In Memoriam

Dr. William “Bill” Sieber

died 2015

(from UPMC News Flash with additional edits from Barbara Gaines and Mary Fallat)

Dr Sieber was a founding member of APSA.

William “Bill” Sieber, MD, a member of the class of 1941 and subsequently resident in surgery and pediatric surgery until 1950 at the University of Pittsburg School of Medicine, pediatric surgeon 1950 to 1990, died in May 2015. Survived by his wife, Anne M. Sieber, his three sons, and six grandchildren, Dr. Sieber was a general surgeon at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh who was credited with medical breakthroughs in the hospital's early days.
Dr Sieber was known as a meticulous, attentive surgeon. As one of two general surgeons principally working at Children’s Hospital in the 1950s and 1960s, Dr. Sieber’s practice was impressively large. He was the surgeon to whom pediatricians not only referred their patients, but also took their own children to see when they needed surgical care. He worked tireless hours and contributed substantively to the training of dozens of future pediatric surgeons. In the care of newborns to adolescents, trainees knew him as a hard-to-please teacher who expected them to work as hard as he did. He was a scholar as well as a virtuoso surgeon. Dr. Sieber continued his grueling solo practice until 1973, when he took on Eugene S. Wiener, MD, and soon after, Kamthorn Sukarochana, MD.
Dr Sieber was one of the founding members of the American Pediatric Surgical Association, and was considered for election to its presidency. He was also a founding member of the Lilliputian Surgical Society. In addition, he was a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons as well as a member of the Surgical Section of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Dr. Sieber was interviewed for an article that ran in a 2009 issue of Pitt Med. “Appendectomies and hernia operations were commonly done. But by far the greatest number of patients had infections and required drainage of abscesses. The primary risk in those days was the anesthetic. It was administered primarily by nurses. It consisted primarily of open-drop ether. In most cases, the nurse would monitor the pulse by feeling the pulse. It was, what I would consider, the most dangerous part of the operation.”
His legacy lives on in the form of the William K. Sieber, MD, Pediatric Surgery Award, given annually to a senior medical student with an outstanding performance in pediatric surgery.