My name is Dr. Richard Novak, and this website’s mission is to increase your knowledge about anesthesia and the practice of medicine before, during, and after surgery. The Anesthesia Consultant is designed to inform and entertain both laypeople and medical specialists, and provides answers not found in traditional textbooks.


I’m a Stanford-trained physician, double-boarded in internal medicine and anesthesiology, and I’ve personally anesthetized over 30,000 patients over 38+ years. I’m currently an Adjunct Clinical Professor in the Stanford Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine. I teach at Stanford 100 hours per year, and have done so since 1989.

I’ve learned a lot over these years, and my intent is to share my knowledge with my readers, who include anesthesia professionals and lay people. This anesthesia blog contains more than 300 distinct pages and posts, all written by me. About half the columns are directed to the general public, so that they can understand anesthesia practice and the life of an anesthesia professional. The other half are detailed, well-referenced articles aimed at physician anesthesiologists, nurse anesthetists, and anesthesia assistants the world over.

I began my writing career in 2001 when I was the Deputy Chief of Anesthesia at Stanford University Hospital. Stanford is a mixed hospital, with both full time faculty and private practice faculty. I have been in the private practice of anesthesia since 1986, and my viewpoints are unique because very few private practice physician anesthesiologists have worked in a major university hospital for over thirty years.

Private practice anesthesia differs from academic anesthesia in important ways. I began writing monthly Deputy Chief Columns in the Stanford Anesthesiology Department newsletter in 2001, to articulate these differences.

Once the total number of columns exceeded sixty, I created The Anesthesia Consultant website in 2010 to share my writing with readers outside Stanford. I continue to write 1 – 3 columns per month, in addition to maintaining a full time job as a clinical anesthesiologist.

My career includes authoring of multiple textbook chapters, a Visiting Professor invitation to the University of New Mexico, and two novels: The Doctor and Mr. Dylan, and Doctor Vita. My literary website is located at ricknovak.com.

The Anesthesia Consultant was rated the #2 anesthesia blog in the world for 2023 by Feedspot.


The most popular posts for laypeople on The Anesthesia Consultant include:

How Long Will It Take To Wake Up From General Anesthesia?

Why Did Take Me So Long To Wake From General Anesthesia?

Will I Have a Breathing Tube During Anesthesia?

What Are the Common Anesthesia Medications?

How Safe is Anesthesia in the 21st Century?

Will I Be Nauseated After General Anesthesia?

What Are the Anesthesia Risks For Children?

The most popular posts for anesthesia professionals on The Anesthesia Consultant  include:

10 Trends for the Future of Anesthesia

Should You Cancel Anesthesia for a Potassium Level of 3.6?

12 Important Things to Know as You Near the End of Your Anesthesia Training

Should You Cancel Surgery For a Blood Pressure = 170/99?

Advice For Passing the Anesthesia Oral Board Exams

What Personal Characteristics are Necessary to Become a Successful Anesthesiologist?

Click on the Pages of The Anesthesia Consultant for an overview of important topics, or browse through the 160+ Posts listed in the sidebar. If you don’t find the answer to your anesthesia questions, you can contact me at:




Thanks, and good luck reading!

Richard Novak, MD

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