The anesthesiologist is at the center of everything when it comes to the hospital OR or the surgical center that uses a multidisciplinary approach,” said Medhat Mikhael, MD, pain management specialist, anesthesiologist, and medical director of the non-operative program of the Spine Health Center at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California.

He likens the anesthesiologist's role as the leader of a multidisciplinary team of clinicians in the operating theater to the role of an airplane pilot who must complete several steps on a detailed checklist before taking off in order to optimize the chances of bringing the plane back down safely and landing smoothly.

“Let me explain how,” Dr. Mikhael offered. “When the surgeon is ready to begin a procedure, he or she usually doesn't need to think about whether the patient is optimal to undergo such a surgery from the standpoint of anesthesia, from the standpoint...

You do not currently have access to this content.