• Research Day 2022

    Research Day 2022


    Thank you to everyone who attended the UAB Heersink School of Medicine Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine’s second annual Research Day on Monday, May 9, 2022. Congratulations to the following abstract award winners:

    • Best Resident Abstract: Andrew Moss, M.D., for “Sugammadex versus neostigmine for routine reversal of neuromuscular blockade: a retrospective analysis of the effect on perioperative efficiency"
    • Best Non-Resident Abstract: Erin Yepsen for “Influenza A virus increases susceptibility to Streptococcus pneumoniae by acidifying the airway surface liquid" 

    Congratulations are also in order for the following winners, based on outstanding poster presentations:

    • Resident 1st Runner Up: Damien Knudson, M.D., for “UAB code blue data and reliability of emergency suction equipment"
    • Resident 2nd Runner Up: Sanjin Tankovic, M.D., for “Secondary infections and clinical outcomes in patients with COVID-19 infection at UABMC"
    • Non-Resident 1st Runner Up: Salvador Lopez for “Optogenetic stimulation produces afferent-driven urinary bladder detrusor contractions and voiding in a murine model of spinal cord injury”
    • Non-resident 2nd Runner Up: Spring Li for “Regulation of matrix protein expression in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis”
  • Nagi Appointed Interim Vice Chair for the Division of Pain Medicine

    nagiThe following is an announcement from Alfred Habeeb Professor and Chair Dan E. Berkowitz, M.D.

    After a rigorous search committee process, it is with great pleasure that the UAB Heersink School of Medicine Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine announces the appointment of Peter Nagi, M.D., Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, as the Interim Vice Chair for the Division of Pain Medicine. 

    As many of you know, Dr. Nagi is not new to this role – as he led the division with much vigor and enthusiasm from 2016 until 2020. 

    Dr. Nagi is extraordinarily qualified and positioned to lead the division in times that are not only challenging, but also filled with tremendous opportunity for expansion and growth. He completed his Pain Medicine Fellowship at Duke University in 2006, and then joined our department’s faculty. Dr. Nagi led our Pain Medicine Fellowship until 2013 and became the Director of the UAB Pain Treatment Clinic at UAB Hospital-Highlands until 2016. He then took on the leadership role of Director of the division, and now Interim Vice Chair.

    Dr. Nagi’s calm and engaging demeanor, consensus-building leadership style, and deep experience and institutional knowledge will serve our department well in this critical time for the division. Additionally, his experience in education, quality, and clinical research will enable him to guide the division’s path moving forward. 

    I am optimistic that with the shared engagement and vision of the faculty, Dr. Nagi will be able to help the division negotiate an even brighter future.  

    I am also tremendously grateful to the search committee, under the chairmanship of Ben Tuck, M.D., for their hard work and engagement in a fair, in-depth, and procedurally just process under the guidance of Beth Duggan, M.D.

  • Sherrer Appointed Inaugural Director of Faculty Recruitment

    The following is an announcement from Alfred Habeeb Professor and Chair Dan E. Berkowitz, M.D.

    As we are all aware, the manpower landscape has changed, making recruitment significantly more challenging. As such, we are obliged to “up our game” when it comes to the entire process of recruitment, from our marketing plan to the ultimate onboarding of our newly recruited faculty and beyond. 

    Sherrer MattThis strategy requires a dedicated team, with strategic resources and a commitment to the process and its iterative improvement. Given the importance and urgency of the process, I have asked Matt Sherrer, M.D., M.B.A., FASA, to lead the launch and initiation of this critically important initiative, and be our inaugural Director of Faculty Recruitment. Once the process and program are up and running and on solid ground, we will look to proceed with a search for a permanent leader.  

    Dr. Sherrer joined our department three years ago after leading a private practice group in the Birmingham area for a number of years. His investment in leadership led him to recently complete his executive M.B.A. at Samford University. Since he joined the department, Dr. Sherrer has taken on and embraced the role as an informal department ambassador. He has been an active member of our ACTOC Committee, demonstrating extraordinary leadership and courage in the process. He has also led our Wellness Committee and spearheaded the “Transition to Practice” curriculum, engaging our residents in teaching about teaming, leadership, and emotional intelligence. He has lectured nationally on “Collectively Intelligent Teams” and is emerging as a thought leader in this area. 

