I read with interest the article by my colleague on the World War II short course on anesthesiology and its impact on the specialty of anesthesiology.1The authors documented far-reaching effects of 6-month anesthesiology short courses set up for the military during World War II. One short course graduate was my father, Frank Leo Faust, M.D. He had been called from his surgical residency to active duty in the Navy the day after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. Three years later, additional volunteers were sought from military physicians for the short courses in anesthesiology. It was anticipated that a great number of wounded would need surgery during the planned invasion on the beaches of Japan. His short course took place at Lahey Clinic during late 1944.

Although it would not be expected that a 6-month trainee might make “academic” contributions, he published an article in Anesthesiology on a series of repeated sympathetic blocks he performed on 40 veterans at the US Naval Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana, after the war.2In contrast to modern publication styles, one figure in that article is a pen and ink anatomical “cartoon” drawing signed by the author himself.

After discharge from the Navy, he entered private practice in New Orleans. In the early years, he actually carried his anesthesia machine in his trunk when called to do cases at some hospitals. He introduced regional anesthesia techniques he had learned in Boston into anesthesia practice in New Orleans. Obtaining American Board of Anesthesiology certification in 1950, he practiced in New Orleans for 34 yr and resides there now at age 91.

Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota. rfaust@mayo.edu

Martin DP, Burkle CM, McGlinch BP, Warner ME, Sessler AD, Bacon DR. The Mayo Clinic World War II short course and its effect on anesthesiology. Anesthesiology 2006; 105:209–13
Faust FL. Repeated sympathetic blocks: Their limitation and value. Anesthesiology 1946; 7:161–75