SPA-AAP Pediatric Anesthesiology 2023
March 30 - April 2, 2023

AAP Robert M Smith Award

Navil Sethna, MB, ChB, FAAP

Tribute to Navil Sethna, MB, ChB, FAAP
2023 AAP Robert M. Smith Award
Constance S. Houck, MD, MPH, FAAP, Mary Landrigan-Ossar, MD, PhD, FAAP, and Christine Greco, MD, FAAP

Join Boston Children's Hospital for a reception to honor Dr. Sethna on Friday, March 31, 2023, 7:00-9:00pm CT in Grand Salon 4, Level 4, at the JW Marriott in Austin.

We are extremely excited to provide this tribute to our friend and colleague, Navil Sethna, MB, ChB, FAAP, the 2023 Robert M. Smith awardee. Navil is a long time AAP Section on Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine member and an internationally known expert in pediatric pain medicine. He has been a leader in all aspects of pediatric acute and chronic pain management for more than 35 years and has served as a mentor to a generation of physicians in pediatric pain management. 

Navil was born in Baghdad, Iraq, where he attended medical school at the Medical College of Baghdad. After the rise of Sadaam Hussein, his family moved to the United Arab Emirates where he trained in emergency medicine and surgery. He subsequently moved to the U.S. in 1979 and, after completing a year of surgical training at Brookdale Hospital in Brooklyn, NY, realized that a career in anesthesiology was his true calling. He went on to complete his anesthesiology residency in Brooklyn and then came to Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) in 1982 to do a Fellowship in Pediatric Anesthesiology. After joining the staff at BCH in 1983, it was clear to all that Navil could do anything he set his mind to. He became an invaluable member of the Department and was especially known for his expertise in caring for the most complex patients. He was a founding member of the Spine Surgery Multidisciplinary Perioperative Team for Patients with Neuromuscular Disorders as well as the Anesthesia Liver Transplantation Team. His work with complex patients prompted his interest in regional anesthesia and a search for better ways to treat perioperative pain in children. This led him to a collaboration with Dr. Charles Berde to create the Pain Treatment Service at Boston Children’s Hospital in 1986, one of the first comprehensive pediatric pain services in the U.S.

In order to further educate himself in the science of pain medicine, Navil subsequently took a 15-month sabbatical in 1994 to work with Mitchell Max at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, where he was involved in some of the landmark research on pain mechanisms at the National Institute of Dental Medicine. After returning to BCH, he used the insights he gained to advance both the clinical and research aspects of the Chronic Pain Clinic. He also went on to develop the foundations for the BCH Headache Clinic and the Pediatric Pain Rehabilitation Center, where he currently serves as the Clinical Director. He is considered the leading expert in most areas of pediatric pain medicine, including Complex Regional Pain Syndromes, quantitative sensory testing, and pain rehabilitation.  Over the years, Navil has made countless scientific contributions to the field of pediatric anesthesiology and pain medicine which have shaped the way we care for patients. 

Navil has been a longstanding and supportive member of the AAP Section on Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine. He represented the Massachusetts chapter of the AAP as part of the legislative subcommittee on pain management. He was also a lead author on a joint statement of the Section on Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine and the Committee on Fetus and Newborn entitled Prevention and Management of Procedural Pain in the Neonate: An Update.

Navil is a true renaissance man and an incredible leader in the field of pediatric pain medicine.  His efforts have changed the lives of not only the many patients he has cared for over the years but also those of us who have had the pleasure to work closely with him. Navil has taught innumerable trainees how to care for the sickest and most complex patients, both in and out of the operating room, and he continues to be the expert who is always willing to share his knowledge and advice. He is incredibly conscientious and passionate about what he does. He is always kind, considerate and thoughtful, even when he disagrees with your viewpoint. He is an incredible storyteller, and we always look forward to hearing his stories. Congratulations on your achievements, Navil, and thank you for your contributions and friendship. 


All Program & Schedule Times are Central Standard Time (CDT)


Limited tickets have become available for the Bash. If you would like to purchase one, they are first come first served.  Buy now!  Once they are gone, they're gone!