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James Losey Coller
Amanda Mulvina Richart
Amasa Underwood
Jane Wells
Granville James Coller M.D.
Helen Rosalie Underwood

Frederick Amasa Coller M.D.


Family Links

1. Jessie Edward Bernsen

Frederick Amasa Coller M.D.

  • Born: 2 Oct 1887, Brookings, South Dakota
  • Marriage (1): Jessie Edward Bernsen on 10 Dec 1917 in Ft. Lewis, Washington
  • Died: 5 Nov 1964, Ann Arbor, Michigan at age 77
  • Buried: Ann Arbor, Michigan

bullet  General Notes:

Dr. Frederick Amasa Coller (1887-1964) graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1912; resident surgeon, Massachusetts General Hospital, 1914; assistant chief surgeon, Womens War Hospital, Devon, 1915-1916; Professor of surgery at the University of Michigan Medical School, 1920-1957. He also served in the Medical Corps during World War I.

Professor and chair of Surgery at the University of Michigan Medical School, he was recognized as an authority in the surgical treatment of thyroid diseases and developed a replacement for water and electrolyte loss in surgical patients that is used worldwide.

Frederick Amasa Coller was President of the American College of Surgeons in 1949-1950.

The following is from the University of Michigan web site: Medical School Faculty, 1934; Assistant Professor to Professor of Surgery 1920-1957. Graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1912, became resident surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital in 1914. In the early 1920s, he was offered the Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Michigan by Hugh Cabot, and was appointed Director of the Department of Surgery in 1930. He dominated the department for the next 27 years, developing principles in pre- and postoperative care, and surgical technique. He was also a respected authority in the history of surgery. He was required to begin his retirement from the University in 1957. Instead, he moved to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital to continue operating.

Currell, Biddle Family Notes, newspaper clipping, abt 1960: "Chairman emeritus of the department of surgery at the University of Michigan, Dr. Frederick A. Coller, was among 15 physicians who were honored yesterday at the 150th Anniversary Convocation of the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. The 15 were nominated from 2,200 members of the hospital's House Pupils Association, an organization of former interns and residents. Citations and commemorative medals were presented to the recipients at a lucheon at which Dr. Natan Pusey, president of Harvard University, presided. Dr. Coller, 73, who lives in Ann Arbor, was cited as "a surgeon's surgeon, beloved and respected by colleagues, students and patients, from coast to coast."

Currell, Biddle Family Notes, obituary newspaper clipping, 1964: "Dr. Frederick A. Coller, chairman emeritus of the University of Michigan Medical School's department of surgery and renowned for his surgical techniuqes was one of six widely known educators taken by death. A Harvard Medical School graduate, Dr. Coller joined the U of M faculty in 1920 and gained acclaim as a teacher, surgeon and scholar. He died Nov. 5 at the age of 77. Dr. Coller had been president of the American College of Surgeons and the American Surgical Association. He was a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in England and the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh."

Below from the Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons, May-June 1965

Frederick A. Coller, MD, 29th President of the American College of Surgeons (1949-50), and consultant to President Dwight D. Eisenhower, was born, raised and received his early education in Brookings, SD. His father, Granville James Coller, MD graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School in 1880 and helped establish the South Dakota State College. Frederick entered Harvard Medical School with a master of science degree in 1908, the year that Harvard raised its entrance requirements, and was able to attend classes with outstanding teachers.

Dr. Coller graduated cum laude from Harvard in 1912 and was appointed intern on the west surgical service at Massachusetts General Hospital in July. The Hospital instituted a surgical residency and Dr. Coller was the first resident appointed there by unanimous choice of all attending surgeons. Three years later he went to France, under the leadership of Dr. Harvey Cushing, to take over one of the surgical services of the American Ambulance Service. He later achieved the rank of Major in the US Armed Forces in World War I, and in World War II was a consultant to the military for surgical societies.

After his military service ended, he became a professor of surgery at the University of Michigan Medical School in 1920, where he did research on water balance. Publications resulting from his research became the incentive for extensive study in electrolytes and the treatment of traumatic shock. By 1947, Coller had achieved such prominence in the world of surgery and admiration from his students that they created the Frederick A. Coller Surgical Society in his honor. The society has about 200 members, many of them Professors and Chiefs of Surgery throughout this country and world.

Dr. Coller was a leader in many surgical societies, including his presidency of the American Surgical Association. His career with the American College of Surgeons (ACS) began in 1922 when he first became a Fellow, then Governor, Regent, and ACS President. One of his lesser-known contributions was as an artist, and he contributed a watercolor to the College as part of the Surgeons Art Project. 86


bullet  Noted events in his life were:

1. Residence: Wallingford Drive, Ann Arbor, Michigan.


Frederick married Jessie Edward Bernsen on 10 Dec 1917 in Ft. Lewis, Washington. (Jessie Edward Bernsen was born on 17 Oct 1890.)

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