Regional Anesthesiology and Acute Pain Medicine

The Department of Anesthesiology at McGovern Medical School, UTHealth offers a regional rotation to all residents. Each month four residents are exclusively assigned to regional anesthesia; two at Memorial Hermann–Texas Medical Center, one at Houston Methodist, and one at Harris Health System’s Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital. The regional and acute pain team at UTHealth consists of several fellowship-trained faculty from all over the nation, including Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Virginia-Mason, University of Iowa, and UTHealth. The program is led by two nationally renowned regional anesthesiologists, Dr. Hernandez and Dr. de Haan. One highly-trained faculty is in charge of the dedicated “block room” and provides supervision to the residents and fellows performing procedures.

UTHealth is home to a highly competitive regional and acute pain fellowship that incorporates point-of-care ultrasound education. It is the only regional and acute pain fellowship in Texas. Dr. Maria Matuszczak, pediatric anesthesiologist, provides expertise in pediatric regional anesthesia.

Memorial Hermann–TMC is one of the largest Level I trauma centers in the nation, and the busiest as of 2012. Our trainees are exposed to a variety of procedures in complex trauma patients. All enhanced recovery programs include regional anesthesia making the rotation one of the most intense training months. Residents generally exceed their peripheral nerve block and neuraxial anesthetic graduation requirements in their first week on the service, with most residents graduating with two to four times the ABA requirements. The division is highly involved in clinical research so trainees are exposed to all types of ultrasound-guided peripheral nerve blocks as well as placement of indwelling catheters for postoperative pain management, for both inpatient and outpatient surgeries. A faculty shadowing program is offered and practicing anesthesiologists are able to shadow and observe the incredible things our faculty do.

Another dedicated faculty supervises the acute pain service which manages nearly all perioperative patients and provides indwelling epidural and perineural catheter management as well as analgesic medication management. The service places a heavy emphasis on optimizing patient outcomes using narcotic sparing, multi-modal perioperative acute pain management. Residents are given the opportunity to initiate and manage medically complex and opioid tolerant patients by optimizing complex medications, initiating lidocaine and ketamine infusions, and placing ultrasound-guided peripheral nerve blocks and catheters during the Acute Pain Medicine rotation. Trainees find that this division offers many research opportunities due to their innovative techniques.


Nadia-HernandezNadia Hernandez, MD
Division Chief, Regional Anesthesiology & Acute Pain Medicine Division
Associate Professor, Department of Anesthesiology