Past Leadership

The Department of Anesthesiology salutes those who have dedicated their time and talents to our faculty, residents and trainees.

Department of Anesthesiology Past Leadership

  • Margaret Wood, M.D.

    E.M. Papper Professor Emerita of Anesthesiology; Chairman Emerita of Anesthesiology

    Dr. Margaret Wood received her medical degree from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland.  Following anesthesiology residency training in Scotland at the Dundee Teaching Hospitals, she came to the United States for fellowship training at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN.  She joined the Vanderbilt faculty with appointments in both the departments of anesthesiology and pharmacology and rose through the ranks to become Professor of Anesthesiology with tenure in 1986, and Division Chief for Cardiac Anesthesia.  In 1995 she was recruited to Columbia University as the E.M. Papper Professor and Chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology at Columbia University.  She was the first woman to chair a clinical department at Columbia University, a position that she held until June 30th, 2016.

    Dr. Wood has conducted extensive research in anesthesia, has published more than 140 articles and book chapters and lectured extensively.  She co-authored two editions of the anaesthesiology textbook, Drugs and Anaesthesia: Pharmacology for Anesthesiologists. She has served on the boards of several medical journals, including the journal Anesthesiology, and numerous committees and boards for national societies and organizations.  She has advised the Federal Government through her service on the Food and Drug Administration’s Anesthetic and Life Support Drugs Advisory Committee, and served as the Chairman of the ACGME Residency Review Committee for Anesthesiology.

    She was the first woman to be elected as president of the Association of University Anaesthesiologists and has written and spoken on the issue of promoting gender diversity in academic medicine.  Dr. Wood was the 2016 recipient of the Foundation for Anesthesiology, Education and Research (FAER) Research Mentoring Award.   In 2008, Dr. Wood was recognized by the award of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa from The University of Dundee, Scotland.

    At Columbia University she built the Department of Anesthesiology into one of the highest ranked departments in the US, with its Residency Program one of the most competitive programs with 104 residents. The Department also built its subspecialist-training programs to more than 35 post residency fellows across subspecialty programs representing every ACGME recognized program in Anesthesiology.  Research Funding was increased substantially so that the Department consistently ranked in the top 10 in NIH funding nationally.  Dr. Wood strengthened the subspecialty divisions of the Department and expanded the breadth and depth of its research portfolio including the creation of an Epidemiology Center for Population Research.

    In 2016, after more than 20 years as Chairman Dr. Wood stepped down as chairman and is now a Special Lecturer and Professor Emerita at Columbia University.  She remains active as mentor, teacher and lecturer.

  • Robert N. Sladen, MBChB, FCCM

    Allen Hyman Professor Emeritus of Critical Care Anesthesiology at CUMC

    Dr. Sladen is a native of South Africa who graduated Summa cum Laude from the University of Cape Town Medical School. He trained in internal medicine in South Africa and England, anesthesiology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and critical care medicine at Stanford University.

    Following two decades on faculty at Stanford and Duke University, Dr. Sladen was recruited to Columbia in 1997 by Dr. Margaret Wood as Executive Vice-Chair of Anesthesiology, Chief of the Division of Critical Care Medicine (CCM), and Medical Director of the Cardiothoracic and Surgical Intensive Care Units (CTICU, SICU). 

    Over the next 18 years, Dr. Sladen built an Anesthesiology-led critical care faculty that provides care for nearly 3000 patients per year, and supervision and training of anesthesiology and surgery residents, physician assistants and acute care nurse practitioners.  Dr. Sladen taught critical care to generations of fellows, residents and medical students in the classroom and at the bedside.  As Program Director of the Anesthesiology Critical Care Medicine (ACCM) Fellowship he trained more than 100 ACCM Fellows, whose subsequent careers have contributed to the program’s reputation as one of the best in the country. 

    In 1998 Dr. Sladen created and managed the Departmental Annual Academic Evening, now in its 20th year.  In the same year he launched weekly CUMC Critical Care Grand Rounds (CCGR), which became a “home” for all CCM practitioners at CUMC.  In 2015 Dr. Sladen was elected Physician of the Year at CUMC, and in the same year became the first incumbent of the Allen Hyman Professorship of Critical Care Anesthesiology.

    Dr. Sladen received prestigious teaching awards at Stanford, Duke and Columbia, was elected to the Virginia Apgar Teaching Academy in 2010.  In 2013 his past ACCM Fellows persuaded the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) to name him the national Shubin-Weil Master Clinician.  During his tenure in our Department, Dr. Sladen served as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS); President of the Association of Anesthesiology Subspecialty Program Directors (AASPD); President of the Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists (SOCCA), which in 2009 awarded him its Lifetime Achievement Award; and a Director on the Board of the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiology (SCA), which in 2018 awarded him its Distinguished Service Award.

    At the end of 2015, Dr. Sladen retired from clinical practice at CUMC with the title of Allen Hyman Professor Emeritus of Critical Care Anesthesiology.  He has continued to be actively engaged in teaching, clinical research and academic work at Columbia.