Raised in Franklin, West Virginia; a small farming town bordering the Shenandoah Mountain. Dr. Sponaugle attended West Virginia University with the funding of government loans and scholarships. He graduated PHI BETA KAPPA with a Degree in Chemistry and was awarded these additional honors:
- Alpha Epsilon Delta National Chemistry Honor Society
- Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities
- Beta Theta Pi National Merit Scholarship
In addition, he was awarded one of four scholarships, given each year by the state of West Virginia, to exceptional PREMED students for matriculation at the WVU School of Medicine. After receiving my Medical Degree at WVU, he began an Internal Medicine residency at Charleston Area Medical Center with the intent to become a cardiologist.
While performing my Internal Medicine Internship, I become disillusioned with several aspects of Internal Medicine; particularly Oncology and Rheumatology. With a love for Cardiology, Pulmonology and Intensive Care Medicine, I left my Internal Medicine Residency to seek specialty training in Intensive Care Medicine at the University of Florida.
I chose an Anesthesiology Residency at the University of Florida, because the Anesthesiology department was leading the country in pioneering new modalities of Intensive Care Medicine. For that reason, the department offered experience in medical care for multiple modes of intensive care units; the Pediatric ICU, the Surgical ICU and the Burn ICU.
The Anesthesiology Chairman, Dr. Jerome Modell, and his professors, invented a ventilator therapy, called PEEP, which revolutionized the treatment for drowning. They had also invented CPAP (PEEP without an endotracheal tube) and, later, IMV (Intermittent Mandatory Ventilation). Treatment modalities invented by Anesthesiologists at the University of Florida have been utilized in Intensive Care Units throughout the world.
During my residency, I assisted in studies evaluating the efficacy of “SUPER PEEP” for maintaining oxygenation in severely burned patients; patients who develop “wet lungs,” because of sepsis-induced “capillary leak.”