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Michael Olympio, MD

Michael Olympio, MD, a leading expert in anesthesia technology, medical simulation and patient safety, lectures and consults extensively on the use and improvement of anesthesia machines. He partners with industry to improve patient care, technology design and product training.

Michael Olympio, MD

About Michael Olympio

Michael Olympio, MD, earned his medical degree from the University of Florida College of Medicine in 1982. He then moved to Wake Forest School of Medicine, where he completed a residency in anesthesiology in 1985 and a fellowship in neurosurgical anesthesiology in 1986. Upon completion of his fellowship, Olympio joined the anesthesiology department at the School of Medicine, where he advanced to the position of professor in 2002.

Olympio has made a career of teaching by focusing not only on teaching neurosurgical anesthesia in the operating room, but also by becoming a leading expert in the mechanical technologies of anesthesia. Early in his career, Olympio became interested in the mechanics of anesthesia machines, leading to his involvement in medical simulation. As a result, he designed and founded the first medical simulation laboratory at Wake Forest School of Medicine in 1998.

As an expert in medical simulation and anesthesiology, Olympio lectures nationally on failure mode analysis and leads safety conferences and workshops for medical professionals and anesthesia technology companies. He led the American Society of Anesthesiologists’ initiative on medical simulation that set the standards for simulation center certification in 2005-2006.

Michael Olympio chaired the Committee on Technology for the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation from 2002-2009, where he co-created and edited two columns on technology for the quarterly newsletter. Shortly thereafter he was appointed to the urology department at the School of Medicine and excelled in urologic robotic anesthesia.

For Olympio, passion undergirds all his endeavors: passion for mechanics and teaching. He is driven to understand not only how anesthesia machines work, but also how they can go wrong. By learning where failures happen, Olympio finds solutions, improves devices or learns how to negotiate the technology. He teaches these lessons to others who can improve the technology or use it to save lives.

One of Olympio’s passions is bringing doctors and companies together to constructively solve problems. He has worked extensively with medical professionals, corporate officials and product engineers to improve patient care, technology design and product training. Olympio works with industry to solve problems for both companies and medical providers.

One solution Olympio has created is an endotracheal tube exchanger, a simpler and safer method to replace an endotracheal tube in an anesthetized patient.


Michael Olympio, MD, professor of anesthesiology and urology at Wake Forest School of Medicine, specializes in:

  • Neurosurgical anesthesia
  • Anesthesia machine technology
  • Simulation education
  • Patient safety
  • Urologic and robotic anesthesia