    Dr. Sherrer’s highly innovative ideas and approach to enhancing recruitment caught my attention and the attention of other departmental leadership. Some of his ideas are already being implemented with great success.

    We welcome Dr. Sherrer to this role, and encourage everyone to engage and help in this most important activity: building our department with the most outstanding people we can to provide the best care possible.

  • Hussey Appointed Associate Fellowship Director, Obstetrics

    Hanna Hussey, MDThe UAB Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine is pleased to announce that Assistant Professor Hanna Hussey, M.D., has assumed the role of Associate Fellowship Director for the department’s Obstetric Anesthesiology Fellowship. In this role, she will be working with Mark Powell, M.D., Director of the Obstetric Anesthesiology Fellowship.

    Dr. Hussey graduated from Florida State University. She completed her Anesthesia residency at Columbia University and Obstetric Anesthesia fellowship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine. We were extremely fortunate to retain Dr. Hussey as a faculty member in our department.

    She is a member of multiple professional societies, including the American Society of Anesthesiologists, International Anesthesia Research Society, American College of Physicians, American Medical Association, and Society of Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology.

    Dr. Hussey is an outstanding clinician and dedicated educator. In her short time with us, she has enthusiastically and deeply embedded herself in the Obstetric Anesthesia section. Her research interests include management of high-risk obstetric cardiac anesthesia, health care disparities in the obstetric population, and educational programs for trainees involving neuraxial anesthesiology.

    Dr. Hussey has already been highly involved in committees to better our department, and we look forward to seeing the transformative advancements she will bring as a result of her new role.

  • Women of Anesthesiology: Leading the Residency Program and Its Success

    Each fall, hundreds of applicants from across the country go through the rigorous interview process to become a resident in the UAB Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine Residency Program. The competition is fierce to enter this program, and for good reason. UAB’s anesthesiology residency program is ranked among the top programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, and boasts 21 residents each year who are given the opportunity to advance in their endeavors through research, education, and clinical practice.

    To see why this program is so successful and continues to grow and flourish, it’s important to recognize the leaders responsible for the intricate details of the program and the changes they have implemented to make the program stand out among its competitors.

    Black Susan smcrIgniting the Flame

    Vice Chair for Education Susan Black, M.D., is a professor and served as program director for UAB’s anesthesiology residency program for 15 years. After completing an extensive educational background – attending the University of Alabama at Birmingham Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine, serving her residency and fellowship at the Mayo Clinic, and holding faculty roles at the Mayo Clinic, Loyola University, and the University of Florida – she returned to her alma mater to lead the next generation of anesthesiologists.

    During her time at UAB and as residency program director, Black has worked tirelessly to create an educational environment that is well-rounded and seeks to develop all aspects of the residents’ career goals. Success cannot happen without change, and its under her leadership that many adjustments have been made to mold the program into what it is today. Some areas to credit to her leadership include:

    National Recognition: Under Black’s leadership, the residency program has gained national attention, with residents matching from across the United States and residents finding fellowships and practice opportunities nationwide.

    Program Expansion: Not only has the residency program grown to an impressive 21 residents per class, but the fellowship programs have expanded to five accredited fellowships (18 positions per year) and two unaccredited fellowships. The new clinical base year (PGY-1) has also been created, and the education leadership has expanded to include a full-time Ph.D. medical educator.

    Research and Education Growth: As program director, Black developed two research tracks: Resident Mentored Research Experience Track (RMRET) and the Systematic Training in Anesthesia Research (STAR). In terms of education, all trainees focus on quality improvement and patient safety, with the option to participate in a certification program leading to Certification in Medical Quality (CMQ).

    Leadership Development: Black implemented the department’s resident leadership training program, Leadership Education and Development (LEAD), a unique opportunity for residents to pursue master’s degrees in Healthcare Administration, Healthcare Quality, Public Health, and/or obtain certification in Medical Quality and Transesophageal Echocardiography during their residency. (Since its inception, 50 residents have successfully completed the LEAD program.) She has also mentored junior faculty in leadership roles specific to education and advocated to increase recruitment for URiM (Underrepresented in Medicine) and female candidates.

    Carter_T.jpgPassing the Torch

    As Black recently stepped down from her role as residency program director, she passed the torch to more-than-capable hands. Tekuila Carter, M.D., assumed the role on Sept. 1, 2021, and is looking forward to mentoring and training the next generation of anesthesiologists.

