When Aric Aldrich, MD, began his journey into the medical field, he thought he would practice internal medicine.
“It was more hands-off than I wanted,” says Aldrich, who joined the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics Department of Anesthesia as a cardiothoracic anesthesia fellow last summer. “I really wanted to have the opportunity to do more hands-on patient care.”
He looked at some surgical specialties, but “I didn’t really feel a calling for surgery,” he says. “I found that sort of perfect mix of medicine and hands-on patient care in anesthesia.”
His decision to pursue the cardiothoracic anesthesia subspecialty came out of an experience early in his medical training.
“When I was just starting and had a cardiac patient, I was very uncomfortable because I didn’t feel like I had the skills or knowledge to provide the best care,” Aldrich relates. “I wanted to be comfortable taking care of the sickest patients, so instead of running away from that sense of not being comfortable, I ran toward it.”
Aldrich, originally from “small-town Kansas,” earned his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Kansas and completed his residency at Northwestern University in Chicago. There, he worked briefly with Andrew Feider, MD, who is now a clinical assistant professor of anesthesia at UI Hospitals & Clinics.
The connection with Feider made choosing UI Hospitals & Clinics for his fellowship easy.
“I really liked the idea of working with Dr. Feider again, and the variety of cases here is both challenging and rewarding,” Aldrich says. “And the people here are just awesome. The whole anesthesia group and the other departments—I couldn’t ask for better people to work with.”