The term anesthesiology was reportedly coined in 1902 by Mathias Joseph Seifert (1866 to 1947), as he claimed in a 1938 letter to colleague Paul Wood.1,2 This letter enjoys some reputation: it is preserved in the Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology in Schaumburg, IL. But where and how did the term enter the literature?
In a little-known letter to the editor of JAMA of November 25, 1911, Seifert had it formally enter the medical literature. It is short enough to be reprinted in full:
The Medical Herald of January 1912 echoed this bit without referencing it: “Anesthesiology. This is the new term adopted by the University of Illinois,” followed by Seifert’s definition as quoted.4
Since when was the term adopted in Chicago, then? In the 1911 revised edition of The Book of...