Rafael A. Ortega, MD

Professor, Anesthesiology

Rafael Ortega
88 E. Newton St Newton Pavilion


Rafael A. Ortega, MD, a native of the Dominican Republic, is a graduate of the UNPHU in Santo Domingo and trained in anesthesiology at Boston University School of Medicine/Boston Medical Center in the early 1980’s. He is Professor of Anesthesiology and Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at Boston University School of Medicine.

Dr. Ortega is a diplomate of the American Board of Anesthesiology and the National Board of Echocardiography. His interests include cardiac and thoracic anesthesia, computer-assisted instruction, and education in anesthesiology. He has served in various committees with American Society of Anesthesiologists, Massachusetts Society of Anesthesiologists and the Wood Library Museum.

Dr. Ortega has published a variety of papers, book chapters, and multimedia programs in a broad range of topics including airway management, operating room hazards, and the history of his specialty. In 2006, he published the book Written in Granite and spearheaded the restoration of the Ether Monument in the Boston Public Garden. With the proceeds from this book, a maintenance fund was created to assure the monument’s continuing preservation. His most recent work includes the publication of a series of clinical procedure videos in New England Journal of Medicine and a multilingual instructional program for the World Health Organization’s Global Pulse Oximetry Project.

As Associate Dean of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, he is responsible for fostering diversity and cultural competence among students, faculty, and staff. Dr. Ortega works with four Assistant Deans. Together they form a formidable team striving to make Boston University Medical Campus as heterogeneous and inclusive as possible. Dr. Ortega is committed to unquestionable openness and inclusion, promoting relations among all groups, and inspiring students and faculty to learn from each other while appreciating their differences.

Other Positions

  • Chair, Anesthesiology, Boston University School of Medicine
  • Chief, Anesthesiology, Boston Medical Center
  • Vice Chair, Academic Affairs, Anesthesiology, Boston University School of Medicine


  • Universidad Nacional Pedro Henríquez Ureña (UNPHU), MD


  • Published on 1/25/2018

    Ortega R, Brull SJ, Prielipp R, Gutierrez A, De La Cruz R, Conley CM. Monitoring Neuromuscular Function. N Engl J Med. 2018 Jan 25; 378(4):e6. PMID: 29365307.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/1/2018

    Lewis KP, Canelli R, Ortega R. OK to Proceed? What Every Health Care Provider Should Know About Patient Safety. Boston Medical Center. Boston. 2018.

  • Published on 7/27/2017

    Connor C, Deng W, Ortega R. Use of Pressure Transducers. N Engl J Med. 2017 07 27; 377(4):401. PMID: 28745991.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 4/11/2017

    Platt MP, Akhtar-Khavari V, Ortega R, Schneider JI, Fineberg T, Grundfast KM. The Interactive Candidate Assessment Tool: A New Way to Interview Residents. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2017 Jun; 156(6):1150-1153. PMID: 28397582.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 4/6/2017

    Ortega R, Connor C, Kotova F, Deng W, Lacerra C. Use of Pressure Transducers. N Engl J Med. 2017 Apr 06; 376(14):e26. PMID: 28379806.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 4/1/2017

    Akhtar-Khavari V, Ortega R. Collaboration and peer-reviewed multimedia content. Clin Teach. 2017 04; 14(2):149. PMID: 28296221.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/28/2017

    Savage A, Nadler MK, Ortega R. External ear findings during anaphylaxis. J Anesth. 2017 10; 31(5):798. PMID: 28352963.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 11/29/2016

    Ortega R, Akhtar-Khavari V, Barash P, Sharar S, Stock MC. An innovative textbook: design and implementation. Clin Teach. 2017 Dec; 14(6):407-411. PMID: 27896914.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/17/2016

    Ortega R, Canelli RJ, Quillen K, Mustafa W, Kotova F. VIDEOS IN CLINICAL MEDICINE. Transfusion of Red Cells. N Engl J Med. 2016 Mar 17; 374(11):e12. PMID: 26981950.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 12/18/2015

    Hoppenfeld MS, Kotov A, Ortega R. Ventricular fibrillation and consciousness are not mutually exclusive. Resuscitation. 2016 Mar; 100:e1-2. PMID: 26708449.

    Read at: PubMed

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