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Ephraim S. Siker, known to his family and friends as Rick was born in Port Chester, NY on March 24, 1926, and died on Friday, June 21, 2013. The son of the late Samuel and Adele Siker, he completed his premedical studies at Duke University, prior to enlisting in the U.S. Navy as a hospital corpsman. Rick graduated from New York University with his M.D. in 1949. While completing his internship and beginning his Anesthesia residency at the Westchester County Hospital, Dr. Siker met his future wife, Eileen Bohnel. During the Korean War, he served in a M.A.S.H. Unit, which delayed their marriage until 1951. After his discharge from the Navy, Dr. Siker was awarded a US Public Health Service Research Fellowship and accepted a position with the University of Pittsburgh, concurrently completing the remaining four months of his Anesthesia residency at the (now UPMC) Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh. He was named Vice-Chairman of the Anesthesia department in 1954. In 1955, Dr. Siker accepted an exchange teaching position with the British National Health Service in Cardiff, Wales. On July 1, 1960, Dr. Siker was appointed the chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology of Mercy Hospital and retained this position for 34 years. To recognize Dr. Siker's vast contributions, a chair, "E.S. and Eileen Siker Professor of Anesthesiology", was recently established by the University of Pittsburgh Department of Anesthesiology. Other career highlights include both national and international recognition for his work in Anesthesiology. In 1973, he participated in a task force of eight physicians appointed by the National Academy of Science in an exchange of physicians with China; Dr. Siker's research in the studies of pain and pain pathways, narcotics, and narcotic antagonists, led to his appointment to the first group of Americans invited to visit the People's Republic of China. In 1973, Dr. Siker was also elected President of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, one of the youngest to ever hold this office. He chaired the executive committee of the World Federation of Anesthesiologists from 1980 through 1984. Dr. Siker was a member of the American Board of Medical Specialties Executive Committee. He was a pioneer in the field of patient safety and served as the executive director of the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation from 1995 through 1999. Dr. Siker had an active career in research, publication, and teaching. He wrote the section on narcotics for the Encyclopedia Britannica, published numerous articles on Anesthesia in professional journals, and led Mercy Hospital's Anesthesia department in the training of many residents. Dr. Siker is survived by Eileen Bohnel Siker, his beloved wife of 62 years; their five children, Kathleen E. Siker, Jeffrey S. Siker, Ph.D., David A. Siker, M.D., Paul W. Siker and Richard F. Siker; their eight grandchildren and one great- grandchild. A Memorial Service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please send gifts to the Siker Fund in Anesthesiology and Patient Safety at UPMC Mercy Hospital. Checks may be made out to UPMC Mercy with Siker Fund in the memo and sent to: Development Office, UPMC Mercy, 1400 Locust St., Pgh PA 15219. Arrangements entrusted to WILLIAM SLATER II FUNERAL SERVICE, Scott Twp., 412-563-2800.
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Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Jun. 23 to Jun. 24, 2013.
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