On Friday, June 21, 2019, André P. Boezaart, MD, PhD, retired from the University of Florida’s Department of Anesthesiology after 12 years of service. A luncheon was held in his honor in the eighth floor boardroom of the HVN tower, where many of his colleagues and friends came to share stories about working with him over the years.
Timothy E. Morey, MD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology, spoke about Dr. Boezaart’s exemplary work with the Division of Acute Pain and Perioperative Medicine and credited him with creating the most sophisticated and well-run Acute Pain Service in the nation. Speaking on behalf of Col. Chester C. Buckenmaier III, MD, of the U.S. Army Medical Corps, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and Associate Professor of Anesthesia, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Military Advanced Regional Anesthesia and Analgesia Initiative, Dr. Morey awarded Dr. Boezaart the Col. Chester C. Buckenmaier III, MD, Trailblazer Award for his work on behalf of the men and women in the military.
Representing the Acute Pain Service team, Steven Vose, MS, MD, awarded the UF Gator Award to Dr. Boezaart for his amazing leadership, excellence in teaching, and outstanding patient care.
Others who spoke at the luncheon fondly recalled working with Dr. Boezaart, acknowledging how much he will be missed.
Education and Career Beginnings
Dr. Boezaart began his career with a strong background in medicine, with the education to prove it. In 1973, he received his M.B.Ch.B., a five-year program resulting in a Bachelor’s of Medicine and Surgery (Medicine, Surgery, Paediatrics, and Obstetrics and Gynaecology) from the University of Pretoria, Medical Campus, in Pretoria, South Africa. He went on to become an intern in general surgery at Thembisa Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa, and an intern in internal medicine and surgery at National Hospital in Bloemfontein, South Africa. In 1984, he earned his M.Prax.Med., a Master’s in Family Medicine at the University of Pretoria. In 1985, he earned his D.A. (CMSA) – a diploma in anesthesiology – from the College of Medicine of South Africa. Clearly still enamored with learning, he continued his medical education with a residency in anesthesiology at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg Hospital in South Africa, which included a 24-month intensive care rotation. In 1988, he became a member of the F.F.A. (CMSA), the Fellowship of the Faculty of Anesthesiologists, College of Medicine of South Africa. In 1989, he received his M.Med. (Anaest), a Master’s of Medicine in Anaesthesiology at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg Hospital. His formal education came to an end in 1999 when he earned his Ph.D. in anesthesiology at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. He wrote his thesis on neuroanesthesia: cerebral blood flow, metabolism, and function during induced hypotension, using animals to compare esmolol with isoflurane and sodium nitroprusside.
Dr. Boezaart joined the faculty at UF in 2007 as a Professor of Anesthesiology and Orthopaedic Surgery. From 2007 to 2013, he served as the Director of the Regional Anesthesiology and Perioperative Pain Medicine Fellowship Program and from 2007 to 2018, he was both the Chief of the Division of Acute and Perioperative Pain Medicine and Chief of the Acute Pain Service for UF Health at Shands.
Publishing and reviewing the work of fellow faculty researchers and authors is a vital part of many academic anesthesiologist’s lives. Dr. Boezaart embraced this aspect of his work and actively researched and published throughout his career. He continues to serve as a section editor, editorial board member, and reviewer for many journals, including Anesthesiology, Anesthesia & Analgesia, International Journal of Shoulder Surgery, Pain Medicine, Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, Journal of Clinical Anesthesia, Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, Journal of Clinical Anatomy, and Techniques in Orthopaedics. He founded and serves as the Editor-in-Chief of RAEducation.com, an online resource for all things regional anesthesiology.
In addition to being honored with several teaching awards throughout his career such as the Resident’s Excellence in Teaching Award (from the University of Iowa) and the Exemplary Teachers Award (from UF), Dr. Boezaart has achieved substantial success in other areas. He has registered 12 US, Canadian, and international patents for his innovative research. Dr. Boezaart has been helping patients from the very beginning of his career, when he served in the South African army. During his service, he performed the first continuous nerve blocks and gained experience with regional and general anesthesia under austere military conditions in 1975. He garnered worldwide acclaim for the use of a new method of continuous nerve and plexus blocks by introducing the concept of nerve stimulation through both the needle for placing continuous nerve block catheters and the catheter. The concept is known as the “stimulating catheter” and can be seen in a product he developed, the StimuCath™, made by Arrow International. While a faculty member at the University of Iowa, Dr. Boezaart established the Regional Anesthesia Study Center of Iowa (RASCI) and served as its course director. The main focus of RASCI was monthly on- and off-campus animal- and cadaver-based hands-on workshops for teaching regional anesthesia. He also established a Regional Anesthesia Fellowship Program and led Orthopaedic Anesthesia to become recognized as a division of anesthesia.
When Dr. Boezaart arrived at UF, he introduced the concept of Acute Pain and Perioperative Pain Medicine (APPM) and established the APPM Fellowship Program. He is also credited with organizing and running the most efficient and effective Acute Pain Service in the country. Other measures Dr. Boezaart took at UF to help patients with pain were to co-found the Patient- and Family-Centered Care Initiative (PFCC) and the Cancer and Palliative Pain Collaboration Initiative (CPPC).
One of Dr. Boezaart’s first loves is teaching. He spent years learning and actively continues to learn on a daily basis. He is eager to share his knowledge with others so that patients can benefit. He accomplishes this through research, writing and publishing articles and books, and making instructional videos. Overall, Dr. Boezaart has produced 72 such videos, and he has offered his video-making tools to anyone who is interested. His videos include the “André Boezaart’s High-Yield Block” series, the “André Boezaart Must-Know Anatomy” series, the “André Boezaart’s Nurse Education” series, and the “Functional Anatomy” series. He recently released the first video of a new “Connecting the Neural Network” series. In collaboration with Barys Ihnatsenka, MD, and Yury Zasimovich, MD, Dr. Boezaart produced the “Dynamic Sonoanatomy Videos,” and with Donald Bohannon, MD, and Linda Le-Wendling, MD, he produced the “Patient Education Videos” for total joint arthroplasty pain management. These videos can be viewed on Kindle and the Department of Anesthesiology’s website.
Although it might seem that Dr. Boezaart wouldn’t have much time for anything outside of his work as an anesthesiologist, teacher, and researcher, he truly enjoys spending time with his wife and their children and grandchildren. He also enjoys many sports and hobbies, including tennis, golf, squash, cricket, and equestrian sports such as dressage and general equitation. He is perhaps most well-known for his close association to wildlife in his native South Africa and other parts of the African continent. He is a professional hunter but has recently preferred to shoot big game and nature scenes with his camera; you can see some of Dr. Boezaart’s amazing photography in the GatorWorks newsletter as well as hanging on the walls of the anesthesiology suite in the 1329 building. He was also a private pilot for many years.
Dr. Boezaart was a great gift to the Department of Anesthesiology. He brought passion, learning, and innovation, as well as his very special presence, and he will be missed. We would like to thank him for all of his efforts to make UF a better place for patients and for challenging us to always aim higher.