Anesthesia is a primarily facilitatory discipline. Despite the obvious attractions, few patients present themselves for anesthesia services. Rather, anesthesia serves to make possible the provision of other various medical services, including all varieties of surgery, as well as obstetrical and diagnostic studies of various sorts, especially in the pediatric specialty areas. It has been said that the greatest advance in surgery in the past 50 years has been anesthesia, and certainly morbidity and mortality due to anesthesia have diminished drastically with advances in monitoring, pharmacology, and training.
Recent highlights for the McMaster University Department of Anesthesia include significant faculty recruitment; a significant increase in contributions to education, research, and administration at the local, national, and international levels; and the use of simulation technologies to teach clinical skills and to explore their potential use in distance medicine.