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Department Origins

Pain Clinic with Dr. HabibThe University of Massachusetts Medical School was created by an act of the Massachusetts legislature in 1962. Worcester was chosen as its location and the University of Massachusetts Medical Center was developed as the University’s hospital. The first medical students were admitted in 1970. Within a few years, the class size increased to 100 where it remained until 2008 when plans were formulated to gradually increase the size to 125 over two years. With the exception of a maximum of 10 combined MD, PhD students, all medical students are Massachusetts residents. For more about the history of UMMS, click here.

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

From 1976 to 1986, the Department of Anesthesiology 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. The director is Dr. Richard Pavao.

OR 1986The anesthesiology residency was formed in 1977. Danna Peterson, MBBS, was the first program director for the residency. Eleanor Duduch, MD, a UMass Medical School graduate and a graduate of this residency, was the program director from 2001-2015. Tanya Lucas, MD, was program director from 2015-2020. Dr. 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 recieved over 1000 applications to the residency program. 

An accredited critical care fellowship was established in 1989. Dr. Masilo Grant, MD, is the fellowship program director.

In 2016, the name of the department was officially changed to the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine. The Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine provides comprehensive perioperative services on the Memorial, University and Hahnemann Campuses of the UMass Memorial Medical Center, Health Alliance and Marlboro Hospitals and two satellite endoscopy centers.