The University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, Knoxville

The Department of Anesthesiology Curriculum | The University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, Knoxville

The Department of Anesthesiology

Get to know our residents

Randy Echols M.D.

Medical School: The University of South Carolina School of Medicine
Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina

Why UTMCK: I like the size of the program in that there are only 8 residents per class which allows for more one-on-one teaching with attendings and instills a family atmosphere because of the close relationships that are formed with both residents and attendings.

Hobbies: Hunting, fishing, golf

Anesthesia Interest: Regional, cardiothoracic

David Hales M.D.

Medical School: Central Michigan University College of Medicine
Hometown: Canton, Michigan

Why UTMCK: Wanted to move to a new place and have a new experience. East Tennessee is a beautiful area with a lot of outdoor activities. I got a great feeling from my visit to UTMCK. I had a lot in common with the residents and attendings. I liked the size of the class and UT offers a good work/life balance.

Hobbies: hunting, fishing, golf, video games

Anesthesia Interest: CT anesthesia, regional and ICU

Research Projects/Paper/Poster Presentations:
Case Manuscript Primary Author: Profound Coagulopathy in Vaping Associated Acute Lung Injury
"The Endothelial Glycocalyx in Patients with Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage"
"The Effect of Intraoperative Blood Pressure and Fluid Management in Kidney Transplant Patients"

Paul Lesko M.D.

Medical School: University of New Mexico School of Medicine
Hometown: Binghamton, NY

Why UTMCK: I appreciated the balance between academics and private practice. The hours are very reasonable, yet the pace prepares you well for a career in private practice. Residents have had great success attaining fellowship positions.

Hobbies: Mechanics, golf, hunting, fishing

Anesthesia Interest: Pain Medicine

Research Projects/Paper/Poster Presentations:
Local anesthestics administered in the surgical field, a quality improvement project
Effect of intravenous lidocaine on opioid consumption and length of stay for nephrectomy patients

David McMillan M.D.

Medical School: University of Mississippi School of Medicine
BIO/Hometown: Jackson, MS

Why UTMCK: Coming from a relatively flat state, it was easy to fall in love with the Knoxville and the surrounding Smokey Mountains. UTMCK also proved to be the program that I felt like I had the most in common with the current residents and attendings. The program size was big enough to make many new friends and optimize your on-call responsibilities, without being too big and losing opportunities for one-on-one mentorship. Feedback from recent graduates emphasizes the clinical skills of UTMCK graduates.

Hobbies: cooking, running, hiking, reading, video games

Anesthesia Interest: Pediatrics, Regional

Research Projects/Paper/Poster Presentations:

"Investigation Of The Relationship Between Intraoperative Opioids And Time to First Bowel Movement In Colorectal Surgery Patients"

Hunter Tipton, MD

Medical School: The Medical University of South Carolina
BIO/Hometown: Knoxville, Tennessee

Why UTMCK: The combination of a private anesthesia practice at an academic medical center provides a unique experience that prepares the residents for future endeavors. The size of the program is large enough to house a diverse blend of personalities, but still maintains a family atmosphere. I ranked this program #1 coming out of medical school, and would do it again today if given the opportunity.

Hobbies: Super Smash Brothers, eating out at restaurants, hanging out with my co-residents

Anesthesia Interest: Regional Anesthesia and Acute Pain

Research Projects/Paper/Poster Presentations: Analyzing Tennessee’s opioid prescribing laws on postoperative opioid use in cutaneous malignancy excision

Michael Donovan M.D. Chief Resident

Medical School: University of Kentucky College of Medicine
Hometown: Taylorsville, Kentucky

Why UTMCK: I am married with two children and I was looking for a place that felt like it could be a home for my family. I wanted them to be safe, have activities, and to be happy. When I interviewed at UTMCK, I was very impressed with the family atmosphere that was presented to me by the staff and residents with whom I spoke. Knoxville is a gorgeous large town/small city with amazing views of mountains and river front. There are tons of activities for my family including: a zoo, an amusement park, hiking trails, and The Smoky Mountains. In addition to these more exciting activities, there’s the everyday aspect of great schools, parks, and kid activities like gyms, baseball, and others.
I can honestly say that I have not regretted this decision. My family and I love it here.

