History of the Department
The Tulane Department of Anesthesiology was founded in 1975 by Robert Kirby, M.D., when the Medical School built a new state of the art hospital for New Orleans. Since that time, the Department has anesthetized a broad variety of patients for general surgery, orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, ENT, urology, and cardiac, pediatric, and obstetrical cases, committing itself to serving the medical needs of the community, both locally and regionally.
By 1981, Alan Grogono, M.D., had come from SUNY Syracuse to take the helm of the Department of Anesthesiology. Grog, as he was known, formalized many aspects of the department by creating a mission statement, instituting a more formal lecture schedule, and creating a joint Morbidity & Mortality conference with the Department of Surgery. Grog also created the New Orleans Anesthesia Society, a medical student anesthesia interest group, and coordinated regular Continuing Medical Education (CME) courses and other educational meetings between Tulane and our colleagues at LSU and Ochsner.
The principal focus of the department was excellence in education. A series of talented Residency Coordinators, including Drs. Donald Hutchings, Karen Cheshire, Usha Ramadhyani, Sheryl Smith, Alan Kaye, and Corey Scher, established principles, generated enthusiasm, and arranged appropriate rotations to specialist hospitals. In consequence the department grew steadily, and, at its peak, there were about eighteen faculty and thirty residents.
Also In the 1980s, Jeff Mandel, M.D., Grog, and Mr. Steve Garcia implemented the first computer network at Tulane with a number of faculty Apple computers that functioned as the original Tulane email server for years. In 1986, Grog and John Youngberg, M.D., introduced the Mardi Gras Anesthesia Update, a very popular CME refresher course in anesthesia. Six years later, they introduced the New Orleans Anesthesiology Comprehensive Review and, with the help of Girish Moudgil, M.D., attracted nationally recognized speakers to provide educational material for those preparing for their Board Exams. In 1988, Bobby Nossaman, M.D., and Micheal Gold, M.D., opened the first multi-disciplinary pain clinic in the city, and Bobby established the first medical student rotations, with lectures and demonstrations. In the meantime, Dr. Ramadhyani and Donald Smith, M.D., set up formal pediatrics rotations and did the first pediatric heart transplant in the state of Louisiana. Smith also expanded and maintained an ever more sophisticated array of anesthesia monitoring with the legendary anesthesia tech Val.
By the mid-90s, Jonathan Jahr, M.D., was a key organizer for the liver transplant program at Tulane. Dr. Nossaman got the research mission fully operational, yielding over 50 basic science publications. As residency director, Nossaman also performed the impressive feat of getting a full, five-year accreditation of the residency program without comment by the Residency Review Committee.
In 1998, Yoogoo Kang, M.D., came from Pittsburgh to be Chairman of the Department and to help expand Tulane's liver transplant program. Mel Gitlin, M.D., took over the reins as Interim Chair in 1999 and became the official Chairman in 2002. After Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, only 15 of 30 residents returned. Charles Fox, M.D., took over as Interim Chairman in 2007 while a national search was conducted. Frank Rosinia, M.D., of Parish Management Consultants became the Chairman of Anesthesia in July 2008. Looking to the future, Dr. Rosinia has been working tirelessly to further develop the offerings of the Department of Anesthesiology, expanding its research wing and encouraging faculty and residents alike to publish papers, attend conferences, and increase the prestige of the department. Already a vital and growing force in anesthesia practice and education in New Orleans and the Gulf South, the department is constantly looking forward in its efforts not only to better the services provided to patients, but also to contribute knowledge and expertise to the field of anesthesiology. For this reason, the department seeks only the best of future residents and retains only the finest of faculty.
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