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Department Origins

Pain Clinic with Dr. HabibUMass Chan Medical School was founded by an act of the Massachusetts legislature in 1962. Worcester was chosen as its location and the UMass Chan Center was established as the University’s hospital. The first medical students were admitted in 1970. Since accepting its first class, the T.H. Chan School of Medicine has provided medical students with an accessible, comprehensive and personally rewarding medical education of the highest quality. The class size has grown significantly over the years to include more than 160 students from across the United States. For more about the history of UMass Chan, click here.

The first chair of the Department of Anesthesiology was Michael Stanton-Hicks, MD (1977-1982). He was succeeded by Gary Welch, MD (1982-1990), Gordon Chapman, MD (interim chair 1990-1994), Charles Vacanti, MD (1994-2002), Stephen Heard, MD (2002-2014) and Shubjeet Kaur, MD (2015-2018). J. Matthias Walz, MD, FCCP was named chair in 2019.

From 1976 to 1986, the department ran the only full time dedicated pain clinic in New England. Currently, the pain clinic is located on the Memorial Campus within the spine center and the director is Richard Pavao, MD.

OR 1986The Anesthesiology Residency Program was formed in 1977. Danna Peterson, MBBS, was the first program director for the residency. Eleanor Duduch, MD, a UMass Chan Medical School alum and a graduate of this residency, was the program director from 2001 to 2015. Tanya Lucas, MD, was program director from 2015 to 2020. J. Aaron Scott, DO, FCCP, a graduate of this residency, transitioned from ACCM fellowship program director to residency program director in August 2020. Last year, we received more than 1,000 applications to the residency program.

An accredited Critical Care Fellowship was established in 1989. Masilo Grant, MD, is the fellowship program director.

In 2016, the name of the department was officially changed to the Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine. The Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine provides comprehensive perioperative services on the Memorial, University and Hahnemann Campuses of the UMass Memorial Medical Center; UMass Memorial HealthAlliance; Marlborough Hospital; and two satellite endoscopy centers.