Expanding Our Global Community

Expanding the Role of Anesthesiologist Beyond The Operating Rooms

November 15, 2017

Excellence in clinical care has always been an essential component to the mission of the Department of Anesthesiology here at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC). The role of our anesthesiologists is not to be limited to the operating rooms. They take their knowledge to other key areas in and out of the hospital. Each year, members of our faculty volunteer their skills and time to care for patients or support additional training and mentorship to health care providers in hospitals, clinics, and schools around the world. Building our global community has become a vital addition to the CUMC Department of Anesthesiology.

                Richard Raker, MD, Associate Professor of Anesthesiology at CUMC, is a senior member and is one of many faculty members in our department who is expanding our global community. During a recent educational assignment to Guyana, Dr. Raker provided classroom and clinical teaching and faculty support at the recently developed residency training program at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation in the capital city of Georgetown, Guyana. Dr. Raker volunteered with the American Society of the Anesthesiologist/Global Health Organization (ASA/GHO) overseas teaching program.

                The ASA/GHO and many other global health organizations collaborate with local programs to enhance training for residents and support faculty growth. Prior two 2013 there was no formal anesthesia training program in Guyana. With the collaboration of the ASA/GHO and the Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society International Education Foundation, Guyana now has 10 residents in training and several residents who have completed a two-year diploma program as well as a four-year master’s program at the only anesthesia residency program in Guyana.

                To continue to expand our global community, Dr. Raker, and other faculty members often volunteer with organizations like ASA/GHO to provide their expertise and share their knowledge in medically underserved countries. Other global community organizations include; Children of China Pediatric Foundation, Heart Care International, Doctors without Borders, Changing Children’s Lives, Hand Help, and Healing the Children Northeast. “The ASA/GHO overseas volunteer program has given me a wonderful opportunity to be a part of a visionary program and make a lasting impression,” said Dr. Raker.

                When asked about his experience, Dr. Raker said “By passing on my knowledge and skills, I feel that I am empowering a group of young doctors and helping them improve the safety of surgery and anesthesia and help them build anesthesia capacity in Guyana.”

For more information on the Department of Anesthesiology global community and global partnerships, visit our website.