Emergency Medicine is unique in that, as the newest specialty, its founders are still alive. When a resident I heard a good lecture by an ACEP rep (I was tired, and have no idea who they were or their title) about the history of Emergency Medicine, and he was concerned that we were so new as a specialty we didn’t appreciate our thin but important heritage.
Today there’s an obituary in the Washington Post for one of the ACEP founders:
Dr. Reinald Leidelmeyer, 82, a Fairfax doctor who was a pioneer in the nationwide effort to establish emergency medicine as a specialty, died Dec. 20 of complications from prostate cancer at Inova Fairfax Hospital.
In 1966, Dr. Leidelmeyer wrote an article in the Virginia Medical Monthly outlining six basic requirements for emergency medicine to be regarded as a specialty. The response to the article was positive, and in 1968 he organized the first national meeting of emergency room doctors at a hotel near Fairfax Hospital. Somewhat presumptuously, those doctors — 32 in all, from 18 states — declared themselves the American College of Emergency Physicians.
An interesting life, apparently well-lived. I and the other Emergency Physicians owe him a debt of gratitude.