Instruction in anesthesia was nonexistent and the field was practiced by only a few self-taught men. Dr. Waters’ contributions to the specialty over the ensuing decades are legendary. Foremost, however, was his contribution to anesthesia education. In creating the first academic program of Anesthesiology in the United States here at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dr. Waters began a legacy of excellence that lives to this day.
“In 1927 I was glad to accept a place on the Medical Faculty at Wisconsin. Objectives of that position from the beginning have been fourfold. In order of their importance they still remain: (1) to provide the best possible service to patients of the institution; (2) to teach what is known of Anesthesiology to all candidates for their medical degree; (3) to help long-term graduate students not only to gain a fundamental knowledge of the subject and to master the art of administration, but also to learn as much as possible of the effective methods of teaching; (4) to accompany these efforts with the encouragement of as much cooperative investigation is consistent with achieving the first objectives.”
It is with pride that the principles Dr. Waters espoused of superior patient care, teaching, and research continue to guide the University of Wisconsin Department of Anesthesiology.
The September 2001 ASA Newsletter has several articles on Ralph M. Waters.