Benjamin Kloesel, MD graduated from medical school in Germany with the desire to work in critical care, which makes sense given his formative years. Kloesel was involved in a volunteer organization in Germany where he did hospital work and emergency medical services before becoming an EMT and then a paramedic. He moved to Minnesota for a residency in internal medicine at Mayo Clinic, and when he was close to completing his residency he had a decision to make.

“Towards the end I had the choice of going into critical care through the track of internal medicine or anesthesia,” said Kloesel, “I preferred to take the route of anesthesia because it gives you a very unique approach to critical care.”

With that decision, Dr. Kloesel moved to Boston to do another residency in anesthesia at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

“During my anesthesiology residency, I quickly realized that critical care is not quite what I liked, but when I did my pediatric anesthesia rotation I completely fell in love with that subspecialty,” said Kloesel, “I enjoy the complexity of the field – you need to become familiar with the whole breadth of subspecialty anesthesia.”

Armed with this newfound passion for complex work combined with helping children and families, Kloesel continued his education in pediatric anesthesia during a fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital before becoming an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota.

“When I was looking for jobs, I specifically focused on academic anesthesiology positions. Teaching residents and medical students combined with the opportunity for research was the draw to come to the University of Minnesota,” said Kloesel.

Once here, he completed a year-long sub-specialization in pediatric cardiac anesthesiology with mentoring and teaching from Dr. Konia and Dr. Richtsfeld before joining them on the specialized pediatric heart team.

Kloesel began researching inborn errors of metabolism, rare genetic disorders where the body can’t turn food into energy properly, during his fellowship and has continued his work at the University of Minnesota. He hopes to partner with specialists in other departments at the University of Minnesota who are also studying this phenomenon.

“Guiding children and parents safely through the perioperative process and helping patients by discovering better ways to treat medical conditions through my research is immensely satisfying - that is why I do what I do,” said Kloesel.