Having obtained a Fulbright grant in 1970 I first had to pass the examination of the Educational Council for Foreign Medical Graduates taking place in Vienna. The oral part of the language proficiency test was given by the embassy-physician M. Arthur (Pat) Kline; "the grass is green"--we had to write that down correctly. Kline was the executive director of the American Medical Society of Vienna, an organization that, founded in 1904, had brought well over 20,000 US doctors to Austria for postgraduate training, besides the Austro-American Foundation of 1926 the oldest American-Austrian joint medical institution. Pat and myself became good friends thereafter and later I had the honor of having been one of the presidents of this society.
But for the time being I traveled to New York to become chief resident in the anesthesia department of the Montefiore Hospital and Medical Center of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Together with other Fulbright scholars I was invited to go to Washington DC to attend a conference. I well remember Senator Fulbright addressing us, but soon excusing himself with “Guys,I am sorry, but I must go up to Capitol Hill to see whether I can do something about the Vietnam War." Subsequently I had to sit for the fellowship-exams given by the American College of Anesthesiology.
After my return to Vienna the ties with USA remained intact ever since, I frequently returned not only for the annual meeting of our professional specialty but also as a guest professor to the University of Chicago and for close cooperation with UCLASF. I am very grateful to the Fulbright Commission and wish this organization and its officers all the best for the future-- ad multos annos.
Dr. Franz X. Lackner, MD FACA was an Austrian Fulbright Scholar at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University in 1970–71.