AUA Update

President’s Message
by Michael S. Avidan, MBBCh

It has been my pleasure to serve as the President of the Association of University Anesthesiologists (AUA) over the last two years. Events of the past six months have rocked the AUA, as they have the whole world. First the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe, wreaking devastation on health, healthcare, academic activities, and social structure. In its wake, it also brought massive unemployment and economic devastation.

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Police Brutality and Racism

The past few months and the past few days have been particularly difficult for our communities. The disparities in health outcomes uncovered by the Covid-19 pandemic have lifted the veil on the systemic inequities in healthcare. The recent horrific events with the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd expose the racism that are endemic in our society.

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Equality and Inclusion

The Association of University Anesthesiologists (AUA) Council is strongly committed to creating a culture within our organization with equality and inclusion as core values. We believe that each of our members’ institutions should also strive to attain a culture where all people are welcomed and equal. Black Lives Matter (BLM) is deeply interconnected with our ideals of equality and inclusion, and we wholeheartedly support the BLM movement.

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$9 million grant awarded to CROWN Collaborative

An international group of physicians and scientists recently established the COVID-19 Research Outcomes Worldwide Network (CROWN) Collaborative, a global research network charged with investigating promising therapeutic treatments to protect frontline healthcare workers from COVID-19 infection. Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis is serving as the central clinical coordinating center for the CROWN Collaborative under the leadership of IARS Board Member Michael Avidan, MBBCh, FCASA. Dr. Avidan is a Principal Investigator for the study.

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Emotional PPE: Protecting Healthcare Workers’ Mental Health
by Ariel Brown, PhD and Daniel Saddawi-Konefka, MD, MBA

Much has been written about “flattening the curve” to avoid overburdening our healthcare system. The spotlight has primarily focused on availability of hospital and ICU beds, ventilators, medications, personal protective equipment (PPE), and other material resources. There has been less focus on a different limited resource, however, which is being quickly depleted – the mental health and wellbeing of healthcare professionals (HCPs).

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SAB Welcomes New Members
by Ines Koerner, MD, PhD

The Scientific Advisory Board requested applications earlier this year for new members to fill four open positions. Once again, we received a very large number of outstanding applications, confirming our members’ commitment to service and scientific excellence. The SAB is proud to welcome the following new members, who start their three-year terms this spring.

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What I Learned About Education Research by Reviewing >250 Manuscripts on Education
by Edward C. Nemergut, MD

Research in education is increasingly common and plays an important role in the development of our specialty. This increasing interest is principally driven by two factors: 1) a desire to establish evidence-based best practices in education; and, 2) an opportunity for clinician educators to produce scholarship as part of a promotion pathway. Despite advancements in technology, medical students and residents spend the majority of their time training to be doctors in roughly the same way as they have been for the past 100 years.

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New Accreditation Process for Neuroanesthesiology Fellowships
by W. Andrew Kofke, MD, MBA, FCCM, FNCS

Neuroanesthesia fellowships were a topic of great interest in the early years of the Society of Neuroscience in Anesthesiology and Critical Care (SNACC). The discussion and debate about fellowships has ensued over the almost 50-year life of SNACC. Maurice Albin, a SNACC founder, wrote a seminal article on the need for neuroanesthesia fellowships in the fall 2008 SNACC newsletter which brought to attention many of the questions within the history of accreditation.

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Dr. Margaret Wood: “Three Things in Life”
by Lisa Wise-Faberowski MD, MS, FAAP

Dr. Wood came from humble beginnings. She was born in Leeds, England in 1946; her father did not graduate from high school and she was the first member of her family to attend college—something she was keen to point out was true for many of her generation. Her family was incredibly supportive of her education, encouraging her to attend a competitive public high school and providing her with a loving family environment to study and succeed.

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Diversity and Anesthesiology
by Jeanine P. Wiener-Kronish, MD

The definition of “academic” is “relating to scholarship and education”; this definition suggests an openness to ideas and change, as new knowledge should lead to changes in behavior. In medicine, change in physician behavior is often slow for unclear reasons—and to the detriment of patient care. Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis was a Hungarian obstetrician who discovered the cause of puerperal fever in 1847 when he was a 29-year-old Chief Resident (“first assistant”) in the first clinic of the lying-in division of the Vienna General Hospital.

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