a member of the U.S.-China Physicians Friendship Association during 1978-79.

Other highlights were the two E. M. Papper Annual Lectureships in Anesthesiology, established by Columbia University and the University of California at Los Angeles in 1977 and the honorary medical degree he received from the University of Vienna the same year; the Vth Honorary President honor of the European Congress of Anesthesiology in Paris in 1978 and his membership on the Tel Aviv University’s Board of Governors in 1980; serving as Doctor of the Day for the Florida State Legislature on April 5, 1973; May 16, 1977; May 31, 1978; and May 22, 1979; and the thirty plus students who were chairs of anesthesiology departments at the nation’s medical schools by 1981.

A Return to Anesthesiology, 1981-2002 - Identification of Its Historical Roots

In 1981 at the age of 66, Dr. Papper retired as Vice-President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the University of Miami School of Medicine. [Photo] He was named Emeritus Member of the Association of American Medical Colleges, Dean Emeritus and Professor of Pharmacology Emeritus at the University Of Miami. The history of medicine room at the Louis Calder Memorial Library, built during his deanship, was named in his honor. [Photo with Pat Papper and Henry Lemkau] He served as Professor of Anesthesiology until his death.

He was invited by Dr. Brian Craythorne, Chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Miami, to return to the department and participate in several departmental functions. He chaired the Residency Selection Committee [Photo of 1989 Graduating Class] and “served in some respects as ombudsman for the resident staff.” [6] Sitting in the rocking chair given to him by John F. Kennedy, [Photo] Dr. Papper supported young members of the faculty and attending staff, and, on occasion, was of assistance to the chairman. He wrote of this transition: “It is much more interesting in many respects to be of use and have influence than to have power.” [7]

He resumed attending national and international anesthesiology meetings and giving invited lectures. Between 1981 and 1985 he gave five named lectures: the 1981 Rovenstine Memorial Lecture at the New York State Society of Anesthesiologists; the First William T. G. Morton Memorial Lecture at Harvard Medical School in 1982; the AOA Lecture at the University of Pennsylvania and the Husfeldt Lecture for the Danish Society of Anaesthesiologists in 1984; and the Leffingwell Memorial Lecture at the California Society of Anesthesiologists Meeting in 1985.

He spoke at the American Society of Anesthesiologists Meeting and at the XVI Latin American Congress of Anesthesiology in Panama in 1981; at Faculty of Anaesthetists of the Royal College of Surgeons of England and at the 30th Anniversary Founding Meeting of the Association of University Anesthetists in 1982; at the Post-Graduate Assembly of the New York State Society of Anesthesiologists in 1983 and 1984; at the Scandinavian Society of Anaesthetists, the Special Task Force for the American Society of Anesthesiologists, and the Committee for External Review of Stanford University Medical Center in 1983. He gave addresses at the 8th World Congress of Anaesthesiologists in Manila, the European Academy of Anaesthesiologists, and the International Workshop at the University of Bonn in 1984. In 1985, he addressed the VII Annual Scientific European Academy Meeting of Anesthesiologists in Basel, the Japanese Society of Anesthesiologists, and the Taiwan Society of Anesthesiologists.

He was appointed the Bicentennial Visiting Professor, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School in 1982 and Visiting Professor at University of Florida in 1981; University of the Witswatersrand, South Africa in 1982; University of Alabama in Birmingham in 1983; University of Munich in West Germany and University of Pennsylvania in 1984; Columbia University and the Universities of Hong Kong, Tokyo and Kobe in 1985.

In 1981, Dr. Papper was named an Honorary Member of the Panamanian Society of Anesthesiologists and of the Latin American Society of Anesthesiologists and Fellow Senior Member of the American Surgical Association. In 1982 he was named Fellow of the Royal College of Anaesthetists of England and made a Life Member of The Pain Society. He was a member of the Scientific Advisory Council of the Eleanor Roosevelt Institute for Cancer research. He served on the editorial board of Seminars in Anesthesia and as Consulting Member of the Medical Staff at Aspen Valley Hospital. He was licensed in Colorado in 1982, [Image] where he and Mrs. Patricia Papper had a second home, following licensure in New York in 1938, Florida in 1970, and California in 1972.

