Nancy Oriol

Anesthesiologist and Former Dean for Students at Harvard Medical School

Dr. Nancy Oriol is a renowned anesthesiologist who served as Director of Obstetric Anesthesia at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center—an HMS affiliate—for 15 years.

She is an acclaimed innovator whose medical breakthroughs include the “walking epidural”, a type of labor pain relief that does not interfere with the progress of labor, as well as a novel technique for analyzing fetal heart rate variability, an ingenious device for newborn resuscitation and the Family Van, a mobile health clinic that has been recreated around the world.

Her educational innovations include introducing the use of mannequin simulation to the curriculum for medical students and co-creating HMSMED Science, a program that uses simulation to teach science and inspire critical thinking in high school students. Part of the HMS faculty since 1981, Dr. Nancy Oriol has served HMS students in a variety of educational and administrative roles. What inspires her students most, however, is her own passion for community service.

She is a dedicated educator and the recipient of numerous HMS teaching awards, the New England Women’s Leadership Award in Health Care, the Massachusetts Medical Society Special Award for Excellence in Public Health and the Louis Sullivan Award for Contributions in the Delivery of Health Care to Black Males.