Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Dr. Niedermeyer’s Birthday

What do a mountaineer, a prisoner of war, and an accomplished pianist have in common?
Dr. Niedermeyer has been each of these!
When I attended the American Epilepsy Society conference in Baltimore in December, I had the opportunity to visit with Dr. Niedermeyer, thanks to Brian Markley, ASET president-elect, who drove us to his home.  Brian, Lucy Sullivan and I, met his wife, and shared a wonderful dinner with the Niedermeyers, as they extended their gracious hospitality.  Ernst, as he insists we call him, is very cheerful and spry, despite health care issues that he faces.  On January 19th, Dr. Niedermeyer will celebrate his 92nd birthday.  He says that he is grateful for each day that he is alive, and looks forward to sharing time with his wife and children.   I encourage all the techs who make up his vast fan club to send him a birthday card.  His mailing address is:

Dr. Ernst Niedermeyer
Pickerskgill Home
Unit #1407
615 Chestnut Ave.
Towson, MD  21204

I have known Dr. Niedermeyer for years, and am in awe of his brilliant mind, and many contributions to the field of neurophysiology.  He has always been an advocate of technologists, and believes that techs have a very high level of knowledge about the procedures we perform, and the clinical correlations we see in our everyday roles, and will tell you how important skilled technologists are to the neurologist!

I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Niedermeyer last year, to prepare an abstract for the 2011 OSET meeting, on the topic of his contributions to neurophysiology.   He sent me many historic photos and an amazing autobiography of his life experience!  He was fulfilling his mandatory service in the German military when World War II started.   Because the German military needed physicians, they sent him to Vienna to study medicine.  In 1944, he was captured by the Allies and sent to the USA as a prisoner of war.  There, he worked in cornfields in the mid-west, until the war ended, when he could return to Vienna to complete medical school.  He immigrated to the USA in 1960, with his family, and became a major contributor to the field of neurology, writing a textbook and 243 publications over a lifetime.

Please join me in wishing Dr. Niedermeyer a Happy Birthday!