Apgar, Virginia

Portrait
Born: 1909 AD
Died: 1974 AD, at 65 years of age.

Nationality: American
Categories: Physicians


1909 - Born on June 7th in Westfiled, New Jersey. American physician, anesthesiologist, and medical researcher who developed the Apgar Score System, a method of evaluating an infant shortly after birth to assess its well-being and to determine if any immediate medical intervention is required.

         - Virginia Apgar forever changed the field of perinatology (the care of infants around the time of birth).

1929 - Apgar graduated from Mount Holyoke College.

1933 - She emerged with a medical degree and a fourth-place rank in her graduating class, but also with a large financial debt.

1935 - Apgar began a two-year program of study and work in anesthesiology. During this time she studied not only at Columbia, but also at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and at Bellevue Hospital in New York.

1938 - She was hired as director of the anesthesia division at Columbia University.

1949 - Apgar's system eventually became a worldwide standard among physicians for determining a child's chance of survival and rate of development.

         - The first woman appointed full professor at Columbia Medical School.

1959 - She was hired as the head of the division on congenital birth defects (physical or developmental abnormalities that are caused before birth).

1969 - She became the head of the March of Dimes research program, and during her time in this role she changed the foundation's focus so that it concentrated on trying to prevent birth defects.

1972 - In an effort to educate the public about this topic, she also gave many lectures and cowrote a book titled Is My Baby All Right?.

         - As a professor at Cornell University, she became the first U.S. medical professor to specialize in birth defects.

1973 - Apgar received a number of awards recognizing her role in medicine, including the Ralph Waters Medal from the American Society of Anesthesiologists; the Gold Medal of Columbia University; and Ladies' Home Journal named her Woman of the Year.

         - In addition, she was the recipient of four honorary degrees, the American Academy of Pediatrics founded a prize in her name, and an academic chair was created in her honor at Mount Holyoke College.

1974 - Died on August 7th in New York, New York.
Page last updated: 1:11am, 16th Jun '07
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