Leaving a Legacy
Described as a hard-working farmer’s son from Owensboro, Kentucky, Dr. Mark Newman has become a pioneer in the field of perioperative neurologic research. Best known for his two decades of research on cognitive dysfunction and quality of life following coronary artery bypass graft surgery, Dr. Newman has played a significant role in defining the demographic, procedural and genetic risk factors for postsurgical cognitive decline. His discoveries regarding the management of body temperature and glucose levels to improve cognitive outcomes are widely used today.
He earned a medical degree at the University of Louisville School of Medicine in Kentucky and completed residency in anesthesiology at Wilford Hall United States Air Force Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. He discovered his passion for the field of anesthesia while completing a cardiothoracic anesthesiology fellowship at Duke under the mentorship of then chairman, Dr. Joseph “Jerry” Reves. After completing his fellowship, Dr. Newman spent a number of years in the Air Force where he honed his leadership skills and gained an appreciation for the importance of contributing to the greater good. He returned to Duke as faculty, determined to improve perioperative patient outcomes. During the next nine years, he rose to the ranks of a division chief and chairman with a mission to advance the department.
During his chairmanship, Dr. Newman placed a strong emphasis on development. He notably created five endowed professorships, a faculty mentorship program and the Academic Career Enrichment Scholars (ACES) Program which equips trainees with the skills and experience necessary for successful careers in academic anesthesiology. He has trained and mentored more than 30 cardiothoracic anesthesiology fellows at Duke. In addition to being the first medical director of the Global Perioperative Research Organization, Dr. Newman developed the Multicenter Perioperative Outcomes Research Group and initiated a Perioperative Genomics Group that collected valuable information about the genetic predictors and mechanisms behind myocardial infarction and perioperative organ injury in effort to improve patient safety and postoperative outcomes. Thanks to Dr. Newman’s unwavering commitment to patient care and relentless pursuit of knowledge, he has elevated Duke Anesthesiology to be one of the best anesthesiology departments in the world.