Dr Norman Avika Bergman

Personal details

Dr Norman Avika Bergman BA MD FFARCS

14/10/1926 to 14/11/1999

Place of birth: Seattle, Washington, USA

Nationality: American

CRN: 524838

Subsequent title: Professor

Education and qualifications

General education

Schooling unknown; Reed College, Portland, Oregon; University of Oregon Medical School

Primary medical qualification(s)

MD, Oregon, 1951

Initial Fellowship and type

FFARCS by Election

Year of Fellowship


Other qualification(s)

BA, Reed College, 1949

Professional life and career
Postgraduate career

Dr Bergman was an intern at the Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago, undertook his residency in anaesthesia at Columbia in New York, and remained on the faculty there until he became chief of anesthesia at the Veterans Administration Hospital and University of Utah in Salt Lake City in 1958. He spent a research year (1963-4) at the Royal College of Surgeons in London, was appointed the University of Utah’s first professor of anesthesia in 1970, and later that year became chairman at the University of Oregon’s Medical School in Eugene. He resigned this post in 1981 to return to London, also spending some time at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm before finishing his career back in the USA at the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, Oregon. He retired formally in1989, but retained a connection with the University until his death.

Professional interests and activities

Bergman developed research interests early in his career, his main topics being pulmonary gas exchange (the subject of his work in London), education, and the history of anaesthesia; he lectured & published widely on all aspects. His work on history, focussed on events prior to 1846 and continued after his retirement, his book on the subject winning the David M Little Award of the Anesthesia History Association (1999). He was named one of the Wood Library-Museum’s Laureates of the History of Anesthesia for 2000.

Other biographical information

Before medical school (1944-6) he was a sergeant in the medical section of the US Army, and after qualifying was a reserve officer in the Medical Corps (1951-1970), serving as chief of anesthesia in the 328th General Hospital (1959-70) and attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Married to Betty for 48 years, they had a son and a daughter.

Author and Sources

Dr Bob Palmer
Sources and Comments:
[1] Obituary. History of Anaesthesia Society Proceedings, 1999; 26: 62-3
[2] Please use link https://www.woodlibrarymuseum.org/laureate/view/2/dr.-norman-a.-bergman where a photograph may be found.