About Christine Whitten MD

photo of the author, Christine Whitten, as she examines an impatient baby during a volunteer surgical team trip to Vietnam

Chris Whitten examines an impatient patient during a volunteer surgical team trip to Vietnam

Christine E. Whitten M.D. is the author of Whitten’s Step-By-Step Guides, a series of books teaching airway management, intubation, and respiratory care. The first book in the series is Anyone Can Intubate: A Step-By-Step Guide to Intubation and Airway Management. It is now in its 5th (revised) edition, and has been used in training programs for medical students and residents, nurses, Emergency Medical Technicians, respiratory therapists, and other first responders. Her newest book in the series is Pediatric Airway Management, A Step-By-Step Guide, with additional books in development.

Dr. Whitten believes that education leads to better patient care. Her books, as well as her training videos on intubation and airway management, are used in training programs both nationally and internationally.

With 40 years of experience, she is currently in private practice in San Diego, California. During her 32 year clinical career at Kaiser Permanente San Diego, she served as Chief of Anesthesia and Director of Perioperative Services. Dr. Whitten also served as the Southern California Permanente Regional Coordinator of Pain Management and was involved in the state and national development and implementation of the multidisciplinary Chronic Pain Management Programs for Kaiser Permanente.

Dr. Whitten received her medical degree from Johns Hopkins Medical School in 1979. After her anesthesiology residency at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Portsmouth, Virginia, she completed fellowships in regional anesthesia and intensive care. Following training she was on the teaching staff, and served as the Director of Regional Anesthesia, and as the Co-Director of the Chronic Pain Clinic at the U.S. Naval Hospital in San Diego. She left the Navy with the rank of Commander. Dr. Whitten joined the staff at Kaiser Permanente San Diego in 1987.

In addition to Anyone Can Intubate, Dr. Whitten’s publications include:

  • 10 Common Pediatric Airway Problems and Their Solution, Whitten CE, Anesthesiology News Annual Airway Review, August 2019-2020
  • Always Prepare For Failure: 10 Rules For Approaching Difficult Intubation, Whitten CE, Anesthesiology News Annual Airway Review, August 2018-2019
  • Whitten, CE. Anesthesia for the Developing Countries of the World. in: A Different Kind of Diplomacy: A Source book for International Volunteers. Plastic Surgery Research Foundation, San Diego, California, 1987.
  • Whitten, CE. Experiences in Third World Anesthesia: Peacetime Training for Operational Deployment. Military Medicine 1988; 153(12):629-632.
  • Whitten CE. Anesthesia in Distant Places: Prevention of Anesthesia Mishaps. Seminars in Anesthesia 1993; 12(3):154-164.
  • Whitten, CE; Evans, CM; Cristobal. K. Pain Management Doesn’t Have to be a Pain: Working and Communicating Effectively with Patients who have Chronic Pain. The Permanente Journal 2005; 9(2):41-48.
  • Whitten, CE; Cristobal. K. Chronic Pain is a Chronic Condition, Not Just a Symptom. The Permanente Journal 2005; 9(3):43-51.
  • Whitten, CE: Donovan, M; Cristobal, K. Treating Chronic Pain: New Knowledge, More Choices. The Permanente Journal 2005; 9(4):9-18.

She has also filmed and produced a series of educational videos demonstrating various techniques of intubation and airway management.

Dr. Whitten is a frequent volunteer for Operation Smile, a worldwide health care mission to provide free surgery to children of less-developed countries. She has participated in surgical teams, and also instructed anesthesia providers, during trips to Mexico, Vietnam, Honduras, Kenya, Nicaragua, the Philippines, Thailand and Colombia.