Leader Profile: Trevor Sutton, MD, MBA, CPE

Posted on Mon, Feb 01, 2016
Leader Profile: Trevor Sutton, MD, MBA, CPE

When you speak with Trevor Sutton, MD, MBA, CPE, his passion for the field of anesthesiology and patient safety is instantly evident. As Regional Medical Director for anesthesia services for EmCare’s North Division, Dr. Sutton’s role continues to evolve, but one thing’s for certain: he loves what he does.

“My job is to provide clinical and administrative leadership support that bridges the gap between patient care and the business side of anesthesia,” he explains. “Although the responsibilities can be challenging, it’s feasible to wear both hats because patient care goals in clinical medicine and business strategies in medicine are increasingly aligned. Both considerations require transparency, reliable information and consistent focus on efficiency, experience, safety and perceived value.”

Dr. Sutton earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and his medical degree from the University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine. He selected anesthesiology because he enjoyed acute care medicine, and its application to the broad population of patients who undergo complex elective and emergency surgical procedures in the operating room. He completed an internship in medicine, a residency in anesthesia and critical care, and a fellowship in cardiothoracic and vascular anesthesia, all at Massachusetts General Hospital.

“I enjoy working as a consultant in medicine during an important aspect of a patient’s surgical experience. I also enjoy the problem-solving nature of our field, and how it applies advances in medicine in the domains of the physiology and clinical pharmacology with operations management science,” said Dr. Sutton, who returned to academia in 2005 to earn an MBA from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

A typical day for Dr. Sutton starts early. He is credentialed at several hospitals and surgery centers in Connecticut, where he provides anesthesia care to patients undergoing cardiac surgery, neurosurgery, robotic surgery, obstetrical surgery, pediatric surgery and a variety of less invasive outpatient surgical procedures, usually beginning at 7 a.m. His administrative work often begins at the end of his clinical day, but sometimes on dedicated weekdays and weekends. For Dr. Sutton, it’s important that he continue to work clinically, even if that means burning the midnight oil at times.

“I provide support to current physician leaders, and also help identify, recruit and mentor emerging physician leaders,” he explained. “The best way to inspire and be credible is to work in the same clinical arena and lead by example.”

Dr. Sutton’s administrative oversight includes activities that support knowledge sharing between medical directors and divisional management teams that promote best practices, reliable and efficient delivery of anesthesia services, and the development and implementation of strategic initiatives that might support performance and growth within the anesthesia division. He’s involved with local, state and national anesthesia organizations, including the Connecticut Surgical Quality Collaborative, which seeks to identify and communicate evidence-based best practices in surgery and anesthesiology. His voice quickens as he explains enhanced recovery (ERAS) protocols, evidence-based practices, perioperative surgical homes and “pre-habilitation” patient education initiatives.

Perhaps even more exhilarating to Dr. Sutton, however, is spending quality time with his family. It remains a challenge with his busy schedule, but Dr. Sutton works to balance his professional commitments with spending time with his wife, daughter and mother. Watching equestrian competitions has become a shared enjoyment for his family, as Dr. Sutton’s daughter has progressed in state and regional competition as a hunter jumper equestrian.

“I like to travel, cook, read and play a variety of sports, but really, my wife and I are “horse barn parents’,” he said with a laugh. “We love watching our daughter enjoy and pursue her extracurricular passions.”

When asked how his colleagues would describe him, Dr. Sutton said, “I hope they’d say that I’m hardworking, that I balance being fun and being serious, that I’m a good doctor, that I care about my patients and my colleagues, and that I try to do the right thing.

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