Advancement and
Alumni Engagement

Gaurav Patel 08M 12MR

Chief, General & Transplant Anesthesiology | Emory University Hospital | Emory Clinic | Associate Professor    | Emory University | Atlanta, GA

Gaurav Patel has always been passionate about education and service. After attending the University of Pennsylvania for his undergraduate studies, he returned home to attend Emory for medical school and an anesthesiology residency. He then joined Emory University Hospital as a faculty anesthesiologist. Now he serves as associate clinical director for the anesthesiologist assistant program. He has lectured nationally and internationally and has published on education and clinical anesthesiology. Gaurav is also chief of general and transplant anesthesia at Emory University Hospital, one of the most complex operating room environments in the Emory Healthcare system. He helped lead the group through the COVID-19 pandemic and works to mentor faculty.

“Emory encouraged me to push my interests and limits. I never dreamed of becoming an anesthesiologist or being an educator. But in medical school, I was inspired to explore different specialties, and I fell in love with anesthesiology. Emory also molded my interested in teaching—something I always enjoyed but never saw as a career. By teaching other medical students and residents while in training, Emory truly helped me understand the concept and importance of lifelong learning.”

    Gaurav Patel didn’t set out to be an anesthesiologist. “My mentor growing up was my pediatrician,” he explained, and he planned to pursue that specialty. During his first year of medical school, he had the opportunity to observe some Emory anesthesiologists for a few weeks. Patel was hooked. “You administer the medicine, and you see its effects immediately,” he said.

    He has dual roles at Emory, one as a physician/administrator and one as a medical educator. According to Patel, he “can’t choose which one he loves more.” As chief of general and transplant anesthesiology, Patel oversees the team responsible for providing anesthesia to all patients receiving transplants, as well as those having procedures other than cardiac surgery. “I lead a team of 35 anesthesiologists and over 50 anesthetists, and all of the residents who rotate through,” he said.

    His role as chief coincided with the beginning of the pandemic. “Early on, we were making and developing protocols while we managed all the airways of all the patients with COVID-19 at Emory,” he said. “We had to ensure that everything we did was appropriate and safe for our patients, but also for ourselves.”

    In his current role as the associate clinical director of the Emory Anesthesiologist Assistant (AA) Program, Patel focuses on teaching—in particular, teaching the anesthesiologist assistants, or anesthetists. “The foundation of my career after residency was medical education at all levels: medical students, residents, AA students,” he said. “I want to help define and improve the curriculum so that we’re staying modern while preparing our students to care for patients.”

    After double-majoring in neuroscience and French at the University of Pennsylvania, Patel completed medical school and residency at Emory, where he was “encouraged to explore my interests and push my limits. The people at Emory are wonderful; they have celebrated with me when things have gone well and lifted me up when they didn’t,” he said.