Newswise — ORLANDO, Fla. – The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) today presented Jerome M. Klafta, M.D., with its 2019 Excellence in Education Award in recognition of his exemplary career as a master clinician and physician educator in the medical specialty of anesthesiology. The award is presented annually to an ASA member who has made significant contributions to the specialty through excellence in teaching, development of new teaching methods, or the implementation of innovative educational programs.

Dr. Klafta is a professor and vice chair of education in the Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care at the University of Chicago, where he also serves on the department’s committees on Resident Recruitment, Resident Development and Clinical Competency. 

“Dr. Klafta is a gifted educator who deserves this award for his outstanding contributions to undergraduate and graduate medical education,” said ASA President Linda J. Mason, M.D., FASA. “His extraordinary teaching abilities and role in cultivating the next generation of physician anesthesiologists through innovative program development is remarkable.”

Early in his career, Dr. Klafta established the Perioperative Medicine and Pain Therapy clerkship in anesthesiology for University of Chicago medical students. The clerkship was one of the first adopted by a U.S. medical school and is consistently rated among the most worthwhile of all mandatory clinical clerkships or specialty rotations by University of Chicago medical students. In 2006, he assumed his current role as vice chair for education, where he oversees core and specialty anesthesiology program directors, as well as the mandatory clerkship. 

Dr. Klafta was selected as teacher of the year by his department straight out of residency, an impressive accomplishment that he would earn three more times. He was inducted into Alpha Omega Alpha in 2000 by University of Chicago medical students for “demonstrated excellence as a physician teacher, a commitment to students and their education, and having served as a role model throughout the medical school years.” Additionally, in 2007 Dr. Klafta was inducted as a Master in the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine Academy of Distinguished Medical Educators, a lifetime appointment and honor reserved for fewer than 20 of the more than 1,000 multidisciplinary physician faculty at the university.

Dr. Klafta is a member of ASA’s Committee on Academic Anesthesiology and the Educational Track Subcommittee on Fundamentals of Anesthesiology. He is a senior examiner for the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) and serves as vice chair of the ABA’s Basic Examination Committee. 

Upon receiving his medical degree from the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago, Dr. Klafta completed his residency in anesthesia at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He also completed an internship in internal medicine at the McGaw Medical Center at Northwestern University in Chicago. 

A leading educator throughout his career, Dr. Klafta has received numerous awards, including the Faculty Physician Peer Role Model Award from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine in 2014 and the coveted Teaching Recognition Award from the International Anesthesia Research Society in 2002. 


Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 53,000 members organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology. ASA is committed to ensuring physician anesthesiologists evaluate and supervise the medical care of patients before, during and after surgery to provide the highest quality and safest care every patient deserves. 

For more information on the field of anesthesiology, visit the American Society of Anesthesiologists online at To learn more about the role physician anesthesiologists play in ensuring patient safety, visit Join the ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2019 social conversation today. Like ASA on Facebook, follow ASALifeline on Twitter and use the hashtag #ANES19.

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ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2019 annual meeting