Gary R. Stier, MD
Gary R. Stier, MD, FACP, MBA, CPE
Program Director
Program Director Message

The Loma Linda University Department of Anesthesiology believes that the future of the specialty is very bright, not only for the continued value of the contributions that the specialty makes to the science of medicine, but also for the expanding role that anesthesiology offers to the health care community.

The goal of the anesthesiology training program at Loma Linda University is to prepare residents for a successful career in the field of anesthesiology, and its related subspecialties, through exposure to an exceptional variety of clinical cases, the principles of practice management, research opportunities, and faculty mentoring. Moreover, the program believes that an in depth knowledge of perioperative medicine will be a significant component of the specialty’s skill set moving forward, and is integrating perioperative care activities into the curriculum in response. Loma Linda University is one of a selected number of programs with an active Perioperative Surgical Home (PSH) service, and also one of only 3 institutions to offer a combined Anesthesiology-Internal Medicine residency. For the 2016-2017 academic year, the Department will offer 14 categorical anesthesiology training positions, and 2 combined internal medicine/anesthesiology positions.

Primary training in anesthesiology is concentrated at the Loma Linda University Medical Center (LLUMC), a 734-bed tertiary care, Level I Trauma Center located in Loma Linda, CA, a suburban community located 60 miles east of Los Angeles, CA. The Medical Center serves as a major referral center for the surrounding areas of the Inland Empire and the eastern California deserts. The Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital, located next to the Medical Center, is a very busy referral center for acute pediatric illnesses, having one of the largest neonatal intensive care units in the Western U.S. With such a large population of children, the anesthesia pediatric experience is significant, comprising nearly 25% of the surgical case load in the Medical Center. Additional affiliated training sites add to the diverse resident education experienced in the Loma Linda program: Loma Linda University Faculty Outpatient Surgery Center (ambulatory pediatric and adult experience); Jerry L. Pettis Veterans Administration Hospital (regional, vascular, and general anesthesia experience); Loma Linda University Medical Center-East Campus (regional, neurologic and orthopedic anesthesia); Loma Linda University Surgical Hospital (robotic surgery); and the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center (trauma, burns, general anesthesia, and vascular experience), located 10 minutes from LLUMC.

The Loma Linda University anesthesiology residency program offers a strong didactic curriculum designed to prepare the resident for successful board certification. The teaching agenda includes:
  • Weekly didactic lectures covering core topics in the field of anesthesiology as outlined by the In-Training Content Outline
  • Problem-based learning sessions
  • Point-of-care bedside ultrasound
  • Practice management
  • Updates on healthcare policy
  • Subspecialty conferences covering cardiac, pediatrics, and critical care topics
  • Weekly simulation-training sessions
  • Weekly Department Grand Rounds featuring lectures by guest speakers and faculty
  • Monthly morbidity/mortality conferences
  • Semiannual oral-board type examinations for CA-2 and CA-3 residents
  • Annual point-of-care ultrasound and Lean Six-Sigma (quality and safety) training workshop built into the curriculum at the PGY-2 level
  • Annual anesthesiology board review lecture series by the faculty for residents preparing for the Spring ITE and summer American Board of Anesthesiology Step 1 Written Examinations.

The Department offers ACMGE-approved subspecialty fellowship training in Cardiac Anesthesia, Pediatric Anesthesia, and Critical Care Medicine. These fellowship programs offer the resident additional subspecialty education that will enable them to more effectively pursue successful careers in either an academic or private practice setting.

Clinical and laboratory research opportunities are plentiful and successful achievement of an educational project during training is expected for program completion. Residents, in partnership with mentoring faculty, work on Departmentally-funded clinical or laboratory projects during the CA-2 and early CA-3 years. These projects are presented by the resident at Department Grand Rounds sessions, as well as at regional and national scientific meetings.

The residency program has been graduating high quality anesthesiologists for over thirty years, with a board certification pass rate comfortably in excess of 90%. Many of the program’s graduates have assumed leadership roles within their anesthesiology groups, hospitals, and medical societies. The network of Loma Linda anesthesiology alumni is large and extends throughout all regions of the U.S. and abroad, offering current and future residents unparalleled access to very competitive top-flight anesthesiology opportunities nationwide.

In summary, the Loma Linda University Department of Anesthesiology residency program offers unsurpassed training in the areas of basic and high-risk pediatric and adult anesthesia, critical care medicine, pain management, and echocardiography, as well as preparing residents for successful board certification. The high quality of training, combined with Loma Linda’s location in the pleasant and sunny climate of the Southern California’s Inland Empire region, offers a truly unique training experience.