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Rafi Avitsian, MD

Rafi Avitsian, MD
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Department General Anesthesiology
Primary Location Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Type of Doctor Adults Only
Languages Armenian, English, Persian
Surgeon No
Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Primary Location

Cleveland Clinic Main Campus



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About Rafi Avitsian, MD

Rafi Avitsian M.D. is the Vice Chair for Professional Development in the Department of General Anesthesiology in Cleveland Clinic Foundation (CCF) in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. He is also the Section Head for the Neurosurgical Anesthesiology as well as the program director of Neuroanesthesia fellowship program. In addition to his clinical practice in the department as a staff anesthesiologist he is an Associate Professor of Anesthesiology in Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University.

He is of Armenian origin. Born in Iran, he immigrated to Canada later in life before coming to Cleveland Clinic, where he completed his internship, residency and fellowship, with a focus on neurosurgical anesthesiology. After graduation, he joined the staff in the Department of General Anesthesiology at Cleveland Clinic. He is board-certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology.

His clinical interests include neurosurgical anesthesia, particularly anesthesia for intracranial vascular surgeries. His clinical studies are directed mostly towards finding the optimal anesthetic methods to decrease post-operative complications after neurosurgery. He is also interested in airway management, especially for patients with difficult airway issues, and he has an active role in teaching as well as innovating in the area of airway management.

Dr. Avitsian also has special passion for resident education and was awarded various teaching awards including: Best Teacher of the Year, the Arthur Barnes Distinguished Teacher Award and the Distinguished Educator Award.

Education & Professional Highlights

Education & Professional Highlights


Education & Fellowships

Fellowship - Cleveland Clinic
Neurosurgical Anesthesiology
Cleveland, OH

Residency - Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland, OH

Internship - Cleveland Clinic
Internal Medicine
Cleveland, OH

Medical Education - Tehran University School of Medicine
Tehran, Iran

Professional Highlights

  • American Board of Anesthesiology Part 2 exam question writing committee
  • American Board of Anesthesiology Oral Examiner, appointed 2009
  • Committee on Problem Based Learning Discussion (PBLD), American Society of Anesthesiologists (2006-present)
  • Advisory board member, Center for International Medical Education, Cleveland Clinic


  • Anesthesiology

Specialty Interests

brain protection, education in anesthesiology, general anesthesia, neurosurgical anesthesiology

Awards & Honors

  • Scholarship in Teaching Award, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio, 2011
  • Program Director's Certificate Award, Cleveland Clinic 2013
  • Recipient of Gold Medal” from Yerevan State Medical University for advancing Education during the 90th anniversary of the University 2010
  • Certificate of Appreciation from Ministry of Health in Armenia 2007 for organizing a teaching workshop for airway management.
  • Recipient Arthur Barnes Distinguished Teacher Award by SRNA school, Division of General Anesthesiology Critical Care and Comprehensive Pain Management, Cleveland Clinic 2006.
  • Scholarship in Teaching Award, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio, 2006.
  • Recipient of Distinguished Educator I Certificate, Cleveland Clinic Foundation 2006.
  • Awarded Teacher of the Year, Department of General Anesthesiology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 2006.

Innovations & Patents

  • Intrajugular Catheter and method US Patent US8366698
  • Medical Device Sheath US Patent US 8870752 B2
  • "Oral suction device with ventilation capability, US Patent PCT/US2011/056378


  • American Society of Anesthesiologists
  • Society Of Neurosurgical Anesthesia And Critical Care
  • Ohio Society of Anesthesiologists
  • Society for Airway Management
  • Northern Ohio Medical Association/ Academy of Medicine in Cleveland
  • Armenian Healthcare Professionals of Ohio
Research & Publications

Research & Publications

See publications for Rafi Avitsian, MD.

(Disclaimer: This search is powered by PubMed, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. PubMed is a third-party website with no affiliation with Cleveland Clinic.)

Industry Relationships

Industry Relationships

Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists may collaborate with the pharmaceutical or medical device industries to help develop medical breakthroughs or provide medical expertise or education. Cleveland Clinic strives to make scientific advances that will benefit patient care and support outside relationships that promise public benefit. In order for the discoveries of Cleveland Clinic physicians' and scientists' laboratories and investigations to benefit the public, these discoveries must be commercialized in partnership with industry. As experts in their fields, Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists are often sought after by industry to consult, provide expertise and education.

To assure professional and commercial integrity in such matters, Cleveland Clinic maintains a program that reviews these collaborations and, when appropriate, puts measures in place to minimize bias that may result from ties to industry. Cleveland Clinic publicly discloses the names of companies when (i) its physicians/scientists receive $5,000 or more per year (or, in rare cases, equity or stock options) for speaking and consulting, (ii) its physicians/scientists serve as a fiduciary, (iii) its physicians/scientists receive or have the right to receive royalties or (iv) its physicians/ scientists hold any equity interest for the physician's/scientist's role as inventor, discoverer, developer, founder or consultant.* In publicly disclosing this information, Cleveland Clinic tries to provide information as accurately as possible about its physicians' and scientists' connections with industry.

As of 1/18/2024, Dr. Avitsian has reported the financial relationships with the companies listed below. In general, patients should feel free to contact their doctor about any of the relationships and how the relationships are overseen by Cleveland Clinic. To learn more about Cleveland Clinic's policies on collaborations with industry and innovation management, go to our Integrity in Innovation page.

Royalty Payments. Dr. Avitsian receives or has the right to receive royalty payments for inventions or discoveries commercialized through the companies shown below:

  • Gepa-Med Medizintechnik GmbH
  • Innovetix LLC 
  • Integral Medical Products Co., Ltd

Right to Future Distribution of Cleveland Clinic Financial Interest. Dr. Avitsian may receive future financial benefits from the Cleveland Clinic for inventions or discoveries commercialized through the companies shown below:

  • Integral Medical Products Co., Ltd

Public Health Service-Reportable Financial Conflicts of Interest. Cleveland Clinic scientists and physicians engage in basic, translational and clinical research activities, working to solve health problems, enhance patient care and improve quality of life for patients. Interactions with industry are essential to bringing the researchers' discoveries to the public, but can present the potential for conflicts of interest related to their research activities. Click here to view a listing of instances where Cleveland Clinic has identified a Public Health Service (PHS)-Reportable Financial Conflict of Interest and has put measures in place to ensure that, to the extent possible, the design, conduct and reporting of the research is free from bias.

* Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists subscribe to the guidance presented in the PhRMA Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals and the AdvaMed Code of Ethics on Interactions with Health Care Professionals. As such, gifts of substantial value are generally prohibited.

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