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H MS c21

Kitz, Richard John, 1929- . Papers, 1950-2004: A Finding Aid.

Center for the History of Medicine (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine)

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Center for the History of Medicine (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine)

© President and Fellows of Harvard College


The Richard John Kitz Papers were processed with support from Richard J. Kitz, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard Medical School.

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: H MS c21
Repository: Center for the History of Medicine (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine)
Creator: Kitz, Richard J. (Richard John), 1929-
Title: Richard John Kitz Papers, 1950-2001.
Date(s): 1950-2001.
Quantity: 6.7 cubic feet (6 record cartons, 3 half document boxes)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: The Richard John Kitz Papers, 1950-2004, document the administrative, teaching, and research activities of Richard J. Kitz, Henry Isaiah Dorr Professor of Research and Training in Anesthesia at Harvard Medical School and Chief of Anesthesia at Massachusetts General Hospital. Kitz later served as Faculty Dean for Clinical Affairs at Harvard Medical School from 1994 to 1999.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

The Richard John Kitz Papers were donated to the Harvard Medical Library in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine by Richard J. Kitz in 2000 and 2002.

Processing Information:

Processed by Jennifer Pelose, May 2002.
Processing Note: When surveyed in 2002, most of the collection was divided into chronological sections that were further separated according to type of material and then sporadically organized alphabetically. The collection was organized into nine series. Duplicates and items not created by RJK were discarded. Items within folders were not reorganized; many were found organized in reverse chronological order.

Conditions Governing Access:

Access requires advance notice. There are restrictions on access to portions of this collection. Access to Harvard University records is restricted for 50 years from the date of creation. These restrictions are noted where they appear in Series III. Access to personal and patient information is restricted for 80 years from the date of creation. These restrictions are noted where they appear in Series I, III, and IV. Researchers may apply for access to restricted records. Consult the Public Services Librarian for further information.

Conditions Governing Use:

The Harvard Medical Library does not hold copyright on all the materials in the collections. Requests for permission to publish material from the collection should be directed to the Public Services Librarian. Researchers who obtain permission to publish from the Public Services Librarian are responsible for identifying and contacting the persons or organizations that hold copyright. Reference Services and Access Information.

Preferred Citation:

Richard J. Kitz papers, 1950-2004. H MS c216. Harvard Medical Library, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, Boston, Mass.

Related Materials

Related collections in the Center for the History of Medicine include:
For further information on related materials, consult the Public Services Librarian.

