Obstetrical Anesthesia

The Department of Anesthesia at Stanford University Medical Center offers 3, one-year, ACGME-accredited fellowships in Obstetrical Anesthesia. The Obstetric Anesthesia Fellowship combines advanced clinical training with the opportunity to engage in research and education. The fellowship equips its graduates for a variety of careers, ranging from academic practice to working in private practice with the ability to act as a consultant in obstetric anesthesia.

Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University is a tertiary obstetric center and has a busy Labor and Delivery Suite with 4,500-5,000 deliveries per year, many of which are high-risk. Applicants gain experience in the anesthetic management of high-risk obstetric patients, and receive hands-on teaching in state-of-the-art technologies, including: advanced labor and cesarean analgesic techniques, ultrasound-guided neuraxial anesthetic techniques, transthoracic echocardiography, and point-of-care devices such as thromboelastography.

Stanford is a world-leader in obstetric emergency simulation and Fellows will have the opportunity to gain experience in participating and teaching using low- and high-fidelity simulation techniques. All Fellows will participate in at least one primary research project, which will incorporate research interests of the applicant with mentorship and guidance from the experienced obstetric anesthesia researchers within our group. Many Fellows have the opportunity to present a research project at a major anesthesia or subspecialty meeting (including the Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology and the American Society of Anesthesiologists). Fellows will also gain instruction in study design, data analysis, scientific writing and important aspects of peer review. Recent research interests in the group have included:

  • Optimization of neuraxial techniques for labor and cesarean analgesia
  • Predicting individual labor and cesarean pain and analgesic needs
  • Local anesthetic potency and anesthetic requirements during labor and cesarean delivery
  • Epidural and spinal opioid applications in obstetrics
  • Peripartum hemostatic and coagulation changes
  • Preventive and therapeutic strategies for hemorrhage management
  • Management of maternal cardiac arrest and other obstetrical emergencies
  • Patient attitudes and ethnic preferences towards obstetric analgesia

Other projects have been performed in conjunction with the Department of Fetal-Maternal Medicine and the Section of Perioperative Management and Pharmacokinetics within the Department of Anesthesia (such as, cost-analyses, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of drugs administered to pregnant women and interdisciplinary outcomes based research). We also offer opportunities to engage in global health projects. Opportunities for a 2-year fellowship may exist for candidates anticipating a career in academic medicine, with the second year spent in continuing clinical research and laboratory studies with other anesthesia department faculty. We also offer obstetric anesthesia research opportunities for more experienced researchers (e.g. sabbaticals) wishing to refine and expand their research repertoire and skillsets.

Clinical activities for the Fellow include primary responsibility for the management of high-risk parturients as well as involvement in routine obstetric anesthesia care. The fellows participate in intradepartmental educational activities and attend a Medical School lecture series for postgraduate fellows covering a variety of important topics over a three-semester period. Fellows organize the obstetric anesthesia journal club and participate in medical student and resident teaching under the supervision of the obstetric anesthesia faculty. Fellows interested in a career in academic medicine are also able to attend numerous workshops, seminars, and conferences at Stanford University, and receive mentoring from internationally recognized senior educators and researchers within and outside the Department of Anesthesia at Stanford University.


The fellowship starts on July 1 or August 1. The deadline for applications is July 31; however, applications should be submitted as early as possible. Selected candidates will be invited to Stanford for interview. If the deadline has passed, applications are always welcomed and will be reviewed for the following year.

Principal Faculty: Brendan Carvalho MBBCh, FRCA; Andrea Traynor, MD; Edward Riley,MD; Alex Butwick, MBBS, FRCA, MS; Steve Lipman MD; Gillian Abir, MBChB, FRCA; Naola Austin, MD, Pamela Flood, MD.