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Barbara M. Dilos

Barbara M. Dilos, DO

Director of Anesthesia
NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst

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Easing Pain, While Advancing Patient Safety and Care

Watching her parents run a small hotel and her father open the first hamburger joint in Kyrenia, on the northern coast of Cyprus — the part of the island occupied by Turkey since 1974 — Dr. Barbara Dilos got an early lesson in healing as she watched her parents use those burgers to treat American soldiers for one of the most difficult kinds of pain: homesickness.

Dr. Dilos came to New York in the sixth grade, attended the esteemed Bronx High School of Science, and pursued medicine.

Today, she is director of the Department of Anesthesiology at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst, having risen to that title after 15 years of service as Director of Pediatric Anesthesia. What began as a two-month assistance has blossomed into 19 years of service to Elmhurst.

She regards herself as empathetic with a deep sense of patients’ moods and needs. But that took time.

“When I was a resident, I wasn’t that sensitive to the parents because I didn’t have my own children back then,” she said. “I’d think, why are these parents crying? It’s a small surgery. But when it’s your kid, there are no small surgeries. Nothing is minor. You start to realize that even with the smallest intervention, people are very emotional about it.”

Her sense of community was refined during the pandemic, when Elmhurst emerged as “the epicenter of the epicenter.” But also during the normal course of a day in the life of an anesthesiologist: “Anesthesiologists are not only in the operating room. We cover obstetric anesthesia. We cover radiology for MRIs. We cover invasive radiology. And we cover critical care all over the hospital. Trauma. Brain thrombectomies. Anesthesiologists interface with every department in the hospital,” she said.

That range and agility has not gone unnoticed.

“Dr. Dilos embodies the highest standards of medical professionalism and excellence. Her leadership in the field of anesthesia has been instrumental in advancing patient care and safety within our hospital. Through her innovative approaches and commitment to continuous improvement, she has significantly contributed to enhancing the quality and efficiency of our anesthesia services,” said Dr. Laura Iavicoli, Elmhurst’s Chief Medical Officer.

“Beyond her clinical proficiency, Dr. Dilos is a true advocate for patients and their families. She consistently demonstrates empathy, respect, and understanding, ensuring that every individual receives personalized and compassionate care. Her unwavering commitment to patient well-being is truly commendable and serves as an inspiration to their colleagues and peers.”

For her part, Dr. Dilos knows how lucky she has been with pain. “My childhood was like paradise,” she said. “A taste of paradise.”

Learn more about our Doctors Day Award Winners