Biography

Richard John Kitz (RJK) was Chief of Anesthesia at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in 1969 and Henry Isaiah Dorr Professor of Research and Training in Anesthesia at Harvard Medical School (HMS) in 1970; his research focused on acetylcholinesterase, neuromuscular transmission and blocking agents, and the technology and history of anesthesia delivery. Kitz was appointed Faculty Dean for Clinical Affairs at HMS in 1994, a position he held until 1999. In this position, Kitz oversaw the changing relationships between the patient-care, research, and educational efforts of the HMS clinical faculty at HMS affiliated hospitals.
RJK was born on 25 March 1929 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and married Jeanne Marie Hogan in 1953. He received the BS in chemistry and MD from Marquette University in 1951 and 1954, respectively. From 1954 to 1955, RJK served as a surgical intern at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (CUCPS) at the Presbyterian Hospital (PH) in New York City. RJK served two years in the United States Navy from 1955 to 1957, where he learned anesthesiology at a naval hospital in Corona, California, and later served as a post surgeon in Japan. After returning from his military service, RJK completed a year of general surgical residency at CUCPS in 1957, and then finished a second residency in anesthesiology at CUCPS in 1960, when he was named Assistant Anesthesiologist at PH, a position he held until 1966. RJK was simultaneously appointed Instructor in Anesthesiology at CUCPS in 1960, and became Assistant and then Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, from 1962 to 1969. While at CUCPS, RJK's research primarily involved the biochemical pharmacology of cholinergic sites and focused on molecular probes, aceytlcholinesterase, anticholinesterase agents, and omines. These studies helped develop new drugs, especially neuromuscular blocking agents later used clinically. RJK was awarded a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Special Research Fellowship in the Department of Neurochemistry at Columbia University from 1961 to 1962 to study with Professor Irwin B. Wilson, a distinguished physical chemist. The research project was termed "molecular complementarity" and involved the design and synthesis of small molecules to interact with the active surface of specific enzymes involved in consciousness function. In 1968, RJK was named a NIH Special Research Fellow, and for nine months was a visiting scientist with Professor Bo Holmsteadt in the Department of Toxicology at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, studying the techniques of gas chromatography and mass spectrometry as tools of pharmacologic investigation for developing short-acting, non-depolarizing neuromuscular blocking agents.
In 1969, RJK was appointed Professor of Anesthesia at HMS and Chief of Anesthesia at MGH, beginning a 33-year association with HMS. In 1970, RJK succeeded Henry K. Beecher as the second Henry Isaiah Dorr Professor of Research and Training in Anesthesia. RJK served as principal investigator for both the Harvard Anesthesia Research Center from 1969 to 1987, and the Basic Science Research Training in Anesthesiology Program from 1969 to 1993. RJK also directed the Anesthesia Residency Program at MGH from 1969 to 1994. RJK was named Professor of Research and Training in Anesthetics and Anesthesia in the Harvard University-Massachusetts Institute of Technology Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST) in 1978, where he advised medical students enrolled in the program. He became the co-director of the HST division in 1985, and in 1987 was named Master of the HST. RJK also served as a consultant in anesthesia at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Beth Israel Hospital from 1970 to 1994 when he retired from his position as Anesthetist-in-Chief at MGH.
During his 30-year tenure at HMS and MGH, RJK guided MGH's anesthesia department to become one of the largest in the world and an international clinical and research training center for anesthesiology and its sciences. The HMS anesthesiology department under RJK's direction produced more than 40 heads of departments of anesthesia worldwide. The Department established the first acute care laboratory and the first respiratory therapy department in the United States at MGH. In addition, the anesthesia department established the bioengineering unit and the outpatient surgery facility at MGH. While at HMS and MGH, RJK's research primarily focused on the central nervous system; basic cellular mechanisms; pain management; the action of new drugs, including short-acting, non-depolarizing neuromuscular agents; anticholinesterases; and technology for anesthesia safety. He contributed to the design and study of new compounds and received several patents for neuromuscular blocking agents and bis isoquinolinium compositions. RJK also developed a strong interest in the prevention of anesthesia mishaps through outcome analysis, anesthesia delivery technology and the evaluation and improvement of training and education in anesthesiology.
RJK published over 100 articles, abstracts, monograph chapters, book reviews, and editorials throughout his career on numerous topics including acetylcholinesterase, neuromuscular blockade, muscle relaxants, and the technology and history of anesthesiology. In 1978, RJK and the anesthesia department at MGH published Clinical Anesthesia Procedures of the Massachusetts General Hospital, a best-selling anesthesia monograph that described the clinical practices and management protocols of the Department of Anesthesia at MGH. Due to the success of the initial monograph, the Anesthesia Department also published Postoperative Critical Care Procedures of the Massachusetts General Hospital in 1986 and The Massachusetts General Hospital Handbook of Pain Management in 1996. RJK collaborated with Edward Lowenstein in 2000 to write the history of the Henry Isaiah Dorr Professor of Research and Teaching in Anesthesia, the first endowed chair in anesthesia in the world. In 2001, RJK penned his memoirs of his career at HMS and MGH in No Problems, Only Opportunities: The Kitz Era 1969 to 1999, a chapter of Reminiscences of the Department of Anesthesia at the Massachusetts General Hospital, A History, published in 2002.
RJK served as a board member of the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) for 12 years, culminating in his presidency of the organization in 1984-1985. From 1982 to 1985, RJK was involved as a member and chairman of the American Board of Medical Specialties' Committee on the Study of Evaluation Procedures (COSEP). RJK worked for the ABA and as a member of the COSEP for changes in board certification examinations for graduates of anesthesia residency programs and frequently conducted oral examinations for the ABA. In 1985, RJK was elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences, and served as a member of the IOM's Forum on Drug Development from 1990-1995. He was the founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Clinical Anesthesia, a journal based at MGH, from 1987 to 1995.
RJK received many honors throughout his career including an honorary Doctor of Science degree granted by his alma mater, Marquette University, in 2000, and an honorary Master of Arts from HMS in 1969. He was awarded Honorary Fellow status in the Faculty of Anaesthetists of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland, and named a Fellow of the Royal College of Anaesthetists of England. HMS established the Richard J. Kitz Professorship of Anesthesia Research in his honor in 1997.

Series and Subseries Arrangement

Scope and Content Note

The Richard J. Kitz Papers, 1950-2004, are the result of RJK's research, professional activities and work at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Mass. The bulk of the records falls between 1969 and 1994 and are the product of RJK's work as the Henry Isaiah Dorr (HID) Professor of Research and Training in Anesthesia, and as Chair of the Department of Anesthesia at HMS. His research activities included study in acetylcholinesterase, neuromuscular transmission and blocking agents, and the technology and history of anesthesia delivery. RJK's department records and research data from his work as Chief of Anesthesia at MGH are still held by MGH. RJK's early career at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (CUCPS) and Presbyterian Hospital (PH) in New York City is documented in Series I and Series II with other personal papers. The collection includes 27 photographs and cassette tapes. Photographs and non-print materials are housed in box 7.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Acetylcholisterase.
Anesthesia Adjuvants.
Anesthesia Department, Hospital
Anesthesia methods--Handbooks
Anesthesiologists.
Anesthesiology--Apparatus and instruments--Standards.
Anesthesiology--education
Anesthesiology--instrumentation
Anesthesiology--Standards--United States.
Anesthetics--Administration.
Cholinesterase inhibitors.
Chromatography, Gas
Consciousness.
Gas chromatography--Analysis.
Mass Fragmentography
Mass spectrometry.
Medical education.
Muscle relaxants
Nerve Block.
Neuromuscular blocking agents.
Neuromuscular transmission.
Oximes.
Pain Treatment
Kitz, Richard J. (Richard John), 1929-
Papper, E.M. (Emmanuel Martin), 1915-
American Board of Anesthesiology.
American Board of Medical Specialties. Committee on Study of Evaluation Procedures.
Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation.
College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University.
Harvard University--MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology.
Harvard Medical School. Dept. of Anesthesia.
Journal of Clinical Anesthesia.
Karolinska institutet.
Massachusetts General Hospital. Dept. of Anesthesia.
Presbyterian Hospital (New York, N.Y.)

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