You may be surprised to learn that the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Oklahoma is one of the oldest in the country. Throughout the United States, anesthesia departments typically functioned under the department of surgery. When Dr. John Moffitt came to Oklahoma in 1930, our department became first freestanding Department of Anesthesiology in the country.
The first courses in anesthesiology were taught by Dr. John Mosby Alford starting in 1911. At that time, the course was offered to fourth year medical students. The course was under the Department of Medicine and Anesthesiology which was a division of the Department of Surgery. In 1912, each medical student was required to perform 6 general anesthetics for successful completion of the course.
From 1913 to 1930, the course was taught by Dr. Jackson Floyd Boland and continued to be a course for fourth year medical students. Boland was promoted to assistant professor in 1916 and department head in 1923. During this time, Dr. Boland was one of two professors. The other, Dr. George Rex Boland left the department for military obligations in 1917.