Dr. Erin Hennessey, MD, will be appointed Vice Chair of Education in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Virginia beginning in early 2024. Currently Dr. Hennessey is a Clinical Associate Professor of Anesthesia and Critical Care Medicine at Stanford University. She became the Stanford Program Director for the Anesthesia Critical Care Medicine Fellowship in 2015 and served as the Associate Program Director from 2013-2015. Dr. Hennessey is the Chair of the Program Directors Advisory Council for the Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists (SOCCA), an outgoing Councilor for the Society of Academic Associations of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine (SAAAPM), and an active member in the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM).
Dr. Hennessey’s impressive leadership and experience are best articulated in her own words, “Patient care and pedagogy are my two passions as a Clinician Educator. I believe that patient care and teaching are very much intertwined, come to life at the bedside, and make every aspect of my job rewarding. I chose critical care medicine out of a fascination with the intersection between pathophysiology and humanism and chose academics to support my love for teaching.”
“As an Anesthesiologist and an Intensivist,” Dr. Hennessey continues “my primary and subspecialty clinical skill set allows me to care for the sickest patients in the hospital during a crucial moment in their health and life. As an anesthesiologist, I often make connections with patients in short time spans, in the brink of consciousness and awakening, and bring reassurance to their family members in the recovery room. These connections bring joy to my day, but often-times lead me to search for more depth in the doctor-patient relationship.”
Her philosophy of care encompasses “anesthesiology and critical care medicine, the social aspect of medicine, the art of medicine, and the human connection [and these] remain the center of my clinical practice. I cherish the moments in which I get to hear the patient’s story on how they arrived to the OR, who accompanies them, or what goals they have when they leave the ICU. I have focused on many patient improvement initiatives regarding the importance of the communication between doctors, patients, and their families. There are many ups-and-downs for ICU patients and as an intensivist, I am by their side for these clinical challenges. As I spend more time as a frontline physician in the ICU, I am reminded how the art of medicine occurs at the bedside.” We look forward to Dr. Hennessey’s contributions as she joins our excellent UVA Anesthesiology Leadership Team in the new year.