A Legacy in Anesthesiology
Ronald Frank Albrecht, MD
By Verna Baughman, MD
University of Illinois
We are saddened to announce the death of Ronald Frank Albrecht, MD. Dr. Albrecht was a long time member (since 1973) and supporter of SNACC. He died at home on August 31, 2017, at 80 years of age.
Dr. Ronald F. Albrecht was born in Chicago on April 17, 1937. He attended the University of Illinois, graduating with a BS (1958 – psychology and composition) and went on the University of Illinois College of Medicine (MD – 1961). After an internship at Cincinnati General Hospital, he returned to Illinois for a residency in Anesthesiology at the Illinois Research and Education Hospital (1962 – 1964). He was then appointed Lieutenant Commander in the Public Health Service and served two years at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda.
Dr. Albrecht returned to the University of Illinois (UIC), teaching and practicing at Illinois Masonic Hospital. In 1971, Dr. Albrecht was appointed Head of Anesthesiology at Michael Reese Hospital (MRH), a position he held until 2005. In 1989, (with the merger between MRH and UIC) Dr. Albrecht was named Head and Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at UIC, a position he held until he retired in 2007. At that time, he was appointed Professor Emeritus. He served as Chairman of an anesthesiology residency program for over 35 years, one of the youngest appointed and longest serving leaders in anesthesia education.
During his distinguished career, he held many leadership positions at the College of Medicine. He served as President of the UIC medical staff, the Illinois Society of Anesthesiologists, the Chicago Society of Anesthesiologists and the Association of Anesthesiology Chairs. He also served for many years as an oral board examiner.
Dr. Albrecht was involved in research throughout his career and published over 200 articles in peer reviewed journals. His research centered on the effects of drugs on cerebral blood flow, ischemia and brain protection. He mentored many neuroanesthesia physicians/scientists and was instrumental in establishing their research careers.
Dr. Albrecht was passionately involved in the education of anesthesia residents and guided their academic advancement. He was influential in defining the medical school curriculum and the Anesthesia Residency Education Pprogram. He trained over 500 anesthesia resident physicians. Dr. Albrecht’s legacy includes the development of patient care models, which produced knowledgeable, conscientious, and sensitive doctors. He was a tireless mentor to his academic staff, always encouraging and reinforcing the importance of education, research, and excellent patient care.
Dr. Albrecht was proud of his three children: Ronald F Albrecht II, MD (Chief of Anesthesiology at Jesse Brown VA Medical Center and at UIC), Mark B. Albrecht (an attorney in Los Angeles), and Meredith A. Albrecht, MD, PhD (Chief of Obstetric Anesthesiology at the Medical College of Wisconsin) and his seven grandsons.We celebrate a person who was a friend, mentor and colleague. He inspired others to exceed their own expectations. He had the skills of a fine anesthesiologist, teacher, and administrator, which he unselfishly shared with others. He espoused the concept of life-long learning and loved his chosen profession of anesthesiology. We honor Dr. Albrecht, who touched the lives of countless students, residents, and faculty. He will be missed by all.