UW Medicine Health System Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine
“Ronald K. Baker PhD, MD was a resident in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Arizona in the late 70s when I was a junior faculty member. We did many cases together, and I remember him well, and fondly, as an excellent resident and physician, always on top of things. He had an engaging personality, scraggly mustache, and a wry (sometimes smirky) smile and sense of humor. Like me, he was a bit quirky, with esoteric interests (I wasn’t surprised to learn he cared for distressed ferrets). He had excellent hands for procedures, but roughly hewn, as if he worked on cars or other labor-intensive hobbies in his spare time.
He had been a chemist and I queried him about van der Waals forces, the subtle quantum interactions by which anesthetic gases erase consciousness, still mysterious to this day. Favoring true ‘chemical’ bonds, Ron disdained the weak and