M. Felix Freshwater papers
Scope and Contents
The papers contain records that document Dr. Freshwater’s efforts in building a plastic surgery career and practice from 1964 through 2016. Records relating to his career span education material, drafts and documentation for publications, research about notable figures in the history of plastic surgery, plastic surgery techniques, and correspondence. Materials documenting his medical practice include administrative files, financial records, legal records, and patient files. The bulk of the material consists of patient files from his private practice from 1979-2016. Freshwater specialized in hand surgery, but patient records may include treatment, surgeries, and consultations about a range of plastic surgery areas. In addition to paper records, the papers also contain born digital material from Freshwater’s hard drive and from his email, reflecting his personal and professional work from the mid 1990s to 2016.
- circa 1940-2016
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is partially processed. Contact the Medical Historical Library for access to unprocessed materials.
Conditions Governing Access
Patient files and materials containing patient medical information are restricted. Contact the Medical Historical Library to request access.
Conditions Governing Access
Materials containing medical and student records for members of M. Felix Freshwater's immediate family are restricted. Contact the Medical Historical Library to request access.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright has been transferred to Yale University for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by M. Felix Freshwater. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of M. Felix Freshwater 2015.
The collection is arranged in 12 series: Series I. Correspondence, 1967-2011. Series II. Education, 1959-1979. Series III. Writings and research, 1970-2013. Series IV. Subject files, 1940-2014. Series V. Professional organizations, conferences, and trainings, 1977-2014. Series VI. Administrative, 1968-2015. Series VII. Financial - Personal, 1965-2011. Series VIII. Financial - Medical Practice, 1979-2016. Series IX. Legal records. Series X. Patient records. Series XI. Computer hard drive. Series XII. Media.
416 Linear Feet
1 External Hard Drives
500 Computer Files (Optical media disk images)
1 Computer Files (Gmail account)
Language of Materials
M. Felix Freshwater, M.D. (1948-2016) was a prominent plastic surgeon specializing in hand surgery and microsurgery. Freshwater graduated from the Yale School of Medicine in 1972, completed residencies at Yale New Haven Hospital and the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center, held fellowships at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the University of Louisville/Jewish Hospital in Louisville, KY, and was in private practice from 1979 to 2016 at the Miami Institute of Hand and Microsurgery, where he also served as Professor of Plastic Surgery in the plastic, aesthetic and reconstructive surgery division. The papers document Dr. Freshwater’s efforts in building a plastic surgery career and all aspects of his private medical practice from 1964 through 2016. Collection materials include education records; publications and research; files on the history of plastic surgery and plastic surgery techniques; correspondence; administrative and financial files; legal records; patient files; a hard drive; and email.
Biographical / Historical
Dr. M. Felix Freshwater (1948-2016), a prominent plastic surgeon specializing in hand surgery and microsurgery, was in private practice from 1979 to 2016 at the Miami Institute of Hand and Microsurgery. He supplemented his private practice work with a voluntary Professor of Plastic Surgery appointment within the division of plastic, aesthetic and reconstructive surgery. Dr. Freshwater was certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and was a 1985 and 1988 recipient of the American Medical Association’s Physician’s Recognition Award. In 2016 the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) awarded Dr. Freshwater with an honorary membership. In 2017 the Yale School of Medicine honored Dr. Freshwater with the Distinguished Alumni Service Award.
Prior to his practice in Miami, Freshwater held several fellowships, first in Plastic Surgery (1976) and then in Burn Surgery (1977) at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and in Hand and Microsurgery at the University of Louisville/Jewish Hospital in Louisville, KY (1979). Freshwater completed residencies in Surgery at Yale New Haven Hospital (1974) and in Plastic Surgery at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center (1978). In Miami, Freshwater worked under the guidance of Dr. Ralph Millard, known for his cleft lip surgery work.
Freshwater attended Medical School at Yale University School of Medicine (1972), where his thesis "George David Pollock and the Development of Skin Grafting" helped cement a lifelong interest in the history of plastic surgery. Freshwater grew up in New York City, studying at Stuyvesant High School, and completed his undergraduate work at Brooklyn College where he received a Bachelor of Science degree.
Freshwater published over 100 articles and sat on editorial boards, such as the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive, and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) and the of Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive, and Aesthetic Surgery (JPRAS).
At the Miami Institute of Hand and Microsurgery Freshwater treated burn victims and completed complex re-attachments. Freshwater also specialized in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis. He completed research into the modern use of leeches to treat patients with circulatory complications.
- M. Felix Freshwater Papers
- In Progress
- Martha Horan and Katherine Isham
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.