Communications & Website Committee Report

Welcome to this edition of the AUA Update! I'm thrilled to serve as the chair of the Communications and Website Committee, and there's a wealth of exciting news and initiatives to share with our esteemed membership.

First and foremost, the anticipation is palpable for our 2024 AUA Annual Meeting scheduled for late March at Washington University in St. Louis. This promises to be a vibrant gathering, offering a fertile ground for academic dialogue, peer interaction, and knowledge dissemination, all set against the backdrop of this distinguished institution.

Our mentoring program galvanized by the Council is developing quickly and will be moving into the next phase. The aim is to nurture and mentor early-career academics by pairing them with seasoned and established professionals across the country, allowing for real alignment of interests and styles within the wider academic anesthesiology community.

In this edition of the AUA Update a highlighted feature is the Mock Study Section initiative contributed by Kimberly Rengel from Vanderbilt University. Collaboratively designed by our Scientific Advisory Board, this initiative serves as an invaluable resource, particularly for mid-career professionals keen on acquiring nuanced insights into the complex arena of grant assessments and will be available at the Annual Meeting.

Our tireless efforts in professional development also shine through in a new Education Mentorship Workshop conceived by Susan Martinelli’s Education Advisory Board group. Slated for its official unveiling at our spring meeting in St. Louis, the program aims to support mentorship in our respective departments and spheres by giving the tools of mentorship in a workshop format.

Further adding to our membership benefits, Maya Hastie, the chair of the Leadership Advisory Board, has contributed a piece to celebrate Women in Medicine month showcasing members of the organization. Maya’s group continues do focused work around leadership within the organization and beyond.

Thanks to the concerted efforts of the Membership Engagement Board, headed by Mike Aziz and Valerie Armstead, we have refined the criteria for membership at various levels. The result is a more transparent and inclusive membership model, as elucidated in their enclosed article that delineates this progressive change. Additionally, the Membership Engagement Board has introduced three new distinguished awards: the Lifetime Achievement Award, the Active Member of the Year Award, and the Rising Star Associate Member of the Year Award. Details can be found on our AUA website, offering well-deserved recognition to our members’ contributions.

We are issuing a call for volunteers to join our various Boards and Council. This presents a fabulous chance for both associate and active members to grasp the workings of the AUA and to shape its future trajectory.

Last but not least, our AUA president, Dr. George Mashour, the Robert B. Sweet Professor and Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Michigan, recently offered a candid and enlightening webinar entitled, 'Failure: The Dark Matter of an Academic Career.' The talk resonated profoundly, reminding us that the pathways to professional success are often nonlinear and fraught with challenges that can also serve as learning experiences. This is available on the website for viewing also.

In closing, the collective efforts of our dedicated members continue to invigorate the AUA, ensuring that we remain at the forefront of academic excellence, innovation, and community building. Onward to an exciting and fulfilling year ahead!

Stay tuned for more updates, and thank you for your continued support and engagement with the AUA!


Shahzad Shaefi, MD, MPH
Chair, Communications & Website Committee
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Boston, Massachusetts