Obstetric Anesthesia


The mission of the Division of Obstetric Anesthesiology is to create and foster an environment of excellence in clinical care, learning, and inquiry and to provide exceptional and compassionate care to every woman during pregnancy and childbirth. We train future leaders in anesthesiology and medicine and inspire them to conduct ethical research that contributes to the advancement of obstetric anesthesiology and perinatology.

The Division of Obstetric Anesthesia at Columbia University is the recipitent of the SOAP Center of Excellence Designation (2019).


Our division provides services at the Sloane Hospital for Women at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital main campus (approximately 5000 annual deliveries) and at the Allen Hospital (approximately 2000 annual deliveries). A great number of high-risk or critically ill parturients require close consultation and cooperation between the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and the Department of Anesthesiology through the Mother Center.

At Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, there is a special emphasis on critical-care obstetrics, with three two-bed high-risk rooms on the labor suite equipped for full hemodynamic monitoring and other aspects of critical care for parturients with cardiopulmonary and other critical diseases.

At our main campus, where most resident training takes place, the labor analgesia rate is ~90 percent; it is ~70 percent at the Allen Hospital. We promote early labor neuraxial analgesia, with most of epidurals being combined spinal epidural (CSE) with programmed intermittent epidural bolus (PIEB) delivery with patient controlled epidural analgesia (PCEA).

The cesarean delivery rate is ~35 percent at both campuses, reflecting the referral nature of much of the practice. Approximately 96 percent of the cesarean delivery are performed using neuraxial anesthesia utilizing mostly spinal, and anesthesia. Post cesarean pain management is essentially stepwise multimodal analgesia to promote opioid-sparing strategies, followed by judicious opioid prescription.

Division faculty provide coverage of the main campus L&D suite 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and for the Allen Hospital during daytime hours.


The Division of Obstetric Anesthesiology provides residency and postgraduate fellowship training in state-of-the-art techniques and strategies of labor analgesia and obstetric anesthesia.

Much of the training and education occurs in the Margaret Wood Center for Simulation & Education, with a strong emphasis on use of simulation and serious games for education of rare events.

The Obstetric Anesthesiology Fellowship program has been accredited by the ACGME since 2012, the first year such accreditation was available.


We have an active research program focused on topics relevant to obstetric anesthesiology, such as studies of drug combinations and techniques for labor analgesia and postpartum pain relief, research on preeclampsia genetics and epigenetics, and later life cardiovascular events, investigations into weight regulation in pregnancy, and laboratory investigation of the basic physiology of uterine muscle contraction.

Our digital database of labor analgesia and cesarean section cases is a valuable resource for health-services research.

Over the past decade and a half, abstracts from our division have regularly competed in the Best Papers awards at the Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology (SOAP) meetings, having won the “Best Paper of the Meeting” award four times, and we have received similar recognition at the International Society for Anesthetic Pharmacology annual meeting.


Ruth Landau, MD
Virginia Apgar Professor of Anesthesiology
Obstetric Anesthesia Division Chief
Director of the of the Center for Precision Medicine in Anesthesiology

View a complete list of Dr. Landau's publications.


Richard Smiley, MD, PhD
Professor of Anesthesiology (in Obstetrics and Gynecology) at CUMC

View a complete list of Dr. Smiley's publication.


George Gallos, MD
Associate Professor of Anesthesiology
Director of the Gallos Lab

View a complete list of Dr Gallos' publications.


Stephanie Goodman, MD
Professor of Anesthesiology
Administrative Director, Fellowship Program Director

View a complete list of Dr. Goodman's publication.


Allison Lee, MD. MS
Associate Professor of Anesthesiology
Director of the Margaret Wood Center for Simulation & Education


Suzanne Mankowitz, MD
Associate Professor of Anesthesiology


Elena Reitman, MD
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology
Director of the Obstetric Anesthesia Resident Curriculum

View a complete list of Dr. Reitman's publications.


Laurence Ring, MD
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology
Director of Obstetric Anesthesia at the Allen Hospital
Director of the Accreta Program

View a complete list of Dr. Ring's publications.



Connect with the Division of Obstetric Anesthesia and follow us on Twitter using @ColumbiaOBAnes.