About the Department
The Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina has a long history of excellence in patient care and resident education at one of the nation’s oldest medical schools. The Medical College opened in 1824 and has served continuously since its founding, except for a four year period during the Civil War. After the first shots were fired on Fort Sumter in the Charleston Harbor on April 12, 1861, the Medical College closed its doors, and the majority of the faculty found themselves in the Confederate states army. Julian John Chisholm, professor of surgery at the Medical College, became famous for his contributions to Military Medicine, and most notably, for his invention of the Chisholm inhaler, a device he designed to conserve the supply of chloroform, which was used to induce the “desired insensibility” for surgical procedures. Civil War medicine’s primary contribution to posterity was the near universal use of general anesthesia. Dr. Chisholm returned to Charleston after the war to become Dean of what remained of the Medical College.
Charleston’s first anesthesiologist, John Marion Brown, established the Medical University of South Carolina's residency program in 1949 and became professor and chair of the newly created Department of Anesthesia.
Since those early beginnings, the Medical University has evolved into a world-class, state-of-the-art institution, cited by U.S. News and World Report as one of the nation’s best in treatment of digestive disease and psychiatric illness and one of America’s best graduate schools in 2004. Other awards include the 2004-2005 Consumer Choice Award of the National Research Corporation, Solucient’s 100 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals and HCLA-Sachs Institute’s Top 100 Hospitals for Stroke Treatment. The Department of Anesthesia has kept pace with the institution’s tremendous strides in health care delivery and the challenges of innovations in the practice and science of anesthesiology, complex surgical procedures and non-operative interventional specialties. Today, we administer more than 37,000 anesthetics annually to a diverse patient population, from the smallest neonate to patients requiring high-risk, complex surgical procedures.
The Department of Anesthesia is committed to the delivery of excellent, compassionate clinical care; the development of outstanding future clinicians, thinkers and leaders; and the advancement of knowledge through scientific and clinical discovery. Our efforts are guided by our responsibility to patients' well-being, the education of students who represent the future of medicine, and the importance of discovery in the advancement of medicine. We recognize the contributions of each member of the Department of Anesthesia, and we respect and collaborate with colleagues throughout the institution to achieve common goals.
We are confident that our future is as rich as our history. We develop and nurture our students to become clinicians and leaders who will offer commitment, leadership, professionalism, compassion, imagination and curiosity to the future of medicine and the specialty of anesthesiology. We invite you to browse our web pages to discover our commitment to excellence, information about our clinical services, and possibilities for your future.