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Pilla named chief of Multispecialty Adult Anesthesiology

Jul. 11, 2019, 10:06 AM


by Jenelle Grewell

Michael Pilla, MD, was recently named chief of the Division of Multispeciality Adult Anesthesiology (MSA). Pilla has worked in the Department of Anesthesiology since 2004.

Michael Pilla, MD

“The Multispecialty Adult Division is the center of our clinical operation. I think Michael will be a great leader for the division,” said Warren Sandberg, MD, PhD, chair of the Department of Anesthesiology. “All of our division chiefs have outstanding credentials, but Michael is an actual rock star.”

Pilla, a longtime musician, and Sandberg have known each other since residency. At Vanderbilt, Pilla has developed an academic career focused primarily on education scholarship and clinical expertise.

For many years he led the liver transplantation anesthesia team and currently serves as associate program director of the VUMC anesthesiology residency program.

He also co-leads Robinson College, one of the four advisory colleges in the Learning Community system at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

His written scholarship is eclectic, ranging from education research to failure mode evaluations of OR technology and quality improvement engineering to minimize wastage of banked blood. Pilla is also an inaugural member of the Clinical Practice Appointments and Promotions Committee.

“His career is as diverse as the portfolio of the division he now leads,” said Sandberg, who also serves in the MSA Division.

Pilla said his goals as MSA chief are to help guide the division to continued clinical, academic and research excellence by providing ongoing support and the tools to create individual success for his colleagues.

“I would like to see the MSA division develop a unique identity,” he said. He explained that he wants the division to appreciate its well-deserved reputation as a diverse group of highly skilled individuals with the expertise to handle some of the most complicated and ill patients.

Pilla said the most exciting part of assuming this new role is the opportunity to continue to work alongside people he has known during his 15 years at VUMC, while helping mentor and guide new and more junior colleagues to develop their vision and direction for their immediate and future career goals.

“If you provide the support and the encouragement on an individual and collective basis, only great things can follow,” he said.

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