David Wilks, M.D.

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Board Certification: Anesthesiology

Medical School: University of Pittsburgh

Residency: University of Pittsburgh

Faculty Rank: Professor

Special Clinical/Research Interests:Education/Medical Simulation

Is there a particular population of students (e.g., ethnicity, spiritual, sexual orientation) that you would particularly like to advise?

LGBTQ; Atheist

What does a typical day in the life of an Anesthesiologist include?

Most anesthesiologists are primarily involved in managing anesthetics for surgery both general anesthesia and regional anesthesia. Others are involved in Intensive Care Units and in the management of pain both acute and chronic.

What is the biggest challenge of being an Anesthesiologist?

1. Designing an anesthetic plan which will optimize a patient’s outcome.
2. Most anesthetics proceed relatively uneventfully, but when they don’t the anesthesiologist must be expert at managing a medical crisis.

How do you foresee Anesthesiology changing over the next 20 years?

Anesthesiologists will be providing care to a greater degree out of the hospital, in office and clinic settings. Anesthesiologists will particularly expand chronic pain services.

What advice would you give a student who is considering an Anesthesiology residency?

The American Board of anesthesiology has decided to reemphasize the basic science which is the foundation of the specialty. Indeed, they are instituting a Part I written board to emphasize these principles. I would advise the student entering medical school with an interest in Anesthesiology to emphasize physiology and pharmacology training.