Hobbies: I enjoy time with my family. We like to experience the mountains, parks, zoo, and Dollywood. When at home, I enjoy cooking, working in the yard, and game nights with the family.

Anesthesia Interest: OB and Regional

Research Projects/Paper/Poster Presentations:
2020 ASA poster presentation on management of retained portion of epidural catheter

Liliane Ernst M.D.

Medical School:  Dartmouth
Hometown: I was born in Switzerland, and grew up in Knoxville and Oak Ridge, TN.

Why UTMCK: I left east TN after high school, and wanted to come back for residency. Knoxville is a very easy city to live in with a great cost of living and very little traffic. I liked the size and family feel of the program because it would allow me to get to know my residents and attendings.

Hobbies: Tennis, hiking, running, traveling, and scuba diving

Anesthesia Interest: OB and Cardiac

Research Projects/Paper/Poster Presentations:

  1. Retrospective study examining effect of intraoperative opioids on post op opioid use and return of bowel function in bowel resections.

Poster Presentation:

  1.  SOAP 2020 Top 10 Best Abstracts Panel: Hemorrhagic Stroke in a Laboring Parturient Following Unintentional Placement of an Intrathecal Catheter
  2. ASA 2020 Medically Challenging Cases: McArdle Disease, Motor Evoked Potentials, and a Malignant Hyperthermia Sparing Technique—Novel Anesthetic Management of a Complex Spine Procedure

Robert Gassert M.D.

Medical School: Medical College of Georgia
Hometown: Peachtree City, GA

Why UTMCK: Down to earth workforce that genuinely wanted to help you grow and develop as a physician anesthesiologist

Hobbies: computers, tennis, kayaking, escape rooms, puzzles

Anesthesia Interest: applications in informatics and reducing tedium. The ultimate goal is to minimize time doing clerical work requiring physician input and maximize time focusing on patient care

Research Projects/Paper/Poster Presentations:
Automated case scheduling in academic and private practice settings without sacrificing essential physician input

Terrance Nowell M.D. Chief Resident

Medical School: University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center
Bio/Hometown: Born in Chicago, IL. Raised in Murfreesboro, TN. I have a wife that is much more impressive than I could ever be, and a 2-year-old son who has kept me sane through residency.

Anesthesia Interest: Cardiothoracic and critical care anesthesia.

Research Projects/Paper/Poster Presentations: Fluid management during renal transplantation. ARDS in ICH patients. Regional anesthetic techniques for subarachnoid hemorrhage patients. Finally, case presentations on a patient with Kounis syndrome secondary to tPA and the anesthetic management of a very large atrial myxofibrosarcoma.

Emeka Nwaneri M.D.

Medical School: The University of TN Health Science Center
Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria. I moved to TN from Nigeria for college and never left.

Why UTMCK: UTMCK offered me the ability to train in a program that produces excellent academic and clinical trained board-certified anesthesiologists. The department has a robust availability of resources and support and this fit well in my goal to achieve not only clinical but research and quality improvement training from my residency.

Hobbies: FIFA online/Soccer in person, Quality improvement projects, and business endeavors

Anesthesia Interest: ICU/Cardiac/Peri-operative Services

Research Projects/Paper/Poster Presentations: Using Machine learning to predict provider administration of narcotics and reduce Opioid use in laparoscopic cholecystectomy, looking at concentration and Type of volatile anesthetic agents and its role in reducing narcotic administration and pain scores. Two ASA poster presentations for ASA 2020 (A patient with a Basilar Dolichoectasia).

Alix Roaten M.D.

Medical School: University of Mississippi School of Medicine
BIO/Hometown: I’m from Tupelo, Mississippi , Elvis Presley’s hometown. I’ve been married to my husband Travis for 2.5 years. We have an adorable Australian Shepherd named Magnolia.

Why UTMCK: During my interview at UT, I was impressed that the interviewers had thoroughly read my application and seemed genuinely interested in me. I like the small class size and that it feels like a family environment. I love living in Knoxville where I can take advantage of the plenty of outdoor activities and enjoy the beautiful views of the nearby Smoky Mountains.

