Richard Breed, M.D.
Academic Role: Assistant Professor
Faculty Appointment(s) and Affiliations:
"The eternal providence has appointed me to watch over the life and health of Thy creatures."
- The Oath of Maimonides
[attr. Moses Maimonides, twelfth-century physician; first seen in print, 1793]
I was drawn to anesthesiology by a mentor who shared my interests and fascination in cooking, music, and inorganic chemistry. As a resident, I watched as he used the same hand motion to turn the vaporizer just as he used to add spices just so. A major difference, however, was the speed with which the reponse occurred: the patients tended to respond faster than the eventual taste from the pot. At least the patients could give you feedback!
"May I never see in the patient anything but a fellow creature in pain."
My mentor suggested that I get involved with pain therapy, which was still relatively new at that time. After a few years hiatus, I returned to UMass (after graduation and after my pain fellowship) to be co-director of the Acute Pain Management Service here. The day-to-day and patient-to-patient differences in postoperative pain and analgesic responses are fascinating. The ability to educate my fellow physicians in the art of analgesia is a joy!
" ... knowledge is immense and the spirit of man can extend indefintely to enrich itself daily with new requirements."
A series of unfortunate events also led me to spend a lot of time in the Pre-Admission Testing Center, of which I am now Medical Drector. After years of empiricism, I have now turned to the theoretical side of anesthesia. As part of the overall team, I have learned to make sure that patients are optimized prior to their arrival to the operating room, and to make sure that patients are well-educated as to their overall perioperative experience.
"Oh, God, Thou has appointed me to watch over the life and death of Thy creatures; here am I ready for my vocation and now I turn unto my calling."
MD, University of Massachusetts, 1979
Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, MA, Residency in Anesthesiology, 1980-1982
University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Fellowship in Cardiovascular
University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Fellowship in Pain Management, 1983