Department of Anesthesiology

Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology Fellows

Master
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Gavin Best, M.D.

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Gavin Best, M.D.
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What is your favorite memory from medical school or residency?
My favorite residency memory was going to ASA in San Francisco with everyone. A lot of our residency class went as CA-2’s and we had a great time.

Why did you choose cardiovascular anesthesia?
When I originally decided to apply, I simply loved the pathology and wanted to be able to tackle the toughest anesthesia cases. But since starting, I’ve learned so much about managing cardiac cases that I wonder how I ever expected to do it without the additional training. The same goes for echocardiography. There is so much more that you can do with it than we were ever taught in our residency. It has been a very good decision.

What drew you to Baylor?
I came to Baylor as a resident. When it came to fellowship, I interviewed at numerous locations. But, at the end of the day, nowhere I interviewed had the same volume of the highest acuity cases you’ll find anywhere. All of the THI fellows I worked within residency left feeling extremely comfortable in the most intense situations, and they all found great positions afterward.

What’s your favorite thing and/or spot in Houston?
Houston has an INCREDIBLE food scene and new amazing spots are popping up all the time. It is one of the most diverse cities in the country. If there is anything at all you’re craving, it’s probably right around the corner. My favorite spot though has to be Memorial Park. It’s a large green space in the middle of the city with tons of running/biking trails to explore. They routinely have events, festivals, art shows, and they have a big dog park where my wife and I take the mutt on the weekends.

What is one new thing you started in fellowship that you hadn’t done before?
With the extra weekend time that I didn’t have in residency, my wife and I bought bicycles and picked up cycling as a hobby.

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Kevin Duong, M.D.

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Kevin Duong, M.D.
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What is your favorite memory from medical school or residency?
My favorite memory in residency was when I was with Andrew Emerald, M.D. (now a co-fellow) on the LVAD ICU rotation. I was helping him with a central line when he said “Kevin, I need you to wet my hands”. I squirted some saline on his gloves as he finished tying his surgical knot. I’m glad he didn’t ask me to move the table up, because I would have said “no”.

Why did you choose cardiovascular anesthesia?
I like cardiac physiology and echocardiography. I also enjoy helping some of the sickest patients in the hospital go through surgery and get better.

What drew you to Baylor?
Texas Heart has a rich history in cardiac surgery, and we provide anesthesia for some of the best heart and transplant surgeons in the world.

What’s your favorite thing and/or spot in Houston?
In my free time, I enjoy bouldering at Momentum Climbing Gym or hitting the tatami at TNT Jujitsu.

What is one new thing you started in fellowship that you hadn’t done before?
I recently bought a grill and started experimenting with smoking different types of meat. I also bought a new pair of cowboy boots and ready to pick up two-stepping again as soon as this pandemic is over. In the meantime, I’ll just be wearing my boots in the OR.

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Andrew Emerald, M.D., M.P.H.

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Andrew Emerald, M.D., M.P.H.
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What is your favorite memory from medical school or residency?
I’m not the nerd that this will make me sound like, but on our MS4 critical care rotation, we had a chance to go down to the sim lab and work with RT. They let us experience what it was like to breathe on a ventilator via a mouthpiece. It was crazy to experience first hand (without needing intubation) what is was like to breathe with pressure support, against varying levels of PEEP, or on an SIMV/AC setting.

Why did you choose cardiovascular anesthesia?
I gravitate to THI CV Anesthesiology because of the incredible staff I had a chance to work with as a Baylor resident and eventually a fellow. The cases are challenging, and the surgeons are renowned so there is always something to learn whether the case is big or small.

What drew you to Baylor?
As someone who had been in Houston since 2008 for four years of undergrad at Rice University and then an additional four years of medical school at UTHealth, it only seemed natural to continue training in the institutions that are recognized among both national and international circles.

What’s your favorite thing and/or spot in Houston?
One of my favorite spots to hang out in Houston is Memorial Park. It’s a great place to go for a run, slow things down and enjoy nature while having a picnic with some friends (socially distanced of course!) or walking my two dogs.

What is one new thing you started in fellowship that you hadn’t done before?
I’ve become a “DIY-er” based on various YouTube videos that get suggested to me on my feed and my new favorite way to spend weekends is out on the driveway or in the garage with various toys and supplies I’ve purchased from Lowe’s. The latest project has been converting our garage into a mancave.

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Daniel Jacobs, M.D.

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Daniel Jacobs, M.D.
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What is your favorite memory from medical school or residency?
The night I decided to stay overnight in the OR watching a liver transplant. I didn’t have to but I was shadowing a resident at the time who was staying for it. I learned a ton from that one experience and realized I wanted to do that one day.

Why did you choose cardiovascular anesthesia?
CV anesthesia has been an interest of mine ever since undergrad. I spent a week with my brother-in-law living the life of an anesthesiologist. I remember one night “we” were called in for the re-vascularization of a patient with acute coronary syndrome. It was a pivotal moment in my life and from then on I have loved it.