Hobbies: going to the dog park, reading, playing pickleball, hiking

Anesthesia Interest: OB, regional

Emory Adam Wilson M.D.

Medical School: Mercer University School of Medicine
BIO/Hometown: I was born in Macon Georgia and lived there until the age of 5. My father was in the Army and we moved to Washington State and then Virginia before returning to Conyers Georgia for High School. Georgia College and State University for Undergraduate degree. I was an ICU nurse for 5 years before going to medical school.

Why UTMCK: I have always gravitated towards smaller classrooms and therefore liked UT initially for that reason. Also, I really liked the geography of east Tennessee which provides for easy getaways for outdoor fun. What really sold me on UT were the residents and faculty that I met on my away rotation. People were easy to get along with, which created an environment that I knew would be supportive during my training.

Hobbies: Hunting, hiking, river rafting/kayaking, pontoon riding, fishing, college football, grilling, craft beer joints.

Anesthesia Interest: Perioperative medicine, The business side of Anesthesia, Cardiac/ICU.

Research Projects/Paper/Poster Presentations: Quality improvement project to reduce blood product waste in the OR.

Brandon Alford M.D.

Medical School: University of South Florida
BIO/Hometown: I grew up just outside of Orlando and lived in Central Florida for my whole life prior to moving to Tennessee for residency. I got married to my beautiful wife in February 2020, and we have a two-year-old golden retriever, Jaxson.

Why UTMCK: First and foremost, all of the residents I met during my interview here seemed like they were happy and were good people that I would want to be friends with outside of work. Additionally, all of the faculty seemed very supportive and welcoming. Aside from UTMCK, Knoxville is a great place to live, with affordable cost-of-living, great weather and an abundance of outdoor activities to stay busy and have fun outside of residency.

Hobbies: exercising, kayaking, hiking, sports, home improvement projects (with the encouragement from my wife).

Philip Cato M.D.

Medical School: University of South Alabama
BIO/Hometown: Married with three pets. Happy wife, happy life.
Birmingham, AL

Hobbies: Cooking, hiking, fishing, video games

Kamry Clark M.D.

Medical School: University of Tennessee Health Science Center
BIO/Hometown: I’m originally from New Mexico, but grew up in Oak Ridge, TN, just outside of Knoxville.

Why UTMCK: I had the advantage of rotating with the department for two months of my M4 year, so I got to see first-hand the close camaraderie between residents and the faculty’s dedication to our education and growth as physicians. I also already knew Knoxville is an awesome place to live, with a huge variety of outdoor activities, a growing food scene, and a great cost of living.

Hobbies: Gardening, cooking (& eating) delicious food, DIY home design and renovations, kayaking

Anesthesia Interest: OB and Regional

Ethan Guffey M.D.

Medical School: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
BIO/Hometown: I’m from Little Rock, Arkansas.

Why UTMCK: I really felt that I fit in here on my interview day. I liked the feel of the department as a whole. Additionally I enjoyed the area. It reminded me of my hometown and my college town combined. I think it’s the perfect mix of size and proximity to the mountains.

Hobbies: Exercise (CrossFit), hiking, fishing

Anesthesia Interest: pediatrics and regional

Jim Loughridge M.D.

Medical School: Mercer University School of Medicine
BIO/Hometown: Chatsworth, GA

Why UTMCK: I rotated here as a visiting medical student and enjoyed my experience here so much that I ranked it number 1 and was so thankful when I matched here. I really enjoy the clinical experience that we obtain early on in residency and I know I will be a well-trained Anesthesiologist by the time I graduate.

Hobbies: Fly Fishing, Playing Martin Guitars, Camping

Anesthesia Interest: Possibly Regional

Dustin Smith M.D.

Medical School: Medical University of South Carolina
BIO/Hometown: Greenwood, SC.

Why UTMCK: Liked the culture of UTMCK. It provides a unique prospective with the private practice influence. Good work life balance with plenty of educational opportunities. The city of Knoxville offers plenty of things to do and is beautiful.

Hobbies: Exercise, golf, video games, bbq

Kyle Snyder M.D.

