The Next Fifty Years of Duke Anesthesiology
Duke Anesthesiology has an incredibly broad sphere of influence. What began here in Durham has spread not only across the nation, but also across oceans, to countries all around the globe. Our research efforts have impacted those who explore the depths of the ocean, those who brave the heights of Mount Everest, and so much in-between. The department’s influence is, quite literally, out of this world, thanks to collaboration with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Furthermore, we treat an exceedingly broad patient population—from the unborn child to the geriatric—across the spectrum of human injury and illness. It seems there are no limits to Duke Anesthesiology’s outrageous ambition.
The astonishing growth the department has enjoyed in the past 50 years can be credited to a steadfast dedication to our department’s mission: Extraordinary care through a unique culture of innovation, education, research, and professional growth. This shared vision and the passion that fuels it have led Duke Anesthesiology to its rightful place among the greatest anesthesiology departments in the world. As we look to the next 50 years of Duke Anesthesiology, we will continue to fulfill our mission in the following ways:
- We will continue to be compassionate clinicians and treat our patients with respect and dignity.
- We will continue to pursue cutting-edge basic, translational, and clinical research, which will directly impact patient care and quality of life.
- We will be leaders in pain management, and will continue to explore the connection between acute and chronic pain, and find new ways to combat its devastating outcome.
- We will continue to refine and analyze our patient outcome databases to identify the many long-term effects of anesthesia and surgery on the human body.
- We will find ways to facilitate better patient recoveries, shorter hospital stays, and fewer complications by mastering cutting-edge techniques, particularly regional
- We will actively seek out patient populations in great need and develop unique approaches to treat these individuals through our global initiatives and dedicated programs, such as the Veteran’s Injury Pain Research (VIPR) initiative to support wounded war heroes.
- We will make the most of the many exciting new facilities that are currently under construction on Duke’s campus and will be good stewards of our resources so that we can develop these centers to their full potential.
A Unique Culture of Innovation
- We will cherish the spirit of ingenuity that is a part of Duke Anesthesiology’s legacy and will allow this spirit to permeate every aspect of what we do professionally, particularly in our education and research programs.
- We will pioneer new technologies and refine those already in use, such as transesophageal echocardiography (TEE), ultrasound for regional anesthesia, and continuous peripheral nerve blocks.
- We will recruit trainees and faculty who exhibit creativity and ambition.
- We will continue to develop programs that reward and inspire our faculty, such as the department’s annual DREAM Innovation Grant (DIG).
- We will empower the leaders of tomorrow through our educational programs and constantly explore new ways to enhance these programs.
- We will continue to mentor physician scientists who share our passion for solving problems and for discovering new approaches to patient care through innovative programs, such as Academic Career Enrichment Scholars (ACES) and NIH-funded training grants, which inspire medical students, residents, and fellows alike.
- We will be leaders in educational technology and will continue to explore the power of interactive games and simulation that are made possible by departmental programs and centers like the Human Simulation and Patient Safety Center (HSPSC).
- We will identify new ways to protect the body’s vital organs and systems from response to various forms of disease, injury, and stress that may compromise a patient’s health and wellbeing.
- We will improve quality of life by reducing the incidence of negative outcomes, such as postoperative nausea and vomiting, and cognitive decline.
- We will optimize drug development and delivery through investments in our Human Pharmacology Lab that will yield a better understanding of perioperative pharmaco-dynamics and pharmacokinetics.
- We will gain insight into the health and homeostasis of the human body through study of free radical biology, oxygen biochemistry, and mitochondrial function.
- We will make breakthroughs in perioperative genomics and identify new genetic variants associated with perioperative adverse events.
- We will seek to advance our knowledge of the nuances of neuroplasticity and the various mechanisms by which acute pain can develop into chronic pain.
- We will continue to explore the role of anesthesia in perioperative morbidity and mortality through an expansion of perioperative databases. We will improve patient safety through better teamwork, communication, and standardization of clinical practices.
- We will treat one another with kindness and respect, and help our colleagues develop their careers.
- We will mentor leaders of tomorrow.
- We will improve patient safety by enhancing teamwork, communication, and standardization of clinical programs through the development of new centers, such as the VAMC’s Patient Safety Center of Inquiry (PSCI), and new protocols, such as the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) program.
- We will continue to expand our off-site locations, as we have done at Durham Regional Hospital and Duke Raleigh Hospital.
- We will demonstrate the value the anesthesiologist brings to the medical field through innovation, research, and the anesthesia care team model.
- We will collaborate with advanced practice providers to make anesthesia and analgesia safer for our patients.
- We will recruit and retain world-class faculty through endowed professorships and philanthropic organizations like the Developing Research Excellence in Anesthesia Management (DREAM) Campaign.
We are filled with pride as we reflect on our distinguished past. We honor the leaders of the past and those who have left Duke to lead elsewhere, looking to them as a source of knowledge as we learn from both their challenges and successes.
We are filled with excitement as we experience our present, because of the work of our current faculty members as well as the accomplishments of over 1,000 alumni and former faculty in both private practice and academia who are a part of our family.
We are filled with optimism as we look to our future. Some may claim that our goals are too ambitious, pointing to the many foreseeable challenges, such as the mounting cost of national healthcare, impending healthcare reform, and an ever-increasing patient population. At Duke, however, we believe that it is this very ambition that will ensure our future success. Like those who came before us, we will greet this change with open arms, using it as a catalyst to propel the department forward.
With our mission to guide us, and our passion to sustain us, we will take control of our own destiny. There are no limits to what can be achieved in the next 50 years of Duke Anesthesiology. Our story has only just begun.