Faculty Spotlight: Matthew Muller, PhD, CAA

Matthew Muller

In today’s fast-paced medical environment, the published research available to professionals doubles in a matter of months, not years. It’s an overwhelming amount of information. And no matter what field you practice in, the ability to efficiently assess and intelligently apply that research is pivotal to providing the best patient care.

Which is why the Cleveland location brings faculty member Matthew Muller, PhD, CAA, to speak with the first-year students at the start of their program. A passionate and dedicated anesthetist, Muller’s lectures for first year students focus on another passion of his: clinical research. Muller has been conducting basic, applied, and clinical research for more than a decade and has co-authored 60 peer-reviewed articles as either the first author or the senior author for his students. In fact, it was his own research in human physiology (namely, thermoregulation and neural control of the circulation) that attracted him to the CAA career to begin with. 

In his lectures to the Cleveland MSA students, Muller emphasizes the importance of keeping up-to-date with the latest research and medical findings so that their decisions as anesthetists are well-informed and scientifically sound. But his lectures are only the beginning, as Muller is also responsible for the student’s journal club as well as teaching in the operating room. 

He regularly cautions his students that each patient requires an individual plan based on their individual needs. He teaches what’s known as the “Evidence-Based Medicine Triad,” a system for evaluating best-practices by an equal application of three components: an individual’s clinical expertise, the best published evidence, and the patient’s own values and expectations. 

This system, Muller explains, is how health care practitioners can “filter out the noise” of the medical literature and focus on the needs of the patient in front of them. 

“CAAs have rigorous training,” he says, “and we need to make quick decisions to care for our patients. The best treatment for one patient may be totally wrong for another, so I hope my students learn to be flexible and open-minded when evaluating both the science and their immediate situation.”

Muller, an MSA Program alum, is a CAA at University Hospitals of Cleveland. He earned his PhD in exercise/thermal physiology from Kent State University in 2009 and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Penn State University Heart and Vascular Institute in 2012. He lives in Willoughby, Ohio with his wife and their four young children.