Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine

A Message from the Chairman

Ron Pearl, MD, PhD, Chairman

The specialty of anesthesiology has been marked by unprecedented growth and change since the first public demonstration in Boston of ether anesthesia in 1846. Today, rendering the patient insensitive to pain while monitoring and maintaining vital organ function during surgery remains the main professional activity of the anesthesiologist. At the heart of the practice of anesthesia is the decision to use a specific anesthetic technique in a given patient. This decision must take into account both the planned surgical procedure as well as the patient's physical condition and coexisting disease. Much of the research performed by anesthesiologists has improved our ability to make this decision wisely, as during the last fifteen years anesthetic mortality has decreased from 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 187,000.

The practice of anesthesiology continues to grow, as evidenced in the development of ten recognized subspecialties within our field. Today's anesthesiologist works not only in the operating room, but also in the intensive care unit and the labor and delivery suite. Anesthesiologists also play a prominent role in acute and chronic pain management, as well as in the preparation of patients for surgery. In addition, a wide range of research opportunities exist within anesthesiology, from the study of subcellular mechanisms of anesthesia, through research at the organ level, to clinical studies directly related to patient care.

The Stanford University Department of Anesthesia is committed to training physicians to become outstanding anesthesiologists. We feel that our training program allows our residents develop the knowledge and skills required to provide the best possible care to their patients throughout their career. We are also committed to meeting the academic research aspirations of our residents, in order to prepare them for academic careers in our specialty.

We appreciate your interest in our department and encourage you to contact us with any questions you may have.

Ronald G. Pearl M.D. Ph.D.
Professor and Chairman


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