Our primary goal is to reach out to international medical students, residents, fellows, and physicians, providing them with evidence-based medicine discussions, lectures and mentorship, and join research projects.

About The Center

The  Department of Anesthesiology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC is building on a rich history of anesthesiology and critical care innovation by establishing its Vladimir Zelman, MD, PhD Center for Distance Education, Learning and Science.  The Department’s foundation is based at the Keck Medical Center of University of Southern California (USC) and the Los Angeles General Medical Center where anesthetics were administered from 1878 onwards with no formal regulation until the Department was established in approximately 1917 with the first appointment of an Anesthesiologist in Charge in 1924.

The Department is home to Dr. Arthur Guedel (clinical stages of ether anesthesia), Dr. Harry Low (closed circuit anesthesia), Sim One (the first anesthesia simulator), and the Aerojet General Corporation (an early aerospace pioneer). The Los Angeles General Medical Center is legitimately the home of Critical Care Medicine. Many world-known clinical scientists in critical care worked here, such as Dr. William Shoemaker, Dr. Max Harry Weil. Dr. Philip Lumb, was previous Editor-in Chief for the Journal of Critical Care. The Department continues to innovate and train medical students, nurse anesthetists and mid-level, residents, and fellows of the highest caliber while serving the patients of Health Science Campus (HSC) of USC under the leadership of Dr. Holly Muir.

The Center of Distance Learning provides lectures from and live discussions with USC physicians/educators at the following institutions:


  • Education for Medical Students, Nurse anesthetists and mid-level providers, and Residents, Fellows, and Faculty
  • Collaboration in Clinical Research and Science
  • Case Discussions with Anesthesia Faculty
  • Mentorship for Master’s Theses and Medical Student Research Projects
  • Creation of International Panels
  • Exchange of knowledge and experiences at the times of pandemics and other natural disasters
  • Collaboration with mission projects

The USC KSOM Department of Anesthesiology Center for Distance Learning welcomes international partners to foster international collaboration and educational initiatives that further global health and provide a platform for medical diplomacy.

If you are interested, please contact us.


Eugenia Ayrian MD, FASA: eayrian@med.usc.edu

Holly Muir, MD, Chair: Holly.Muir@med.usc.edu

Center for Distance Learning Faculty

Holly Muir, MDChair of Department of Anesthesiology at USC – https://keck.usc.edu/faculty-search/holly-ann-muir/

Vladimir Zelman, MD, PhD (vzelman@med.usc.edu) – Founder of the Centerhttps://keck.usc.edu/faculty-search/vladimir-zelman/ 

Eugenia Ayrian, MD, FASA – https://keck.usc.edu/faculty-search/eugenia-ayrian/ 

Jack Berger, MD, PhD – https://keck.usc.edu/faculty-search/jack-marshall-berger/

Justyne Decker, MD – https://keck.usc.edu/faculty-search/justyne-decker/

Sherif Kandil, MD – https://keck.usc.edu/faculty-search/sherif-h-kandil/ 

Phillip Lumb, MD, MCCM – https://keck.usc.edu/faculty-search/philip-d-lumb/ 

Joseph Szokol, MD, JD, MBA, FASA – https://keck.usc.edu/faculty-search/joseph-szokol/ 

Duraiyah Thangathurai, MD – https://keck.usc.edu/faculty-search/duraiyah-thangathurai/

Student Testimonials

Anastasia Kolerova, MD

PhD student Department of Dermatology, NSU

“I’m a PhD student now. Many students in my class find it challenging to interpret the results of their research. During our EBM classes we discussed biostatistics; that now helps me a lot in my work.”

Olga Oleshko, MD

Department of Molecular Biology, NSU

“Understanding how to interpret the statistical inference is very important for researchers as well as for clinicians. Unfortunately, students do not have the opportunity to learn this topic in our curriculum. Therefore, it is so valuable that we have the Journal Club, where we learn to analyze the scientific papers. Thanks you for the Journal Club initiative! I totally enjoyed participating this year!


Irina Balygina

5th year medical student, NSU

“Being a participant, I gained understanding of how science may work for medicine. Unfortunately, this is absent in our medical university. I see the EBM Course as a thought provoking project which helps medical students foster learning and catalyze their interest in medical research and in various ethical questions of which we are not used to thinking. I would highly recommend this course to my classmates since it is a brand new experience one can get in NSU.”