Robert Fragen, MD, professor emeritus of anesthesiology, has written a book, “From Promise to Excellence: A History of the Department of Anesthesiology of Northwestern University Medical School from 1966-2010.”
“I was at home one day thinking that there was a story to tell about the progress of the department from its founding in 1966 until 2010,” Fragen says. “I thought someone should record this progress and decided since I was semi-retired, why not me.”
The book begins with James E. Eckenhoff, MD, moving to Chicago from Philadelphia in 1966. He founded the Department of Anesthesiology and served as chair until 1970, when he was appointed dean of Feinberg. As the book continues, other biographies unfold, such as that of Christine Stock, MD, chair of anesthesiology, who was the first woman to chair a clinical department at Feinberg.
Fragen has practiced anesthesiology in Chicago since 1964. He joined the medical school in 1974 as an associate professor in anesthesia, which was his first post in academic anesthesia. He became a member of the attending staff at NMH in 1980 and a professor of clinical anesthesia in 1983. Fragen became emeritus at the end of 1999 and has been working as a consultant for NMFF since.
A signed, hardbound copy of the book is available with a $100 donation to the department. All proceeds go to the Robert and Joan Fragen Fund in Anesthesiology, which supports the Melissa Fragen Award. The award is given annually to support the clinical research of a junior faculty member. In February 2007, Fragen and his wife set up the fund in memory of their 15-year-old granddaughter who died of bone cancer.