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Welcome from the Director


Welcome to our webpage! I hail from the Bronx, and completed college and medical school in Brooklyn. It’s hard to believe that I was in your shoes in 1996, applying to a variety of Anesthesiology residency programs (3!) and matching right here in Rochester. It’s also still amazing to me that I live in a house (having grown up in an apartment) and don’t need to collect quarters for the washing machine anymore. These days, I spend half my time managing/supervising anesthetics, and the other half involved in education, research, and administration. I would never have imagined my life looking like it does when I was at your stage. And I am grateful every day for the blessings I have at work, and at home.

One thing that has remained consistent is that we are never the same program two years in a row. As is the case for many academic medical centers, we continually grow in our catchment area and case mix. This leads to a steady stream of new faces and practices. This is amazing for someone like me who has only practiced anesthesiology at URMC. By the way, new people includes YOU! A constant stream of diverse and fresh faces – you ARE the reason we do what we do.

Having support and confidants readily available is a great internal check for me (and for you, hopefully!). I am fortunate to have two former program directors still present in our department, and maintain a connection with program directors of our distant past, too. I’ve been supported by three different Chairs, and an amazing GME Dean. And unless you’ve been to one of our national conferences and met those folks who have NOT been as fortunate, it is hard to explain how valuable it is to have truly effective leaders. We, your PD and APDs, hope to serve in that role for you. With respect to recruitment, we hope you also value building relationships in your class, in residency, and within our department and institution. 

Being geographically challenged (it’s okay, we get the weather jokes!), we are passionate about being extra cool. :)  So, when it comes to being innovative, I think we really shine. And being able to translate these ideas into practice comes from years of honing our reputation and getting the nod from our leaders, and the resources and time to make it happen. This has resulted in some pretty neat home-grown innovations – our fully integrated residency program, weekly education days, and our approach to professional identity formation. Look for more information about these on our website, and in person if we have the honor of meeting you. These innovations have also changed in response to feedback from our residents, our faculty, our patients, our families…we are constantly growing, always striving to be better.

Thus, our motto: MELIORA.

Suzanne Karan, M.D., FASA
Professor of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine
Vice Chair for Education
Residency Program Director
Assistant DIO, Hospital Based Programs
Chief Clinical Coordinator, SMH Director
Anesthesiology Respiratory Physiology Lab Chair
NYSSA Academic Anesthesiology Committee