A photo of Eric Wittkugel.

Eric P. Wittkugel, MD

  • Staff Anesthesiologist, Department of Anesthesia
  • Associate Professor, UC Department of Anesthesia
As the anesthesia team leader, I ensure that we all bring our best skills, up-to-date knowledge, expert clinical judgment and compassion to each child.



As a pediatric anesthesiologist, I provide pre-anesthesia evaluations and anesthesia for children during their surgeries. I’m especially interested in children with airway and aerodigestive issues, as well as those with epidermolysis bullosa. As the anesthesia team leader, I ensure that we all bring our best skills, up-to-date knowledge, expert clinical judgment and compassion to each child.

My mom was an anesthesiologist in the 1950s, when very few women physicians existed in the operating room (OR) environment. With her encouragement, I took an elective in pediatric anesthesiology while I was a pediatric resident at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

I was fascinated with the role of the pediatric anesthesiologist in the OR — managing the child’s medical problems while also providing safe, effective anesthesia care for simple and complex operations. I became hooked on anesthesiology for children as my life’s work.

After my pediatric residency, I completed my anesthesiology residency at the University of Pennsylvania and returned to CHOP for a pediatric anesthesiology fellowship. I find great joy and passion in my work, seeing each day as a new adventure with challenges and opportunities for excellence, growth, learning and meaningful connection with people.

When children come to Cincinnati Children’s for a procedure requiring anesthesia, parents entrust us with one of their most valuable things in life, their child. As an anesthesiologist, I want each family and child to know that they are receiving expert anesthesia care by a team of professionals who care deeply about patient safety and the best possible outcomes. We strive to make each child’s experience as comfortable as possible.

Outstanding anesthesia care requires thorough pre-anesthesia evaluation. The time we spend before anesthesia discussing a child’s medical history and evaluating all the medical information available helps us develop a safe, effective anesthetic plan. I deeply value the family’s thoughts, suggestions and questions in this process. As one of our guiding principles dictates, here at Cincinnati Children’s, we truly are safer together when we collaborate.

In addition to my work as a pediatric anesthesiologist, I’m a certified leadership and professional development coach (certified by the Hudson Institute of Coaching). I provide professional coaching and leadership development for physicians and healthcare professionals at Cincinnati Children’s and across the country. I graduated from medical school with Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) honors.

I enjoy spending my free time with my wife, three adult children and two grandchildren. I love cycling, hiking in our national parks, traveling and connecting with people.


Coaching for the pediatric anesthesiologist: Becoming our best selves. Schwartz, JM E; Wittkugel, E; Markowitz, SD; Lee, JK; Deutsch, N. Paediatric Anaesthesia. 2021; 31:85-91.

Anesthesia for Epidermolysis Bullosa. Wittkugel, E; Kandil, A. Anesthesiology. 2018.

From the Blog

Sedation and General Anesthesia: What’s the Difference?
BlogPatient Family Experience

Sedation and General Anesthesia: What’s the Difference?

By Eric Wittkugel MD12/29/2016

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