Department of Anesthesiology

William Simmons, MD

  • Associate Professor
  • Chair, Advisory Committee on Diversity, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
  • Co-Chair, UPMC/University of Pittsburgh Physician Inclusion Council Retention Committee

Coming from rural South Carolina, Dr. Simmons’ path was filled with firsts. Although he was the first in his family to attend college and medical school and study abroad, he and his wife paved the road for nine of his brothers’ and sisters’ children to follow in his footsteps. He continued paving the road for others, earning his BA at Carleton College in Northfield Minn. He was the only African American male in the third ever Mayo Clinic Medical School graduating class and was the first Black Chief Resident in Pediatrics at Georgetown University Hospital. Dr. Simmons completed a second residency in Anesthesiology at George Washington University and two fellowships in Pediatric Anesthesia and Pediatric Critical Care at the University of Pittsburgh before being invited on staff. Dr. Simmons became board-certified in Anesthesiology at a time when less than 300 African American physicians were board-certified in Anesthesiology and received a Certificate in Medical Leadership from the University of Rochester, Simon School of Business. He has spent over 24 years teaching anesthesiology to residents, fellows, medical students, and nurse anesthetists; he was honored with an Excellence in Teaching Award from the University of Pittsburgh medical students. He has presented over 60 invited lectures and has been invited to lecture and instruct at multiple national meetings of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) and the National Medical Association (NMA). 

Dr. Simmons is Immediate Past President and Chairman of the Board of the Gateway Medical Society (GMS), Inc., a component society of the NMA. In his spare time, he is a mentor for GMS’s academic mentorship program for African American males and previously was a member of the Board of Directors for Educating Teens about HIV/AIDS, Inc. in Pittsburgh PA.

Education & Training

  • Carleton College, BA, Biology
  • Mayo Medical School, MD
  • Georgetown University, Pediatrics Residency
  • George Washington University, Anesthesiology Residency
  • Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pediatric Critical Care Fellowship
  • Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pediatric Anesthesiology Fellowship

Research, clinical, and/or academic interests

  • community education
  • medical student education
  • academic mentorship