Richard L. Applegate II, a thought leader with comprehensive clinical experience and academic excellence in general anesthesiology and cardiothoracic anesthesiology, joins UC Davis School of Medicine as professor and chair of the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine. His appointment begins Feb. 8.
As chair, Applegate leads a team of 53 faculty, 51 residents and fellows, 19 staff physicians, 28 nurse anesthetists and 22 administrative support staff who conduct more than 20 active research studies to advance perioperative care and pain management. They deliver more than 28,000 anesthetics to patients annually, closely monitor patient recovery in more than 40 operating sites within UC Davis Health System, and educate the next generation of anesthesiologists and pain medicine specialists in the U.S. and abroad.
Applegate replaces Peter G. Moore, who retires after serving as department chair for more than 20 years. Moore will continue working in the operating room several days a week and leading efforts in partnership with the Center for Health and Technology and the Center for Virtual Care to advance patient safety and the use of telemedicine to improve health and reduce surgical risk, especially in rural communities and developing countries through global health partnerships.
“We are thrilled to have Dr. Applegate join the UC Davis faculty and leadership team,” Moore said. “The breadth and scope of his clinical experience and lifelong commitment to education and research complements our health system’s strengths in interdisciplinary and interprofessional care and emphasis on improving quality and safety through the use of technology.”
Applegate comes from Loma Linda University School of Medicine, where he was professor and vice chair of anesthesiology and held secondary appointments in the Department of Basic Science and the School of Nursing. His research interests span basic science and clinical care, with a focus on cardiovascular physiology, control of circulation, and physiologic monitoring during high-risk surgeries or in high-risk patients to prevent complications.
His work includes studies of brain injury related to surgery, stroke, low oxygen blood levels or cardiac arrest, as well as methods to mitigate vasovagal syncope, a common cause of fainting that occurs when the part of the nervous system that regulates heart rate and blood pressure malfunctions in response to a trigger, such as the sight of blood. He also specializes in the use of transesophageal echocardiography, a type of ultrasound used to rapidly assess cardiac function and potential complications before, during and immediately after surgery.
Applegate earned his medical degree in 1982 from Loma Linda University School of Medicine and graduated from the Loma Linda University School of Medicine Department of Anesthesiology Residency Program in 1985. He completed a fellowship in advanced clinical anesthesiology at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine in 1986, advancing through the ranks at Loma Linda to become assistant professor in 1987, associate professor in 1993 and professor in 1999.
During his tenure, Moore expanded academic programs in research, education and clinical practice. He founded the UC Davis Center for Virtual Care, adopting developments in information technology and virtual reality to establish a rich learning environment to further knowledge, concepts and clinical decision-making in perioperative care. He also established a total quality management program for surgical patients in 1995, adopting evidence-based medicine protocols to improve patient outcomes and efficiencies of care for patients.
As department chair, Applegate receives an annual base salary of $217,100. Additional compensation information is available upon request.