Nathanael Slater, D.O.
Academic Role: Assistant Professor
Faculty Appointment(s) and Affiliations:
I am originally from Lebanon, NH; my mother is from Bombay, India and my father from rural, upstate NY. I am the oldest son, one of four children of a pastor in rural NH, and this strongly influences who I am as a person. I have wanted to be a physician for as long as I can remember; the desire to be an anesthesiologist is far more recent. My family doctor from my childhood shaped my ideas of what a physician should be; caring, humble, and dedicated to their patients’ needs every hour of the day. Being a physician was not shift-work, it was a way of life that required a great deal of personal sacrifice. Upon matriculation to medical school, my goal was to become that rural, country physician, caring for his patients from birth to death.
The core values I have as a physician have not changed, though the field in which I practice is a dramatically different one than what I initially had in mind. Upon beginning my internship I was fascinated by the complex nature of the intensive care unit. Here was a place where I could be challenged intellectually, care for people using advanced therapies and invasive procedures, yet still be the doctor who walked families through very trying times. The decision to become an anesthesiologist came after witnessing a code during my internship year. An anesthesiologist ran the code, established IV access, intubated and resuscitated the patient without breaking a sweat; I decided I wanted to be that person!
Upon completing an internal medicine residency at UMASS, I completed a critical care fellowship and anesthesiology residency at the same institution. Clearly, I have been here for a time and there is good reason for it! My training has been excellent, my colleagues and teachers have been wonderful. I am excited to join the faculty here as an anesthesiologist and intensivist. My clinical interests are in critical care, vascular, and thoracic anesthesia. I particularly enjoy teaching residents how to do procedures, care for complex patients in the ICU, and interact with patients’ families. As a new faculty member part of my responsibilities include directing the 4th-year medical student clerkship along with Dr. Rebecca Zanconato. Our goal is to constantly improve the learning experience for medical students; not only to make it more fun, but to make it more practical and high-yield. As one of my mentors has said, “Teaching is a skill that needs to be learned and refined like any other.”
Outside the operating room, I am an avid skier, cyclist, amateur chef and bartender. I am a certified car-nut and I hope now that residency is completed, to be winging a sports car around a track in NH very soon! I am a strong advocate for physical fitness as a unique responsibility for physicians. We are in charge of people’s health, so we need to be healthy ourselves, and it is our responsibility to model physical fitness. If you get to meet me, the conversation will inevitably drift toward food, drink, and good times with friends and family, which in the end, is what this life is all about.