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P&S Journal

P&S Journal: Fall 1994, Vol.14, No.3
Apgar Remembrances
Hobart A. Lerner'43D

Rochester, New York

I chose anesthesia as an elective in my third year and was fortunate to have Dr. Apgar as my teacher and preceptor. That elective in anesthesia was the most interesting and pleasurable experience that I had during my medical school training, and it was almost entirely because of Dr. Apgar.
I remember her as a pleasant, cheerful, upbeat lady who moved briskly about the operating room suite almost as fast as she could talk. She was always ready to spend time with me showing a novice how to best handle an anesthesia problem. If I needed help with a patient, Virginia Apgar was just a short call way-and she came promptly to teach, encourage, and to help us with our difficulties.
When we graduated we had a class celebration which included a skit, probably just about the same as classes do today. Of course we spoofed all of our professors. When it came to Virginia Apgar's turn, we sang a song that went to the tune of "My name is Yankee Doodle and my home's in USA. I'm getting pretty husky now, I'm growing every day." But the words went like this:

The only advice that I can give
If you can get the knack
Is talk as fast as I do
So that nobody can talk back.
Now some people say I talk too fast
But I maintain they're wrong.
'Cause I can tell them twice as much
And take only half as long!
I have many, many happy memories of P&S September 1940 through December 1943, but none are happier than those memories of Virginia Apgar, M.D.

copyright ©, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center

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