The Division of Obstetric Anesthesiology provides dedicated 24-hour, in-house obstetric anesthesia care for approximately 4,500 deliveries at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) annually, over half of which are considered high risk. The division also provides anesthesia services for approximately 2,500 gynecologic surgical procedures in a suite of three operating rooms adjacent to the labor and delivery unit. In addition to offering the full complement of techniques for labor analgesia, the division provides consultation and critical care management services for high-risk obstetric patients, as well as specialized anesthesia care for fetal surgery.
Trainees in the Division of Obstetric Anesthesiology, including both residents (four each month) and fellows, receive extensive experience in the care of clinically challenging patients. In 2012, under the leadership of program director Michael Richardson, MD, the Vanderbilt obstetric anesthesia fellowship program received Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accreditation. The Vanderbilt program was among the first 11 programs in the country to receive ACGME accreditation. Three fellows have completed their training since accreditation was received. In 2015, the ACGME approved a request for expansion of the fellowship program to two fellows per year, beginning in July, 2016.
The Division of Obstetric Anesthesiology is directed by David H. Chestnut, MD, who came to Vanderbilt from Gundersen Health System and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in 2014. Dr. Chestnut is the senior editor of Chestnut’s Obstetric Anesthesia: Principles and Practice. The fifth edition of this textbook was published in 2014. He has a longstanding reputation for innovative clinical and laboratory research, as well as leadership in anesthesiology education and certification.
The Division of Obstetric Anesthesiology includes eight faculty anesthesiologists and six CRNAs whose primary focus is obstetric anesthesia, as well as one administrative assistant. All of the division’s faculty anesthesiologists have completed specialized obstetric anesthesia training and have extensive experience in obstetric anesthesia care, neuraxial anesthesia, and acute pain management.