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Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

Health information

Anesthesiology is defined by the American Society of Anesthesiologists as “the practice of medicine dedicated to the relief of pain and total care of the surgical patient before, during and after surgery.” At the UC Davis Medical Center, your anesthesiologist serves as your perioperative physician, responsible for your care before surgery, maintains your vital signs during surgery and manages any post surgical pain you may experience. Your anesthesiologist is a specialist in the use of narcotics and has received extensive training in matching your anesthetic needs with any underlying medical conditions, any family history in response to anesthesia and the requirements of your surgery.

Before you have surgery at the UC Davis Medical Center, a visit is scheduled in the Surgery Admissions Center located in the Davis Tower of the main hospital. At the time of the visit, you will undergo a medical evaluation by one of the specially trained pre-operative nurses. An anesthesiologist will review the findings of your evaluation and the final decision to proceed with surgery will be made. You will discuss your surgery with the staff and what to expect. They will also talk with you about any previous experiences that you have had with anesthesia and determine an anesthetic plan.

The day of your surgery, before entering the operating room, you will meet with the anesthesiologist and/or the resident physician or certified registered nurse anesthetist who has been assigned to your case. Advise them of any changes to your health. Please feel free to ask questions. It is important that you speak freely and truthfully, as many of the anesthetic drugs used can react negatively with other substances. Your anesthesiologist isn’t here to judge you but instead to ensure that you receive the best possible anesthetic care and treatment during your surgery at the UC Davis Medical Center. Being honest with your anesthesiologist is of paramount importance as they will be responsible for supporting your life functions during the surgery and ensuring that you have an uneventful surgical experience and appropriate postoperative care while at the UC Davis Medical Center.

Following your surgery, you will spend time in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit, also known as the recovery room. Before you are released to go home or admitted to the wards, you will be checked by a resident physician or certified registered nurse anesthetist to make sure that there are no complications and that you have recovered from the effects of the anesthesia administered during your surgery. They will report to the anesthesiologist and he or she will approve your release from the Post Anesthesia Care Unit.

Anesthesiologists at the UC Davis Medical Center provide a wide range of patient care services. If you are in the hospital to give birth, the anesthesiologist is the physician who administers the epidural or spinal block, taking into account not only your needs but also the needs of your baby. If your child needs to have a CT scan or MRI that is going to take a long period of time, the anesthesiologist administers a mild sedative and stays during the scan, monitoring your child. If you are suffering from pain while in the hospital after your surgery, an anesthesiologist who has additional training in pain medicine, works with you and your nurse to relieve your pain, if you have a condition called malignant hyperthermia, the anesthesiologist is the physician who is able to diagnosis your condition and then administered anesthetics that do not cause you to have an episode of this potentially life threatening disease and if you suffer from chronic pain, an anesthesiologist will work with you to establish a pharmacological regime that will bring you relief.

An anesthesiologist has graduated from medical school, completed one year of internship and three years of residency training in a program accredited by the American Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Following their training, anesthesiologists are “board eligible” for certification by The American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA). Certification is conferred when the anesthesiologist has passed both a written and oral examination administered by the ABA. Those anesthesiologists who have successfully passed the examinations are called “Diplomate” of the ABA. Diplomate status is granted for a ten-year period. Anesthesiologists then take a re-certification written exam that tests their current knowledge of anesthesiology. You can check the certification status of your anesthesiologist by calling the ABA.

Several faculty members of the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine are qualified to provide specialized anesthesia care. These anesthesiologists have either completed an additional year of specialized training or demonstrate clinical competency in that allows them to provide anesthesiology to cardiac patients; transplant patients; pediatric patients; pediatric cardiac patients; obstetrical patients and pain patients. Their training and/or clinical competency is required, allowing them to obtain the appropriate additional credentialing privileges and ensuring you receive the best possible anesthetic management and care during your stay at the UC Davis Medical Center.

All physicians in the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine are required by state law to hold a valid and current California medical license. To check on the status of your physician, the Medical Board of California maintains a database of all physicians licensed in California and you are welcome to check the licensure status of your anesthesiologist at the UC Davis Medical Center.

Surgical Admissions Center 916-734-2730
Division of Pain Medicine 916-734-7246
American Board of Anesthesiology 919-881-2570

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