David Drexler, Ph.D.,M.D.
Academic Role: Assistant Professor
Faculty Appointment(s) and Affiliations:
My Dad was an anesthesiologist and I remember telling people as early as 4 years of age that I too was going to be an anesthesiologist someday. I'm sure this was at least partly in order to entertain, since people seemed to find it amusing that a 4 year old would even know this word.
After completing an MD/PhD program in California, again following in my Dad's footsteps, I returned home to New England for my residency training here at UMass. My choice of a residency was at least partly influenced by my wife Connie's desire to join her Dad's medical practice at Marlboro Hospital, our sister institution. Connie's Dad, Bob Rittenhouse, was on staff at Marlboro Hospital for more than 50 years until his recent retirement at the age of 81.
Although Memorial Hospital was my first choice after finishing my residency, we have not had a lot of turnover in our group and I had to wait quite a while for a job to open up. I joined the faculty at Lahey Clinic while waiting for an opening to materialize and have been here at UMass Memorial ever since. Coming back to UMass Memorial was without a doubt the best move I ever made! I don't think there is a better OR, a better place to practice, or a better anesthesia group in the entire state.
I enjoy the wide variety of cases we perform on the Memorial Campus and it's truly superb work environment. Anyone who spends their time in our OR's will attest to the extremely congenial working relationships we have with our supremely talented group of surgeons and with all of the OR staff. It really does feel like family working in our OR's. I enjoy the challenges and rewards offered by our busy OB practice and I especially enjoy working with our medical students, residents, CRNA students and paramedic interns. I delight in introducing them to new techniques that they may not yet have tried.
While I enjoy teaching students and residents at every level, I'd have to say that I especially enjoy teaching medical students, student CRNA's and our first year residents, where everything you have to show them is likely going to be new and exciting. I very much enjoy their eagerness and their enthusiasm. I have had several medical students spend a night float week with me, allowing them to benefit from literally hour upon hour of one-on-one attention. By the end of the week they have truly become expert at regional anesthesia, having done 20 or more epidurals and 7 or 8 spinals as well as assisting in whatever emergencies come through the door in the main OR that week.
Outside the OR I enjoy skiing, traveling, fly-fishing in exotic locales, kite surfing and kite skiing, hiking with my family and taking in the host of cultural events that Boston, Worcester and the Berkshires have to offer with my lovely wife Connie who shares my love of classical music. I also enjoy traveling with Connie's youth orchestra. Connie works full time as one of our hospitalists here at UMass but spends quite a few of her off hours enjoying music in every way. She completed her masters degree in piano performance at Boston University while we were in Medical School together, and teaches more than a dozen talented piano and violin/viola students as well as directing the New England Youth Chamber Ensemble in her spare time. I thoroughly enjoyed accompanying the orchestra on their trip to Iceland recently. If you haven't yet visited that country I would certainly put it high on your list of things to do. Take Icelandair and stop over for a few days on your next trip across the Atlantic. You'll be glad you did.
M.D., Loma Linda University, 1988
University of Massachusetts, Residency in Anesthesiology, 1989-1991