Welcome from the Chair

ProughDonaldHi and Welcome to the Department of Anesthesiology at The University of Texas Medical Branch. Our Department is a unique learning community that provides state-of-the-art anesthetic care for our patients. Our residents and faculty work with each other, with medical students, and with members of other departments at UTMB to maintain our learning community. We share existing knowledge and experience to provide outstanding patient care and our teams of outstanding basic and clinical scientists generate exciting new knowledge.

The sense of community in our department is unusually strong. Our faculty, residents, CRNA’s and support staff work together as colleagues. UTMB medical students share in our community. Many of our students choose electives in Anesthesiology. Many UTMB medical students subsequently choose anesthesiology as a career and many of those students choose to remain with us for their residency.

Our surgical colleagues appreciate and respect UTMB Anesthesiology’s long-standing tradition of clinical excellence. The resulting atmosphere of mutual respect and collaboration insures that working in the Anesthesiology Department is pleasant and stimulating. Our surgical colleagues also value our experience in chronic and acute Pain Management and Critical Care Medicine. Nonsurgical physicians also respect the knowledge and clinical skills of UTMB Anesthesiology residents.

Residents and faculty in the UTMB Anesthesiology Department frequently get together for social activities. UTMB’s presence in a small city promotes our sense of community – we can meet for dinner or a party without facing a long commute. Consequently we have planned, whole-department events such as our annual dinner for graduating residents and our annual holiday party and small, spontaneous gatherings.

The center of our learning community is our teaching faculty. The clinical faculty in the Department of Anesthesiology at UTMB have a broad range of skills, training and experience. We have exceptional breadth and depth in Pain Management, Regional Anesthesia, Cardiac Anesthesia, Neurosurgical Anesthesia, Pediatric Anesthesia and Critical Care. We anesthetize critically ill burned children at one of the few Shrine Burns Hospitals in the United States. Our less specialized faculty are also impressive – when our residents periodically (and anonymously) evaluate our individual faculty, they routinely give high scores. Specific comments highlight the dedication of our faculty to outstanding teaching and patient care. Every morning before the clinical day starts, our faculty provide teaching conferences that build on and provide clinicians’ perspectives to supplement knowledge gained by reading textbooks and journals. To enhance our didactic program and complement our clinical experience, our Anesthesia Simulation Center introduces medical students and new residents to basic issues in anesthesia management, and, for our more advanced residents, provides challenging experiences that are rarely encountered in clinical practice.

Our research community blends basic and clinical scientists into strong teams that emphasize research into topics with important translational implications. We have multidisciplinary teams of investigators who study perioperative fluid management, sepsis and septic shock, perioperative immunologic disorders, noninvasive monitoring, hemorrhagic shock, traumatic brain injury, molecular biology and stem cells. We have substantial funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Shrine Burns Institute, the Department of Defense and various private foundations to support our research activities.

We are particularly proud of our residents at UTMB. We have one of the oldest academic departments and oldest anesthesiology residencies in the United States. Our residents receive excellent clinical training in all specialties of anesthesiology at UTMB and our affiliated hospitals. Our residents perform well on the annual in-training examinations as well as their written and oral boards. We are gratified that many of our finishing residents and fellows join our faculty when they complete their training.

We offer clinical fellowships in several clinical disciplines. Our philosophy for clinical fellowships is simple – we only offer fellowships in specialties in which we have sufficient clinical material to fully train both our residents and our fellows.

In the Department of Anesthesiology at UTMB, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists are an integral part of the anesthesia care team. The cooperation between our physician faculty, residents and CRNA’s is exemplary and facilitates great flexibility in managing our diverse clinical and educational responsibilities.

I am proud to be a member of the Department of Anesthesiology at UTMB. Being a member of the faculty at UTMB is the high point of my academic career. I have also on several occasions been grateful for the outstanding clinical care provided by this department. I was as confident when our faculty and residents cared for me during a rotator cuff repair and a lumbar laminectomy as I am when they care for others.

The UTMB Department of Anesthesiology is a unique learning community in which our residents, CRNAs and anesthesiologists contribute to the growth and development of our specialty.