Columbia University established the E.M. Papper Chair in Anesthesiology in 1984 in recognition of his contributions to its Department of Anesthesiology. He was made an Honorary Member of the Danish Society of Anaesthesiologists and the Japanese Society of Anaesthesiologists. He received the Columbia College John Jay Award. And he served on the Panel on Cardiovascular Drugs of the National Research Council. In 1985, Mayor Stephen Clark designed January 22nd “E.M. Papper Day” in Dade County, FL. In 1986 he participated in the Consensus Development Conference on the Integrated Approach to the Management of Pain. In 1987 he served on the Drug Efficacy Study of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In 1988, he was awarded an honorary Sc.D. degree by Columbia University. During the period, he continued to publish on inhalation anesthesia, volatile anesthetics, and education for leadership in anesthesiology [Bibliography].

By 1985, Dr. Papper’s reflections on anesthesiology had caused him to question why anesthesia, the most humane of the medical disciplines and the one that alleviates the pain and suffering long known to medicine, was not “discovered” until the mid-nineteenth century. In other words, why did it take so long for anesthetic gases, identified in the 1700s and used for recreational purposes, to be used for surgical anesthesia and become part of the health care mainstream? His pursuit of the answer to this question led to his matriculation and enrollment at the age of 70 in the doctoral program in English at the University of Miami. In 1990, Dr. Papper was awarded the Ph.D. degree by the University. [Image] His thesis was titled Pain, Suffering and Anesthesia in the Romantic Period.

His thesis theorized and explained that societal concern with pain and suffering, and the subsequent development of surgical anesthesia in the Romantic era, are outgrowths of Romantic subjectivity. His thesis was published in 1995 by Greenwood Publishing Group as Contributions in Medical Studies, No. 42. Titled Romance, Poetry, and Surgical Sleep – Literature Influences Medicine, it analyzes Romantic poetry as it relates to pain and provides biographies of scientists, physicians and poets of the time, such as Humphry Davy, Thomas Beddoes, Sr., Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Percy B. Shelley. The exchange of ideas among these intellectuals and the political upheavals of the time paved the way for society to recognize that the pursuit of happiness could include the relief of pain. Dr. Papper also published papers on the influence of chronic illness on the writing of Alexander Pope in 1989 and the influence of Romantic literature on the medical understanding of pain and suffering in 1992.

During his Ph.D. work in English at the University of Miami, Dr. Papper continued to give invited lectures at meetings around the world. He gave the Second Louis R. Orkin Lecture at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the New York Academy of Medicine in 1986; the Evan L. Frederickson Memorial Lecture at Emory University and the Honorary Lectureship of Professor J. Crul at the Catholic University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands in 1987; the First John F. Schweiss Lecture at the St. Louis Medical Center in 1988; the Third Merel H. Harmel Lecture at Duke University in 1989; and the Living Legends Lecture at the University of Chicago in 1990.

In 1986, he gave addresses at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists in Las Vegas, the 8th Annual European Academy of Anesthesiology Meeting in Barcelona, the Workshop on “Evaluation of Unconsciousness During Anaesthesia” at the University of Wales College of Medicine in Cardiff, England, and the 600th Anniversary celebration of the University of Heidelberg. He addressed the IXth Annual Meeting of the European Academy of Anaesthesiologists in Ghents, Belgium in 1987.

He gave invited lectures during 1988 at the Annual American Society of Anesthesiologists Meeting in San Francisco, the 50th Anniversary meeting of the American Board of Anesthesiology in Washington, D.C., the Griffith Symposium at the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists in Washington, D.C., and the Annual Association of University Anesthetists Meeting in Baltimore. In 1989 he addressed the Association of University Anesthetists Annual Meeting at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

The E. M. Papper Laboratory of Clinical Immunology in the Department of Medicine of the University of Miami School of Medicine was accredited in 1988 as a clinical reference laboratory for physicians and a research core facility. The Laboratory continues to offer state of the art assessments of immune function to the medical community, clinical and basic science researchers, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies.

In 1991 Dr. Papper delivered the First Gross Lecture at the University of Miami and in 1993 the Helrich Lecture at the University of Maryland at Baltimore. He was an Invited Speaker at the Continental Insurance Corporation (1991), the Program for Humanities in Medicine at Yale University (1991), the American Society of Anesthesiologists: “Ethical Dilemmas in the Practice of Anesthesiology” (1992), the Northeast Anesthesia Resident Education Conference (1993), the 18th Caribbean Symposium on Anesthesiology and Related Fields (1993), the Florida Psychoanalytic Society Symposium on Pain and Suffering (1996), and the Interdisciplinary Conference “Hybrids and Cyborgs: Melding Medicine and the Humanities” at Stanford University (2000).

