VCU Department of Anesthesiology

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VCU Medical Center, Richmond VA


Dr. John Butterworth, IV Department Chair

Welcome to the web site of the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Department of Anesthesiology. Our department is physically located on the MCV Campus in downtown Richmond, Virginia, a few hundred feet from our state capitol. The VCU Health System is an urban, comprehensive academic medical center. The VCU Medical Center has been consistently ranked #1 or #2 among all medical centers in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Our academic medical center dates to 1838. We began as the medical department of Hampden-Sydney College, but were soon renamed the Medical College of Virginia. In 1848 anesthesia was introduced in the Commonwealth of Virginia by Dr. Charles Bell Gibson, a member of the Medical College of Virginia faculty.

The Medical College of Virginia first became a “state-supported” institution in 1860. We were the only medical school within the Confederacy to remain open throughout the Civil War. In 1968, the Medical College of Virginia and Richmond Professional Institute merged to become Virginia Commonwealth University. VCU now includes thirteen schools and one college that provide 62 bachelor’s degree programs, 72 master’s degree programs, 41 doctoral degree programs, and three first-professional degree programs, 47 post-baccalaureate and post-master's certificate programs. VCU includes roughly 25,000 undergraduate students, 5,500 graduate students, and more than 1,700 students seeking their first professional degree. 

The VCU Department of Anesthesiology has features that make it differ from other, seemingly similar academic departments of anesthesiology. Notably, we place particular focus on clinical education, patient safety, and programs aimed at Enhanced Recovery after Surgery. Our medical center has won several national awards for our work on patient safety. Our residency training program is unusually resident-directed. With guidance from our Resident Education Committee our chief residents schedule our education programs, and with guidance from our schedule coordinators our senior residents direct the daily clinical assignments of residents and staff.

Our faculty are well connected to the greater community of physicians. The Editor in Chief of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine is a member of our faculty, Other members of our faculty are on the editorial boards of that journal as well as the editorial boards of Anesthesia and Analgesia and Anesthesiology. One member of our department has been the president of a state medical society and another has been president of a state society of anesthesiologists. Several members of the faculty are in the leadership of the Virginia Society of Anesthesiologists. One member of the department serves as a District Director for the Medical Society of Virginia. One member of the department was appointed by the President as a Commissioner for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

I am proud of our department and I am glad that you are viewing our web site. Please feel free to contact my colleagues or me if you have questions about our department or our programs.

Best wishes!

John F. Butterworth, IV, MD
Professor and Chair, Department of Anesthesiology
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine

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Virginia Commonwealth University
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West Hospital, 1200 E. Broad Street, 7th Floor
Phone: (804) 828-9160 | Fax: (804) 828-8300 | email:
updated: 5/23/17