- Eponymously affiliated with the Apgar score – to assess the health of the newborn child.
- Leader in the emerging field of Anaesthetics in the 1940s and latter Obstetric Anaesthesia as well the new field of teratology (congenital abnormalities) from 1960
- APGAR is the acronym for the eponym
- Born June 7, 1909 in Westfield, New Jersey United States
- 1933 Graduated as MD from Colombia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
- 1933-1935 Surgical internship at Columbian-Presbyterian Hospital- head of department Allen Whipple
- 1936-1938 Started to peruse career training in Anaesthesia; trained with nurse anaesthetist at Colombia-Presbyterian Hospital, Dr Ralph Waters’s at the University of Wisconsin and Dr Emery Rovenstine at Bellevue Hospital in New York
- 1938 Returned to Columbian-Presbyterian Hospital and appointed the Head of the newly formed department of Anaesthesia
- 1949 Appointed first female full time professor at Colombia University of Physicians and Surgeons
- 1953 Published first article on APGAR score
- 1958-1959 Masters of Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins University Marylands
- 1959 Became director of the division of congenital abnormalities at the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (now known as March of Dimes)
- 1965-1973 Lecturer and clinical professor of Paediatrics at Cornell University College of Medicine
- 1967-1968 Director of Basic Medical Research at National Foundation
- Died 7th August 1974 of Liver Failure
Key Medical Attributions:
- 1953 developed APGAR scoring system for newborns
- 1972 published ‘Is my baby all right? A guide to birth defects’, bestselling book exploring the common causes of birth defects and their treatments as well as guidance and advice to help women have healthy babies
- Apgar V. A proposal for a new method of evaluation of the newborn infant. Curr Res Anesth Analg. 1953 Jul-Aug;32(4):260-7. [PMID 13083014]
- Apgar V. Oxygen as a Supportive Therapy in Fetal Anoxia. Bull N Y Acad Med. 1950 Jul; 26(7): 474–478. [PMC1930013]
- Apgar V , Papper EM. Transmission of drugs across the placenta. Curr Res Anesth Analg. 1952 Sep-Oct;31(5):309-20. [Full Text]
- Apgar V. (1955). The Role of Anesthesiology in Reducind Neonatal Mortality. NewYork State Journal of Medicine, 2365-2368.
- Apgar V. Infant Resuscitation. Postgrad Med. 1956 May;19(5):447-50. [PMID 13322745]
- Apgar V. (1966). The newborn (Apgar) scoring system. Reflections and advice. Pediatr Clin North Am. 1966 Aug;13(3):645-50. [PMID 5946299]
- Whilst she was a surgical internship at Columbian-Presbyterian Hospital, the head of department, Allen Whipple (of the pancreatic surgery), discouraged her from perusing a career in Surgery as he had already educated some female surgeons who had not succeeded; he directed instead towards training in Anaesthesia.
- It was later said that he believed that she had the ‘energy, intelligence and ability needed to make significant contributions in this area.’
- Although privately Apgar would share her frustration regarding gender and financial inequities within Medicine, she never let this be a barrier and channeled her passion into constantly striving to develop the boundaries of emerging specialties.
- Bateman BT, Alston TA. Commonly used eponyms in anesthesia. J Clin Anesth. 2009 Feb;21(1):67-71 [PMID 19232946]
- Maltby R. Notable Names in Anaesthesia. The Choir Press; (2013) pp 4-5
- The Virginia Apgar Papers. US National Library of Medicine. Retrieved October 17, 2017, from National Library of Medicine- Profiles in Science
- Smith, C. (1974). In Memoriam: Dr Virginia Apgar. The Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly, pp. 178-179.
- Medicine, U.S. Nationbal Library of. Dr Virginia Apgar. Retrieved October 17, 2017, from Changing the face of Medicine:
- Robins, J. (2002, December 1). Finding Aid to the Virginia Apgar Collection. Retrieved October 17, 2017, from The Wood Library-Museum of Anaesthesiology
- Van Robays, J. (2015). The story of Virginia Apgar. Facts, Views & Visions in OBGYN, 192-197.
- Giuca MS, Desai SP. Eponyms in the operating room: careers of five American physicians. Bull Anesth Hist. 2013 Oct;31(2):32-5, 39. [PMID 24195165] [Full Text]
LITFL Related Links
- Biographical Medical Eponyms – A-Z of eponymous medical pioneers
- Eponymictionary – Searchable Eponymictionary Database
- Medical Eponyms – A-Z of signs, syndromes, diseases and classifications
- Orthopaedic Eponyms – Eponymous orthopedic fractures and classifications
- Cardiac Eponyms – Eponymous cardiology collection