David McDonagh, M.D. Anesthesiology Resident ‘05
By Stacey Hilton
r. David McDonagh is best known within Duke Anesthesiology for finetuning one of the most mature neuroanesthesia programs in the country. A now well-known successor of neurocritical care pioneer, Dr. Cecil Borel, McDonagh first arrived at Duke in 1999. He became board-certified in both neurology and anesthesiology; completing a fellowship in neurocritical care. It was his tenure as Duke faculty, in which he served as chief of the Neuroanesthesiology, Otolaryngology and Offsite Anesthesia Division, that proved crucial in developing his leadership skills and provided the opportunity to take on greater leadership roles at UT Southwestern Medical Center in 2015.
“Because Duke Anesthesiology has such a long tradition of academic excellence, it attracts some of the best and brightest minds from around the world. The connections I made there became invaluable and continue to have a tremendously positive impact on my career. I will always be grateful for the mentorship I received, and I encourage my current residents to complete subspecialty training at Duke Anesthesiology because of that culture of mentorship, innovation and academic excellence.”
“During my time at Duke, I was continually inspired and encouraged to look beyond the clinical practice each day; to see the bigger picture of the impact I could have at the departmental and institutional level, as well as the national level,” says McDonagh, an achievement evident in his role within UT Southwestern and the O’Donnell Brain Institute; a rapidly growing center for clinical care, and clinical, translational and basic neuroscience research. “My primary clinical mentor [Borel] instilled in me the value of practicing at the core of your skillset and the importance of building leadership on a strong clinical reputation.” McDonagh has built his career around the perioperative care of the neurosurgical patient and their complex health issues. He has advanced procedures for awake craniotomy, use of adenosine for circulatory arrest during cerebral aneurysm clipping, postoperative management of neurosurgical patients, and the
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