Historic & Information Highlights

  • The New England Society of Anesthesiologists was originally established as the Boston Society of Anesthesiologists in 1920. The name was changed in 1938 to reflect a wider membership. It is the oldest anesthesia society in the United States in continuous existence.

The New England Society of Anesthesiologists (NESA) as it currently exists evolved from the Boston Anesthesia Society in the 1950's as a way for a geographically scattered group of colleagues to stay in touch with friends. The first annual meeting was held in 1957. The format is original--NESA's founders desired a blend of social gatherings, academic sessions, and athletic events.

Today's NESA remains the only non-political, non-institutionally sponsored, academic/social anesthesia society, with membership available to any interested physician.

The Society sponsors an Annual three day Meeting each September, with sites generally alternating between New England seacoast and mountain resorts. The time-tested format includes two half-day academic sessions, a renowned cracker-barrel session (an informal evening with speakers and registrants participating in lively interchange and debate), an ASA update on current affairs by the President of ASA, and several social events including banquets, tournaments in golf, tennis, and bridge, kite flying, and a walking/road race.

Exhibitors have been an integral part of the annual conference since its inception. Exhibitor representatives attend our academic sessions and participate in the other activities as well. Some exhibitors have been loyal supporters of NESA for over 50 years, and continue to provide financial and educational support .

Annual Dues are $50. Membership provides a discount on conference registration fees in the year after the member has joined. Most members attend several meetings over a decade; some never miss one. An annual newsletter updates events. The NESA Web site (www.nesa.net) provides current information about the Society's organization and upcoming Annual Meetings, as well as selected historical data.


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1920-22 Freeman Allen
1922-23 Frank L. Richardson
1923-26 William Bailey
1926-28 Albert Miller
1928-31 Lincoln Sise
1931-33 William Temple
1934-36 John Haywood
1936-37 Philip D. Woodbridge
1937-39 Sidney A. Wiggin
1939-40 Meyer Saklad
1940-41 George Moore
1941-42 Russell Sheldon
1942-43 William Noonan
1943-44 Urban Eversole
1944-45 Julia Arrowood
1945-46 Jacob Fine
1946-47 Leo V. Hand
1947-48 Kenneth Chadwell
1948-49 Gene Black
1949-50 Morris J. Nicholson
1950-51 Bert Hershenson
1951-52 James Buskirk
1952-53 Henry K. Beecher
1953-54 Stevens J. Martin
1954-55 Elihu Saklad
1955-56 Richard N. Barrett
1956-57 Carl Hellijas
1958-59 Jacob Fine
1959-60 Angus Brooks
1960-61 Phillip S. Marcus
1961-62 Clement Dwyer
1962-63 David M. Little Jr.
1963-64 John Lincoln
1964-65 Thomas K. Burnap
1965-66 Robert M. Smith
1966-67 Stanton Belinkoff
1967-68 Ray Peppard
1969-70 Joseph F. Ruscio
1970-71 Howard P. Sawyer
1971-72 Aaron Bobrow
1972-73 Jess B. Weiss
1973-74 Ellison C. Pierce Jr.
1974-75 Joseph Holihan
1975-76 George E. Battit
1976-77 Elliott V. Miller
1977-78 Donald P. Todd
1978-79 Nicholas M. Greene
1979-80 Julie S. Crocker 
1980-81 Nicholas Giosa 
1981-82 Jess B. Weiss
1982-83 William S. Derrick
1983-84 Alastair J. Gillies
1984-85 Joseph L. Murphy
1985-86 N. Paul Schepis
1986-87 Howard W. Meridy
1987-88 Bernard R. Hand
1988-89 Mary Kraft
1989-90 J. Christian Abajian
1990-91 John V. Donlon Jr.
1991-92 James S. Gessner
1992-93 Malcolm Heslop
1993-94 Howard A. Trachtenberg
1994-95 Donald M. Kinkel
1995-96 Daniel W. Lang
1996-97 Thomas R. VerLee
1997-98 Richard Kemp
1998-99 Richard Nelson
1999-2000 Peter Semple
2000-01 Jayant Solanki
2001-02 Kenneth Travis
2002-03 Mark Shulkosky
2003-04 Stephen Hall
2004-05 Robert A. Crafts
2005-06 Joseph Bayes
2006-07 Stephen Hall
2007-08 Thomas J. Huesers
2008-09 Salvatore Basta
2009-10 James Limanek
2010-12 John L. Walsh
2012-13 Margarert A. Gargarian
2014-15 Stuart Schneiderman
2015-16 Drew Brodsky
2016-17 Susan Vassollo
2017-18 Daniel O'Brien
2018-19 Peng Xiao

David M. Little, Jr., MD (1920-1981) David Little MD

  • Lecture: each year at the Annual Conference a distinguished guest is invited to deliver the
    David M. Little, Jr., MD Memorial Lecture.

