After residency he served in the US Navy for 2 years. In 1953, at age 29, he was recruited by Robert Williams, MD, to head the Neurology Division of the Department of Medicine at the University of Washington. He was one of a large number of young physicians in their late 20s and early 30s who were appointed division chiefs by Dr Williams, almost all of whom became leaders in their respective fields. Because of his expertise in poliomyelitis, he developed a respiratory center at Harborview Hospital located between the neurology ward and the infectious disease ward that housed patients with acute polio. With August Swanson, MD, his first resident, he flew to Alaska to help in their polio epidemic. He flew from town to town with bush pilots, advising physicians in respiratory care. Because the most common cause of coma at that time was barbiturate overdose, an illness that often led to respiratory failure, neurology became the logical place to admit all comatose patients and, later, virtually all patients with alterations of consciousness. Over time, Fred's reputation for diagnostic expertise became so great that when one of the interns in the emergency department was confronted with a “blue man,” a disorder he had never heard of, he called the neurology division, “Because I have no idea what the patient has, I didn't even know in whose domain the problem belongs, so that I figured it was best to call neurology.” Fred, of course, recognized methemoglobinemia from inadvertent nitrite ingestion. Prompt treatment corrected the situation. The patient recovered; his friends, who also ingested nitrites and did not reach the hospital, died.