Leadership in Anaesthesia: Five Pioneers of the Deadly Quest for Surgical Insensibility

This history of medicine collection presents the biographies of five pioneering anesthetists through the lens of leadership.

Starting with William Morton who discovered ether anesthesia in 1846, the book continues with an account of John Snow, who studied both chloroform and cholera, and became the world’s first epidemiologist. Three previously untold complete biographies follow to illustrate the transformation of the crude practice of Anesthesia to the sophisticated medical specialty of Anesthesiology of today. Based on original archival research, the life stories of Arthur Guedel (famous for his ‘dunked dog’ demonstrations), Virginia Apgar (who developed the APGAR Score), and Bjørn Ibsen (the ‘father of intensive care’) are related.

The book closes with ‘A Leadership Reckoning’—the author’s comparative analysis of each pioneer’s leadership capacity based on the telling of their histories—and concludes that leadership, just like beauty, can manifest differently in different individuals.


Dr Berend Mets is Professor and Chair of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine at the Pennsylvania State University, and is the author of Waking up Safer? An Anesthesiologist’s Record. He has published extensively on leadership, anesthesia, education and medicine.

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ISBN: 1-5275-5596-8

ISBN13: 978-1-5275-5596-9

Release Date: 27th August 2020

Pages: 341

Price: £64.99

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