Past Speakers have been:

2015- Karim S. Ladha MD
2014- Alan C. Woodward MD
2013- Mary Ellen McCann MD
2012- Laura E. Niklason MD PhD
2011 No Meeting due to Storm

2010- Neelkantan Sunder MD
2009- Robert Veselis MD
2008- Warren S. Sandberg MD
2007- Emery N. Brown, MD
2006- John D. Halamka, MD
2005- Charles J. Vacanti, MD
2004- William R. Camann, MD
2003- Mark P. Yeager MD
2002- Susan Briggs, MD
2001- Jeffrey Cooper PhD
2000- Charles J. Vacanti, MD
1999- D. David Glass MD
1998- Philip Lumb, MB
1997- Bradley Smith MD
1996- Ellison C. Pierce Jr., MD
1990- E.S. Siker, MD
  • Biography: David M. Little Jr., MD (1920-1981)
    (by CR Stephen, MD, CM, FFARCS, 1982)

D.M.L., a New Englander first and always, but blessed with just enough extroversion and unfailing humor to confound any stereotype, was born in Boston in 1920. After attending Middlesex School and Princeton University, he graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1944. During his internship at Hartford Hospital and military service in the US Navy, he developed a primary interest in obstetrics which he pursued at the Boston Lying-In Hospital. However, his enthusiasm in this area soon waned, and later in 1947 he began and completed a residency in Anesthesiology under Dr. Ralph Tovell at Hartford Hospital. A period of private practice in Stamford, Connecticut followed, but, with his scholarly background, it was inevitable that he test his academic talents. So he traveled to nearby Yale University School of Medicine where he was an Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology for four years. By 1955 he knew where he wanted to be and what he wanted to achieve. He returned to Hartford Hospital as a Senior Staff Anesthesiologist and remained there until his untimely death on November 17, 1981.

To picture in words a man of diverse talents is difficult: throughout his too-short span of time DML was a teacher, a scholar, an educator, an explorer, a friend to many, and always a family man.

Dave was a sensitive and demanding teacher, as those who moved through the residency program at Hartford Hospital know full well. He loved nothing better than to have a student or resident with him "at the head of the table", indoctrinating, questioning and teaching the art and science of anesthesia.

Yet he never abandoned scholarly pursuits. He read widely, and particularly explored the realm of the development of Anesthesiology, which he unfolded, six times a year, in the Classical File pages of "Survey of Anesthesiology". Through his fascinating and erudite introductions, as seen in the following pages, he earned the distinction of bringing the past into the orientation of the present. And it was not all pedantic; his personal puckish humor allowed him to forge a legacy which will not be forgotten.

In the decade following the Second World War, DML sensed in his breadth of vision that the national organizations of Anesthesiology needed support. He believed that he could aid in the education and upgrading, not only of his fellow anesthesiologists, but of the specialty of Anesthesiology in the eyes of other medical disciplines and the public. So he became involved and soon emerged in a leadership role. At various times in his career he was President of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Secretary and President of the American Board of Anesthesiology, President of the Academy of Anesthesiology, and President of the New England Society of Anesthesiologists. In 1979, with the unanimous approval of his peers, he was presented with the American Society of Anesthesiologists' Distinguished Service Award.

Throughout his brilliant and varied career, DML never wavered from his loving and caring role as a husband and father. Those of us who were privileged to visit his home, and there were many, were always royally entertained by his wife, "Skippy", and their fine children. (However, before going "home", one usually was detoured to make a pilgrimage to the lifelike sculpture of Horace Wells in the downtown Hartford park).

The only thing that was little about Dave was his name.

Other links to David Little MD:


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Last updated 7 July 2019