Wesley Bourne: leader extraordinaire of Canadian anesthesiology
Bourne was the first recipient of the prestigious Henry Hill Hickman award from the Royal Society of Medicine in England in 1935. He founded the Canadian Society of Anaesthetists in 1920, which in 1943 became the Canadian Anesthetists’ Society. Bourne was appointed President of the American Society of Anesthesiologists in 1942, the only non-American ever to hold that office. He also served two terms as President of the International Anesthesia Research Society.
In 1945, McGill established the first independent Department of Anesthesia in Canada, and Dr. Bourne was invited to be the first Chair. His three-year diploma course at McGill was the beginning of formal specialist training in anesthesia in Canada and became a template for anesthesia training in many parts of the world. How fortunate we were to have had such an inspiring leader at the helm as the art of anesthesia was advanced to a science in Canada during the mid-20th century.
Conflicts of interest
This submission was handled by Dr. Hilary P. Grocott, Editor-in-Chief, Canadian Journal of Anesthesia.