About Us

Letter from the Chair

Jeffrey Kirsch

It is my pleasure to introduce you to the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). Our department is comprised of carefully selected clinicians, educators, and researchers from around the world who are dedicated to providing outstanding medical care for our patients and exceptional training opportunities for our fellows, residents, and medical students. We currently provide clinical service at all OHSU hospitals – Peter O. Kohler Pavilion, South Hospital, North Hospital, Center for Health and Healing, Casey Eye Institute, and Doernbecher Children’s Hospital – and at the Portland Veterans’ Administration Medical Center. All of these sites are physically linked to one another or accessible by our aerial tram.

I am committed to ensuring that all patients requiring Perioperative care are treated with compassion using state-of-the-art technology and pharmacologic tools with an emphasis on patient safety. Pre-operative assessment in our department is facilitated by electronic data collecting systems and is integral to minimizing patient risk. In the operating room, anesthesiologists work independently or in care teams with our fellows, residents, and nurse anesthetists using general and/or regional anesthetic techniques to minimize the Perioperative stress response for our patients. Post-operative care is under the purview of our department both in the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) and in surgical and neurosciences intensive care units. In the ICU our team includes anesthesiology intensivists, critical care fellows, physician assistants, and residents. The role of our team in the ICUs is comprehensive and critical to achieving the highest quality outcomes for our patients and Leapfrog Group recognition of excellence in critical care for OHSU.

The Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine at OHSU is nationally recognized for its expertise in adult and pediatric pain management (www.ohsu.edu/paincenter). The Comprehensive Pain Center (CPC) team includes physicians, psychologists, physical therapists, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners who deliver care and offer more training opportunities for fellows and residents. Patients benefit from both traditional (e.g., blocks, pumps, stimulators) and non-traditional (e.g., biofeedback, acupuncture) pain management techniques. We also act as consultants in the post-operative period to provide appropriate expertise in the management of patient-controlled analgesic methods. In conjunction with our regional anesthesiology team, we are one among a very few centers in the country that have successfully developed an ambulatory anesthesia program. Our peripheral nerve catheter/home pump program allows orthopedic surgery patients to benefit from continuous pain relief for days while recovering at home following surgery.

The research component of our department is growing rapidly. We now ranked among the top ten departments of anesthesiology in the country in the level of research support awarded by the National Institutes of Health. The emphasis of our basic science research is in neuroscience and renal physiology, and our clinical research is focused on issues related to patient safety and pain management. We also have a very active education research group that focuses their work in the development of life-long learning strategies, particularly in the area of regional anesthesia. The laboratories are structured to encourage physicians, fellows, residents, and medical students to work collaboratively with Ph.D. scientists in pursuit of research interests in clinically relevant areas and to achieve their research goals.

I am dedicated to providing training of the highest quality and most innovative education training in the country for residents, fellows, and medical students. In recognition of the excellence of our program, the Anesthesiology Residency Review Committee of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has consistently awarded our program the maximum accreditation cycle of five years. We were the first program in the US to be approved by the ACGME and ABA to allow for integrated training of research and anesthesiology and critical care medicine and anesthesiology. Furthermore, we are the first program to offer the ASPIRE program, which provides an advanced curriculum for our residents, on a voluntary basis.

We offer fellowships in Pediatric Anesthesiology, Adult Critical Care, Regional Anesthesia and Pain Management. The scope of our training opportunities is extensive and includes exposure to a wide variety of patient diseases and surgical procedures as well as CPC and ICU training with dedicated time in our full-body human simulation laboratory.

Thank you for visiting our Web site and learning more about our exciting and productive department. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. Jeffrey R. Kirsch, MD

Professor & Chairman