ASA, the specialty of anesthesiology and indeed all of medicine lost a pioneering figure on May 30, 2016, when Bernard V. Wetchler, M.D., passed away peacefully in the company of his family. Dr. Wetchler served as ASA President in 1995, received the ASA Distinguished Service Award in 2002 and was a founding member and the first president of the Society for Ambulatory Anesthesia (SAMBA) in 1985.

Bernie’s medical training began when he entered New York Medical College (NYMC) in 1946 as a 17-year-old. The average age of his classmates was 29. He soon after met Jorie, whom he married on July 4, 1951. He began his anesthesiology residency training in 1951 at NYMC Flower and 5th Avenue Hospital. Bernie called his marriage to Jorie and his decision to enter anesthesiology “the wisest decisions of my life.”

A stint in...

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