Dr. Olympio, founder of Patient Sim Lab, reviews floor plan with Steve Panish of Facilities Planning
The Department of Anesthesiology began to evolve when Wake Forest College moved its Medical School from Wake Forest, NC, to Winston-Salem in 1941. At that time the Medical School progressed from a two-year basic science school to a complete four-year institution. The North Carolina Baptist Hospital, which had opened in 1923, became the clinical facility for the Medical School. In 1939 the family of the late Bowman Gray gave $600,000 from his estate as the initial funding for the four-year Medical School, which subsequently adopted his name. (The name changed in 1997 when the Bowman Gray School of Medicine became Wake Forest School of Medicine.) The Medical School's move to Winston-Salem in 1941 launched what soon became known as "the Miracle on Hawthorne Hill."
In 1942 Roscoe Wall, Sr., M.D., was appointed Head of the Section on Anesthesiology within the Department of Surgery. Dr. Wall was a general practitioner who made the practice of anesthesia a major part of his career. Leroy Crandell, M.D., replaced Dr. Wall as Head of the Section on Anesthesiology in 1957. Having completed a residency in anesthesiology at Cornell University, Dr. Crandell significantly
advanced the status of anesthesiology at Wake Forest School of Medicine. His untimely death in 1966 was a great loss to the program.
The arrival of Thomas H. Irving, M.D., in 1967 as the new Chair of the Section launched the modern era of anesthesiology at Wake Forest School of Medicine. Under Dr. Irving's leadership, the Department of Anesthesiology became autonomous when it separated from the Department of Surgery in 1970. He recruited a strong core of faculty who built the Department's reputation in patient care and teaching.
Francis M. James III, M.D., who joined the faculty in 1968, served as the Department's second Chair from 1983 to 1998. He directed a major expansion of the Department's faculty and their administrative responsibilities in the Medical Center, and fostered faculty research and leadership in the field.
Raymond C. Roy, M.D., became Chair in 1998, having earlier served on this faculty for 15 years. He was previously Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine of the Medical University of South Carolina (1992-1996) and then Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Virginia (1996-1998).
Joseph R. Tobin, M.D., has been appointed Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology in 2008 and is also head of the Section on Pediatric Anesthesiology and Critical Care. Tobin is also Director of the Malignant Hyperthermia Biopsy Testing Center at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. His tenure began at Wake Forest School of Medicine in 1993 after coming from Johns Hopkins University. Tobin wears many hats and is also actively involved in scientific society and federal agency leadership roles.
In 1998 we increased the number of residency positions from 10 to 15 per year. Since 1967, more than 325 physicians have completed anesthesiology training in the Department's residency and fellowship programs. Meanwhile, the North Carolina Baptist Hospital has grown from a 300-bed institution with 9 operating rooms to an 830-bed facility with 40 operating rooms and 3 to 4 general anesthesia sites outside of the Operating Room.
The Department of Anesthesiology currently enjoys national recognition for its excellence in patient care, teaching, and research. Faculty members hold leadership positions in several national organizations as well as within the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. The Department continues to thrive and work toward remaining a center of excellence in anesthesiology.