Allen Oldfather Whipple (September 2, 1881 – April 6, 1963) was an American surgeon who is known for the pancreatic cancer operation which bears his name (the Whipple procedure) as well as Whipple's triad.
Whipple was born to missionary parents William Levi Whipple and Mary Louise Whipple (née Allen), in Urmia, West Azerbaijan, Iran. He attended Princeton University and received his M.D. from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1908, and was licensed to practice medicine in the state of New York on February 4, 1910 (NY License #10151). He became professor of surgery at Columbia University where he served from 1921 to 1946. He began work on the procedure for resection of the pancreas (pancreaticoduodenectomy) in 1935 and his original technique has since been modified greatly. In 1940, he shortened the procedure into a one-stage process. During his lifetime, Whipple performed 37 pancreaticoduodenectomies.
He supervised the surgical residency of Virginia Apgar, later advising her to pursue her medical career in the field of anaesthesiology because he knew that surgery depended on advancements in this field to progress, and he saw in Apgar the 'energy and ability' to make a significant contribution. Apgar went on to devise the Apgar Score, by which the health of newborns is evaluated, changing the face of neonatal medicine.
The Science Building at Wooster School in Danbury, Connecticut is named for Whipple, who served as President of Wooster's Board of Trustees when the school's founder, Rev. Aaron Coburn, died.
- Whipple AO. Observations on radical surgery for lesions of the pancreas. Surg Gyn Obst 1946;82:62.
- Whipple Website: Allen Oldfather Whipple
- The Whipple Procedure, by John A. Chabot, M.D.
- Wooster Chronology – Wooster School