    “The success of our anesthesiology residency belongs to our people,” Carter says. “Our residents and fellows are an enthusiastic, dedicated, and exceptional group.”

    Carter began her career path in medical school at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, followed by her residency at the University of Virginia and Vanderbilt University, and obstetric anesthesia fellowship at Vanderbilt – where she was also a faculty member before coming to UAB in 2015. She has truly led by example during her time at UAB in many capacities, including, but not limited to:

    Medical Education: Carter has served the department in many leadership capacities; most recently as the associate residency program director and simulation director for anesthesiology simulation. She has chaired various residency committees (Clinical Competency and Program Evaluation committees) and was instrumental in attaining MOCA (Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology) for the residency program.

    Mentorship: Since coming to UAB, Carter has served others within the program – 29 medical students, 10 residents, 3 fellows, and 5 junior faculty – as a mentor. She also impacted other medical students as a lead mentor as part of the UAB Heersink School of Medicine’s formalized Learning Community.

    Community Involvement: Carter has carried her leadership expertise into the community as well. She served on the Young Professional Board for the UAB Minority Health & Health Disparities Research Center, where she helped to raised funds for the Healthy Happy Kids Childhood Obesity Project. She also served as a member of the Mineral District Medical Society, an affiliate of the National Medical Association.

    Lighting the Future of Anesthesiology

    Both Black and Carter have shown, through their actions, leadership, and direct involvement with the department as well as the community, how vital collaboration and camaraderie with others is to creating a well-rounded, impactful education experience with the UAB Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine.

    For all anesthesiologists, Carter emphasizes the importance of growth and perseverance. “You never know if you can do it unless you try, and everyone needs help to be successful,” she says. “None of us are perfect, and making mistakes is part of the learning process. However, you must learn from them so that they are not repeated.”

    “Learn from the anesthesiologists around you – identify aspects of their clinical practice, communication, and leadership that work well and incorporate them into your practice,” says Black when offering words of wisdom for other anesthesiologists. “Find your niche, that aspect of your profession that you enjoy, and excel at it.”

    Click here for more information about the UAB Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine’s Residency Program.

  • Lawson Named Director of Pain Medicine Fellowship

    News & EventsNews & Events

    Prentiss Lawson Jr., M.D., Program DirectorPrentiss Lawson, Jr., M.D., has been named the new director of the Pain Medicine Fellowship Program for the UAB Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine.

    Lawson is currently an assistant professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine. He graduated from the Heersink School of Medicine, and then completed his residency in anesthesia at UAB. After completing a pain medicine fellowship at the University of Virginia, he returned to join the UAB faculty.

    His clinical practice and research interests include regional anesthesia for perioperative and other acute pain management and the interventional and integrative treatment of chronic spinal pain, peripheral joint pain, and other chronic pain syndromes. Lawson believes in a patient-centered, holistic approach to helping patients cope with chronic pain and that general health and wellness are fundamental to building resiliency. In addition to patient care at UAB Medicine, he has served as a faculty mentor for numerous residents and fellows and aided in recruitment as well as clinical competence review.

    Lawson has been invited as a guest lecturer on various pain medicine topics at several national meetings. He also participates in regular lectures for other programs within the UAB School of Health Professions. His involvement on teams that have developed early recovery protocols has led to the improved perioperative care and pain management of surgical patients. He was recently certified in medical acupuncture and hopes to bring this to his clinical practice soon.

    The department looks forward to seeing the growth and development of the fellowship under Lawson’s thoughtful and innovative guidance.

    Note: The department would also like to thank Alethia Sellers, M.D., for her outstanding stewardship of the fellowship during the last eight years. She led the successful recruitment and training of dozens of pain medicine fellows, and her wise council and help during this important transition has been greatly appreciated.

  • Birmingham recommendations from our 2020 resident recruitment directors

    Recruitment Directors 2020

    We asked our resident recruitment directors to share some of their favorite places to visit. Read below to find out how they enjoy spending their time outside the hospital. 

