Director QA/QI for Department of Anesthesiology
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology
Divisions of Adult General and Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology
Washington University in St. Louis
(Previously in private practice for two years at Clearlake Regional Hospital)
Why did you choose a fellowship at THI/Baylor? What do you think sets the fellowship at THI/Baylor apart from others?
When I began to look at programs, THI was a place I was interested in because one of my residency attending’s (Rachel Gryta), had recently graduated from there. Seeing the Texas Medical Center for the first time was amazing for me. The scale of it is hard to comprehend without seeing it in person. The interview day gave deep insight into daily life as a THI fellow. The attendings were personable but very knowledgeable (I recognized several from recent publications and SCA meetings). The fellows were independent and highly productive (high numbers of big cases like TAAA, VADS and transplants, no issues getting TEEs, ability to moonlight easily in the system). I felt I had a good sense of what my day-to-day life would be and for me personally and professionally THI was the best fit.
Looking back on your time here at THI/Baylor, what stands out to you about your training?
After fellowship, I felt very strong clinically going into a fast-paced PP experience in Houston. What I did not appreciate until coming back to academics, was the acuity of the care we gave at THI. THI is a referral center for the entire United States (especially for aorta work). The hands-on environment made me a very strong anesthesiologist, not just in the OR but in trauma cases and vascular surgeries. I have become a true consultant in regards to hemodynamics, and challenging and coagulopathic patients.
Was your fellowship experience helpful in obtaining your current position?
Absolutely! Beyond developing my clinical skills and being able to become certified in advanced perioperative transesophageal echocardiography, THI is a standout on any CV. Both anesthesiologists and surgeons are intrigued about the historical and current practices at THI. It’s known for producing smart and clinically sound anesthesiologists (a total package). The faculty at THI are well known with numerous publishing’s and presentations (I was able to publish in a major journal and present at SCA during my year); which helped me obtain an academic position.
How did your fellowship at THI/Baylor help prepare you for your current practice?
My training afforded me the luxury to feel confident enough to walk into any large academic institution and participate in any case that was presented to me, even TAAAs where I’m at an expert level.
Can you provide one anecdote from your time here that reflects your positive experience here?
July 1, my first day of fellowship, I was in a Joseph Coselli Bentall procedure when I realized that I was having a conversation with one of the world’s best surgeons about whether they should spare or replace the aortic valve. It was great!”
How was your experience living in Houston?
I fell in love with Houston during my fellowship. Houston has a distinctly metropolitan feel (great museums and public parks) with all the benefits of living in Southern Texas (nice winter weather, proximity to the beach and RODEO). The food scene is second to none. I also had two young children during fellowship. There is good childcare in TMC (the YMCA) with pretty robust hours.