He was a Visiting Professor at the University of South Florida (1992), the University of Maryland at Baltimore in 1993, and the Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Harvard University in 2000. He served on the National Advisory Council of Columbia-Presbyterian Medicine Center in 1990 and the Visiting Committees of Johns Hopkins Medicine Institutions (1996, 1999, 2000/01, and 2002) and Columbia College (1997 and 2002). He had been a founding member of Columbia’s Health Sciences Advisory Council in 1989. In 1999, he served on the Committee on Research and Education of the Johns Hopkins Medicine Board of Visitors.

Dr. Papper received the Teacher of the Year Award of the University of Miami School of Medicine/Jackson Memorial Medical Center in 1986, the AMA Certificate of Merit in the 50 Year Club of American Medicine in 1988, the Ralph M. Waters Award in 1989, and in 1990, he was given Honorary Fellowship in the Royal Society of Medicine of England and made an Honorary Member of the Anesthesia History Association. In 1995, Columbia College bestowed Honorary Fellowship on Dr. Papper. In 1996 he received the Medical Writers Award Best Book in the History of Medicine, and was elected Honorary Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists. In 1998 the David M. Little Award of the Anesthesia History Association. In 2002, Dr. Papper, together with his two successors, Dr. Bernard J. Fogel and John G. Clarkson, were “tapped” for membership in the Iron Arrow Honor Society, the highest honor awarded by the University of Miami. [Photo]

During the late 1980s and the 1990s Dr. Papper published several histories of anesthesia as a discipline and at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. He wrote tributes to several mentors and colleagues and a history of the Association of University Anesthesiologists. He joined the Society for Education in Anesthesia, created in 1985. In 1997, he published The Palate of My Mind: A Memoir, for the Wood Library and Museum of the American Society of Anesthesiologists. [Bibliography] Dr. Paul M. Wood [Photo] for whom the Museum was named, was a long time friend of Dr. Papper.

He was Senior Vice President, Medical and Academic Affairs of the Spanish Family Guidance in 1981. He served on the Board of Directors of the Northern Trust Bank of Florida in 1982, of Channel 2 WPBT in 1985, the Anesta Corporation in 1990, and in 1995 and 1996, the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts in 1990-91, and Planned Parenthood in 1991 and 1997. In 1993 he was a member of the Steering Committee of The Mildred and Claude Pepper Foundation, and in 1994/95 - 1997 an Advisor to The Mayday Fund, which is dedicated to the reduction of the physical and psychological toll of pain and its consequences. He also served on the Dade Board of Directors of the Florida Philharmonic. For many years, he organized seminars in humanistic studies at the Aspen Institute and together with his wife Pat supported the arts, including the New World Symphony, the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, the Florida Grand Opera, and the Miami Art Museum, where Dr. Papper became a docent to learn more about contemporary art.

On October 25, 2002, less than two months before his death on December 3rd, Dr. Papper, founding chair and the founding father of modern anesthesiology, attended the 50th Anniversary of the Department of Anesthesiology at Columbia. “I blew out the candles.” Under his tenure at Columbia, the Department trained 43 physicians who are now full professors of anesthesiology. One week before, on October 16th, he was interviewed by Dr. Brian Craythorne, Chairman Emeritus of the Department of Anesthesiology, for the 50th Anniversary Symposium of the University of Miami School of Medicine held January 31, 2003. A memorial was held by the Department and the Papper Family at Presbyterian Hospital Chapel in New York City, April 21, 2003.

  1. Papper, EM. “The Palate of My Mind; a Memoir,” in Careers in Anesthesiology; Autobiographical Memoirs, Vol. 1. N.R. Fink, ed. Park Ridge, IL: Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology, 1997. p. 152.
  2. Ibid., p. 189.
  3. Ibid., p. 200.
  4. Papper, EM. Interview with Dr. N. W. Bryan Craythorne, October 16, 2002.
  5. Op. cit., p. 205.
  6. Ibid., p. 208.
  7. Ibid., p. 209.

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