  • Theresa Northern, DO, MPH, featured on UAB MedCast

    Northern MedCast
    In a recent episode of UAB MedCast, Theresa Northern, DO, MPH, sat down to discuss best practices relating to anesthesia, intubation, and airway management during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Listen to Dr. Northern's episode here. All podcasts are eligible for CME credit

  • Rapid REINVENT

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our regular Spring REINVENT cycle was deferred and the Rapid REINVENT program was implemented in April. The purpose of the program was to promote and encourage innovation in COVID-19 research. Seven projects received funding in the first cycle in April and five projects received funding in May. Congratulations to those awarded!

  • Congratulations to Our Graduates!

    2017 graduation

    The department held its 2017 resident and fellow graduation on Friday, June 2, at B&A Warehouse. We had a record turnout (nearly 200 guests) and a terrific time!

  • Meet the Chiefs: Charles Warren, M.D.

    Warren Chaz


    Our days typically start early but I try to check emails and get started with some coffee before heading into work. Ideally, I have reviewed my cases for the next day and arrive to prepare my OR and to converse with my patients, as well as the surgery team, if needed. The number and types of cases we do as residents varies tremendously from day-to-day, which is great for training. After I am relieved from the OR, I typically prepare for the next day’s cases and read/study before dinner plans. (I probably eat out too much, but I still enjoy cooking with my wife a couple times per week). 

  • Meet the Chiefs: John Briggs, M.D.

    Briggs John


    Get up, usually between 4:30 and 5, to a brewing pot of coffee. A quick shower helps to wake me up, and I get ready quickly. Then I'm off to the OR for whatever the day may hold: new blocks, interesting cases, and always something to learn. At the end of the day, I head home to my beautiful wife and get ready for the next day.

  • Meet the Chiefs: Nicole McCoy, M.D.



    A day as an anesthesia resident starts EARLY! We set up our assigned operating room prior to 6 a.m. lecture then start our cases around 7 a.m. Most days, residents are relieved by the call team or late-stay CRNAs at 3 p.m., which is a huge bonus of training at UAB. After 3 p.m., we are typically able to take moonlighting call, study, exercise, or spend time with family and friends. Every evening we call the attending to establish a plan for the following day’s cases. The days are long but fun and full of learning from patients, attendings, and upper-level residents.

  • 2018 Match Day Results

    On behalf of Susan Black, M.D.:

    I am pleased to tell you that we had a very strong interview season, filling our 21 positions with a very diverse group of physicians. These physicians are all joining our four-year categorical residency program in June 2018:

  • Meet the Chiefs: Michael Osunsanmi, M.D.



    A typical day usually begins with some form of preparation to care for a patient, whether it be setting up your OR, setting up for a regional anesthetic, or rounding on patients in the unit. It usually ends just before you've exhausted your mental capacity for the day in an attempt to take the best care of patients that you can. 

  • Meet the Chiefs: Blake Norman, M.D.



    For most OR rotations, we arrive to the OR by 5:30 a.m. to set up then attend morning lecture before heading to holding to meet our first patient of the morning. Cases generally start at 7:00 a.m. and residents are relieved at 3:00 p.m. to do their call duties, moonlighting, studies, or extracurricular activities. We generally spend some of this time reviewing our cases for the next day and discussing the anesthetic plan with our attending.

  • Meet the Chiefs: Ryne Schlitz, M.D.



    The typical day depends on the rotation, but we usually arrive around 5:30 to set up our OR prior to morning conference. Cases start at 7:00 (or 8:00 on Tuesday), and residents are relived at 3:00 unless on-call or participating in internal moonlighting.

  • Alumnus Brian Barki, M.D., on Nat Geo Show

    161207 The Surgery Ship TV Series Mercy Ships 0084. lo res

    Dr. Brian Barki, who completed his residency with the UAB Department of Anesthesiology in 2012, is featured on a new Nat Geo show. Called The Surgery Ship,it details the dramatic stories that take place aboard a ship that docks in the poorest sections of West Africa to provide life-saving care for patients who otherwise would go without. The show has begun airing in Europe and Australia—stay tuned for U.S. dates. Meanwhile, we caught up with Dr. Barki about the experience.

  • 100% Pass Rate!

    Dr. Lee Ann Riesenberg, Associate Director Education, reports that everyone who recently took the American Board of Medical Qualty (AMBQ) exam passed.

  • Meet the Chiefs: Michelle Tubinis, M.D.

    TubinisWe asked our 2016-17 chief residents to share their thoughts on the job. MeetMichelle Tubinis, M.D.