What drew you to Baylor?
I liked the idea of a mixed private practice group with the academic infrastructure and advanced level of cases. THI seemed to be that. Here we are more efficient than most academic places and there is less academic “fluff” while we are still challenged by complex cardiovascular cases in the OR on a daily basis.

What’s your favorite thing and/or spot in Houston?
The food scene in Houston is awesome. I love it. That and the blue skies, sunny weather and bright stars at night.

What is one new thing you started in fellowship that you hadn’t done before?
Interviewing for real jobs. Up until this point it has all been a dream. Now that I am actually doing it, I can’t believe it. I am being sought after as a THI fellow and it is awesome.

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William Kwass, D.O.

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William Kwass, D.O.
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What is your favorite memory from medical school or residency?
It’s really hard to pick a favorite memory from residency. I think my favorite would have to be creating friendships with my co-residents and attendings. During all the crazy times when we were working, super tired, and exhausted that’s what got each other through the days and nights. I got to know all of them on a deeper level and made some great friends that I will have for the rest of my life.

Why did you choose cardiovascular anesthesia?
I wanted to do CV Anesthesia because I really enjoyed the complexity of the cases and being able to apply all the knowledge of pharmacology, anatomy and physiology that I learned in medical school and residency. I also felt like a CV Anesthesia fellowship would allow me to feel confident to do any complex cases in the future. I definitely love to be challenged in my work and I felt that CV Anesthesia was a specialty that would keep me learning.

What drew you to Baylor?
I was born and raised outside of Dallas, Texas, so I was familiar with the Baylor name, therefore, I knew how great the hospital and education systems were. There is also so much history in cardiothoracic surgery at Texas Heart Institute, and I knew that it would provide me with the training I wanted.

What’s your favorite thing and/or spot in Houston?
I really enjoy being so close to the beaches in Galveston. My wife, dog and I really love taking a quick drive down the coast and hanging out at the beach for the day.

What is one new thing you started in fellowship that you hadn’t done before?
I started using Peloton at the end of my residency but did not have space in my Chicago apartment to have my own. When we moved to Houston I knew that investing in a Peloton is something I wanted to do. Now that I’m able to work out in the comfort of my own home I use it almost daily. I think exercise is important to help relieve stress and overall wellbeing.

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Scott Oldebeken, M.D.

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Scott Odebeken, M.D.
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What is your favorite memory from medical school or residency?Residency wouldn’t be residency if it didn’t have some challenging moments, but at NYU I was privileged to work with some amazing classmates and co-residents through some of the most extreme situations (Hurricane Sandy, Ebola, and COVID-19). When the COVID-19 pandemic hit NYC, we relied on each other to help us get through the grueling calls, while sweating through layers of PPE. The people you work with are such a large part of your experience. Between NYU and BCM/THI, I’ve been very lucky to have such excellent attending’s, co-residents and co-fellows.

Why did you choose cardiovascular anesthesia?
I love the pace of cardiac surgery and the challenges of the diseases we see. Cardiac surgical patients are often the most vulnerable patients we encounter. The short, but potent interactions we have with them, employing our unique skillset, can have a huge impact on their perioperative course.

What drew you to Baylor?
I was drawn to the high cardiac case numbers, broad range of surgeries, from robotic valve surgery to increasingly rare open aortic surgeries, and the legacy of being a renowned cardiac surgery center.

What’s your favorite thing and/or spot in Houston?
Definitely Tex Mex, specifically the steak fajitas at El Tiempo.

What is one new thing you started in fellowship that you hadn’t done before?Driving! Coming from training in NYC, I hadn’t driven a car in about a decade when I started fellowship.  I was a little nervous to start driving on the Houston freeways every day, but now my morning commute is my moment of “zen” to listen to a podcast or some music before my day starts.

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Lerin Rutherford, M.D.

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Lerin Rutherford, M.D.
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What is your favorite memory from   medical school or residency?
I think the best part of residency is getting to know your classmates. There’s a special bond built with your co-residents during the long hours and challenges along the way. The times we could all be together and celebrate were my favorite.

Why did you choose cardiovascular anesthesia?
I enjoy doing cardiac cases because they can be challenging and there’s a lot of physiology to consider. Managing high acuity patients on a regular basis just gives you added confidence leaving training. TEE is also a very valuable skill to have in your clinical arsenal which can transform your clinical decision making.

What drew you to Baylor?
I picked Baylor for medical school because I’m a native Houstonian and my family is here. I enjoyed working with the anesthesia department as a medical student and knew I wanted to stay as a resident as well. I’ve always found BCM to have a very friendly culture that’s invested in learning.

What’s your favorite thing and/or spot in Houston?
My husband and I enjoy the restaurant scene in Houston. There’s always something new to try, someplace new to go.

What is one new thing you started in fellowship that you hadn’t done before?
Gardening! I guess it’s now a popular quarantine activity, but it’s been very relaxing for me.