Chris Arndt, MD
By Michael Haederle

Dr. Christopher Arndt Named Department Chair in UNM School of Medicine

Christopher Arndt, MD, has been named chair of the Department of Anesthesiology & Critical Care Medicine in The University of New Mexico School of Medicine.

Arndt, who joined the department in 2006, had served as interim chair since his predecessor, Hugh Martin, MD, stepped down last summer.

Interim dean Martha McGrew, MD, praised Arndt for “his leadership and his humility, the respect from his department and leadership, his calm and respectful style, and his willingness to address conflict in a thoughtful, well-informed and respectful manner.”

In his role as interim chair, Arndt “has already increased the commitment to education, is actively supporting the research mission, attending to high-quality and safe clinical care and actively working to address diversity, equity, and inclusion,” McGrew added. “Dr. Arndt has excellent skills to lead the department to the next level of excellence.”

Arndt said he was excited by the appointment and hopes to help the department focus on providing exceptional patient care and medical education. “We’re here to create exceptional leaders in anesthesia care,” he said.


Christopher Arndt, MD
We’re here to create exceptional leaders in anesthesia care
β€” Christopher Arndt, MD

Arndt spent seven years as a U.S. Navy officer serving aboard destroyers before coming to UNM to teach Navy ROTC courses in 1995. He had an interest in both medicine and engineering while an undergraduate at the University of Colorado. Growing up in Minnesota, he said, “I think what piqued my interest was taking a tour of the nearby medical school campus in Duluth.”

At UNM, Arndt started taking premed courses and enrolled in the School of Medicine in 1998. He went on to serve his four-year anesthesia residency at UNM, finishing as chief resident before joining the faculty.

Since joining the department, Arndt served as director of the acute inpatient pain service and as medical director of UNM’s Outpatient Surgery and Imaging Services. He also started a fellowship in regional acute pain anesthesia and became vice chair for quality and compliance.

Arndt was serving as associate chair of the department when Martin stepped down and assumed the role of interim chair.

He added that he hopes to see the department expand its capacity for managing patients with chronic pain and use tele-mentoring to share best practices for the use of pain medications.

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