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Authors > James M. Berry, MD

“There is so much that is new in anesthesiology since the first edition of Anesthesia Equipment, especially in informatics, information technology, and record-keeping.” – James M. Berry, MD

Chips and Software

Anesthesia Equipment is now in its second edition. There is so much that is new in anesthesiology since the first edition, especially in informatics, information technology, and record-keeping. Drs. Ehrenwerth and Eisenkraft invited me in to contribute to the book in those areas. Because the amount of information had really grown since the first edition of Anesthesia Equipment, having a third editor was important. I’m honored and privileged to be a part of this group. These guys are legends. Hopefully I can bring something to the table in terms of the latest and greatest in informatics and equipment. My contribution is less about knobs and valves and more about chips and software.

Why Anesthesia?

Initially I wanted to be a neurologist, because neurologists get to think about memory, consciousness, awareness, and the mysteries of the brain. When I actually saw what neurologists did in practice, it was less action-oriented than what I wanted to do. When I finally saw what anesthesiologists did during my internship, I discovered that they didn’t just talk about memory and consciousness and awareness, they actually manipulated it. It was very appealing to me to be more hands-on and interactive and to be able to take care of one patient at a time.

A Four-Year-Old’s Smile

One of the highlights of my career occurred while I was on a medical mission trip to Guatemala. There was a girl who was about four years old who had a disease called Treacher-Collins, which made her jaw very small and made her difficult to intubate. Previous mission groups had refused to operate on her cleft palate because they thought it was too risky. One of my interests is in airway tools and techniques, and I realized that we could put her to sleep and then take a look and see how bad her airway was. No one else had tried that. So, with some luck and a little prayer, I was able to get her intubated and enable her to have a successful operation. Seeing her the next morning, happy, smiling, and able to eat and drink with her mother was one of my highlights.


James M. Berry, MD is Professor of Anesthesiology and Chief of the Division of Multispecialty Adult Anesthesiology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. He is a co-author of Anesthesia Equipment, 2nd Edition.

Dr. Berry earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical School in Houston. He performed a transitional internship at St. Joseph Hospital, a residency in anesthesiology at University of Texas Affiliated Hospitals, and a research fellowship in the department of biophysics at the University of Houston.  Dr. Berry is board certified in preventive medicine – undersea and hyperbaric medicine and anesthesiology.

Dr. Berry holds several patents and is the author of many research articles, book chapters, presentations, and abstracts. He is the recipient of numerous grants, teaching awards, and awards for perioperative innovation. He is currently a board examiner for the American Board of Anesthesiology, a reviewer for Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine and Anesthesiology: Journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, and a member of the Environmental Task Force for the American Society of Anesthesiologists.  Dr. Berry has a particular clinical interest in the environmental effects of inhaled anesthetics.

Related Authors: Jan Ehrenwerth, MD; James B. Eisenkraft, MD