AUA Update

President’s Message: Looking Back and Forward
by George A. Mashour, MD, PhD

The Association of University Anesthesiologists (AUA) had a momentous year of transition and promise. 2023 was marked by both the important decision to return to an independent organization and the work to actualize the process. Many people stepped up in remarkable ways to complete the transition to new society management. I would like to recognize the many efforts of our AUA leaders, team members from the International Anesthesia Research Society, notably Tom Cooper, and our wonderful colleague Vivian Abalama, who has been instrumental in helping us advance the mission of the AUA while also making this transition. I am pleased to announce that, as of December 2023, the Association Resource Center (or ARC) is our new association management company. ARC works with other important organizations in the field, such as the Society of Academic Associations of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine and the Society for Education in Anesthesia, among many others. We look forward to their expert support and partnership moving forward.

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Communications & Website Committee Report
by Shahzad Shaefi, MD, MPH

As the Chair of the Communications Committee, it is my privilege to share insights into the Association of University Anesthesiologists’ (AUA) most transformative year in the past decade. The transition to full independence and our distinct University-based Annual Meeting mark an exhilarating era, deserving acknowledgment of all parties involved. I encourage you to read Dr. Mashour’s President’s Message for an insightful recap of our journey and a glimpse into what lies ahead.

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EAB Report
by Susie Martinelli, MD, FASA

The utilization of artificial intelligence is rapidly gaining traction in the clinical realm and beyond. How can we best apply this developing technology in medical education? The two expert panelists delivering the Educational Advisory Board’s Annual Meeting session will answer this question.

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Using Coaching Skills as a Mentor
by Susie Martinelli, MD, FASA and Harriet W. Hopf, MD, FUHM, FASA

Mentoring can be defined as “a dynamic, reciprocal relationship in a work environment between an advanced career incumbent and a beginner aimed at promoting the development of both.”1 The mentee defines where they want to go; the mentor contributes through reality checking, sharing what the desired path could look like, giving advice on decisions and commitments, and role modeling success. As the mentor, you bring experience and perspective on a path similar to the one the mentee is pursuing, but it’s important to remember that your paths are not the same. When a mentee shares a goal or challenge, it may remind you of your own experiences, inspiring you to jump directly to giving advice. Giving advice based only on your experience, without exploring what the mentee is experiencing, can be a source of misalignment and frustration. When advice is predicated on goals assumed by the mentor, it can lead to mentee dissatisfaction, lack of progress, and burnout.

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Lessons To Be Learned from Academic Setbacks
by Vidya T. Raman, MD, MBA, FASA, FAAP

Academic medicine is facing one of its most critical challenges with workforce shortages, burnout, and, overall, a rapidly changing and challenging healthcare environment. Anesthesiology has been one of the most critically hit healthcare fields with story after story of a diminished workforce. Hospital solutions involve disruption of services and shutting down revenue generating operating rooms with only essential operating sites staffed. Leaders in academic or private practices that have remained relatively stable are not relaxed and think this could be them tomorrow. Amidst all this background turmoil, imagine an academic setback?

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The Leaky Pipeline: How Are We Addressing This Problem?
by Odmara L. Barreto Chang, MD, PhD and Niti Pawar, BA

Despite the strides anesthesia has made to improve racial equity and strengthen the pipeline, diversity continues to be challenging.1,2 In 2020, <15% of anesthesia residents were URiM.3,4 A study from 2023 illustrated that Black and Latinx anesthesiologists lacked representation at each level of the pipeline: medical students (8.1%, 6.8%), anesthesia residents (5.0%, 4.6%), assistant professors (5.1%, 2.9%), associate professors (4.1%, 3.3%), and professors (2.4%, 1.5%).5 It is critical, now more than ever, to address barriers with increased support and intentional action starting from K-12 school, to significantly improve physician representation upstream.

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SAB Report
by C. David Mintz, MD, PhD

The SAB is looking forward to an exciting meeting in which the future of anesthesiology research is a central topic of debate and discussion. The centerpiece event will be a session entitled “Building and Sustaining Anesthesiology Research”.

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