Professor of Anesthesiology
Vice Chair of Education
Director of Anesthesiology Simulation Program at UNC
Section Chief – Liver Transplant/Vascular Anesthesia
Past Chair of the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) OSCE Committee
Dr. Rob Isaak, DO, FASA is a Professor of Anesthesiology in the Division of Liver Transplant. Clinically, his interests include care for patients undergoing liver transplant surgery, major vascular surgery, major oncological surgeries, and regional anesthesia in the ambulatory surgical setting. His research focuses mainly on topics related to graduate medical education, both for formative and summative assessment. Specifically, he has done extensive work in developing and validating Objective Structured Clinical Exams (OSCE) for both the Department of Anesthesiology at UNC and at the American Board of Anesthesiology. Additionally, he has spent a large amount of his non-clinical time researching and publishing work on the care of patients undergoing vascular surgery, patients who are cared for as part of an ERAS pathway, and various quality improvement projects.
Dr. Isaak has been a recipient of multiple awards for teaching from the UNC Department of Anesthesiology including the Faculty Teaching Award, Faculty Honor Roll, and Special Recognition Award for Innovation in Simulation Education. Additionally, he previously received the UNC School of Medicine Academy of Educators Innovation in Education Award and the UNC Provost’s Office IBM Faculty Development Award. Lastly, his research has garnered awards at the national level including 1st place prizes for research abstracts at the Society for Education in Anesthesiology Annual Meeting and the International Meeting for Simulation in Healthcare.
Residency: Vanderbilt University Medical Center (Nashville, TN)
Medical School: Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
Undergrad: Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN)
What was your greatest recent accomplishment?
Receiving the Distinguished Educator in Anesthesiology Award from the American Society of Anesthesiology & Society for Education in Anesthesiology
What national committees are you part of?
American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) OSCE Committee
American Board of Anesthesiology Oral Board and OSCE Examiner
What grants have you received?
UNC Hospitals Institute for Healthcare Quality Improvement (IHQI) Seed Grant
University of North Carolina at Chapel Provost’s Hill IBM Junior Faculty Development Grant
Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Group on Educational Affairs (GEA) Medical Education Scholarship Research and Evaluation National Grant
American Medical Association (AMA) Joy in Medicine Practice Transformation Initiative
What honors have you received?
Distinguished Educator in Anesthesiology Award – American Society of Anesthesiology & Society for Education in Anesthesiology
University of North Carolina School of Medicine Academy of Educators- Innovation in Education Award
UNC Department of Anesthesiology Honor Roll of Top Clinician-Researcher
UNC Department of Anesthesiology Innovation in Simulation Education Faculty Teaching Award
UNC Department of Anesthesiology Resident Education Faculty Honor Roll
UNC Department of Anesthesiology Teaching Excellence Faculty Teaching Award
First Place Research Abstract – The Effect of Intern Level Physician Performance During Critical Events When Using Emergency Manuals. Society for Education in Anesthesiology Annual Meeting
First Place Research Abstract. Validity of Simulation-based Assessments for ACGME Milestone Achievement. 17th Annual International Meeting for Simulation in Healthcare.
What leadership positions do you hold in the department?
Vice Chair of Education
Division Chief of Liver Transplant and Vascular Anesthesia
Chair of the Academic Performance Assessment Committee
Director of Anesthesiology Simulation Program
What leadership positions do you hold in local, regional or national societies?
ABA OSCE Committee (Chair of Committee)
New education, degrees, certifications, etc. obtained:
Fellow of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (FASA)
Basic Perioperative Transesophageal Echocardiography, National Board of Echocardiography
Anesthesia for Liver Transplants
OSCE for formative and summative assessments
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