Medical School: East Tennessee State University, Quillen College of Medicine; Johnson City, TN
BIO/Hometown: Maryville, TN - went to Maryville High School; attended the University of Tennessee at Knoxville; married with no kids; one older brother who is a tax accountant.

Why UTMCK: Comradery of fellow residents; Staff/attendings support your interests; Program emphasis is on creating a good atmosphere for residents; MBA/pain medicine fellowships; Not strictly an academic center, you get to experience more autonomy in addition to some exposure to the business side of medicine

Hobbies: Traveling, Exercise (weightlifting; sports - basketball, tennis, golf; yoga), Finance, Backpacking/Hiking, Biking, Cooking

Anesthesia Interest: Interventional Pain, Central Pain Processing, Pain Perception

Research Projects/Paper/Poster Presentations: Establishing Functional Activity and its improvement in relation to Interventional Pain Treatment, Sphenopalatine Ganglion Block for Refractory Atypical Facial Pain, Mg as a Pain Modulator in Postpartum Patients

Tara Keil M.D.

Medical School: Mercer University School of Medicine (Savannah, GA)
BIO/Hometown: I’m from Duluth, GA and I’ve also lived in Farragut, TN; Savannah, GA; and Dallas, TX. Completed undergraduate degree at Vanderbilt.

Why UTMCK: location, many academic opportunities with retained focus on resident autonomy and lifestyle, great co-residents to work with
Hobbies: making music, trying new restaurants, sustainable fashion

Anesthesia Interest: acute and chronic pain

Research Projects/Paper/Poster Presentations: none from UTMCK, "DNA Encapsidation and Capsid Assembly Are Underexploited Antiviral Targets for the Treatment of Herpesviruses" recently published from medical school

William Majors M.D.

Medical School: East Tennessee State College of Medicine
BIO/Hometown: Born and raised in Tennessee. From Tullahoma, TN. Attended undergraduate school here at UT Knoxville.

Why UTMCK: I am familiar with the area which was an obvious draw. After doing a rotation here I realized how deft the residents were at anesthesia and how comfortable they were delivering it to a severely co-morbid patient population in a variety of clinical settings. The anesthesiologist this program produces exemplifies what I want to become.

Hobbies: Time with my wife and my dog. Golf. American history. Stock market. Working in my yard.

Anesthesia Interest: General anesthesiology. The search for the definitive mechanism of action of volatile anesthetics.

Samuel Pettigrew M.D.

Medical School: Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
BIO/Hometown: I hail from Chicagoland, IL and attended Hope College in Holland, MI for undergraduate. For five years thereafter I had a job living at the Illinois Mathematics & Science Academy, a boarding school, mentoring and molding young minds. I have a lovely wife and two children.

Why UTMCK: When I interviewed at UTMCK I felt like I was at home, and I loved the conversations I had with each and every person I met at the hospital. The unique blend of private practice and academic anesthesia fascinated me. The more I explored the Knoxville area, the more I fell in love with it and knew my family would thrive here.

Hobbies: Hiking with my family, running, board games, cars, and cooking.

Anesthesia Interest: Pediatric Anesthesia

Research Projects/Paper/Poster Presentations: "Implementation of Routine Pediatric Lipid Screening: A Quality Improvement Stud" presented at Pediatric Academics Societies Meeting in April/May 2019.

Adam Seal M.D.

Medical School: University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine
BIO/Hometown: Knoxville, TN. Attended undergraduate at UT Knoxville.

Why UTMCK: My wife and I both attended UT for undergrad and loved the city, we were thrilled to return to Knoxville for my residency training. The UTMCK anesthesia program offered the opportunities of a large academic program while maintaining the culture of a smaller program.

Hobbies: Spending time with my wife and daughter, traveling, computers

Corey Stack M.D.

Medical School: Medical College of Georgia
BIO/Hometown: Savannah, Georgia

Why UTMCK: The faculty at UTMCK is truly focused on creating clinically excellent anesthesiologists. The program has all of the opportunities of a major academic program while maintaining the small class size and one on one teaching of a small program.

Hobbies: Anything outdoors including hiking, kayaking, backpacking. Playing and teaching tennis. Traveling with my wife and two dogs.

Anesthesia Interest: regional or pediatrics


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