President's Message

Dr. George MashourPresident’s Message

George A. Mashour, MD, PhD
President, AUA
Robert B. Sweet Professor & Chair,
Department of Anesthesiology,
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan

As I reflect on the end of my term as President of the Association of University Anesthesiologists (AUA), I feel gratitude. It has been a privilege to engage with so many talented individuals who have inspired me by their commitment to the AUA and to academic anesthesiology more broadly. There were times when I have been challenged and made uncomfortable by our AUA members and leaders—quite frankly, there were times when I was the one being led (sometimes reluctantly so). I am thankful for these experiences because they prompted critical reflection on the mission of the AUA and on what it means to be a university anesthesiologist. The passion of our community of scholars and leaders has taken us in new directions as an organization, including independent management and a closer connection with academic culture through the annual meetings to come. More fundamentally, some of the healthy discomfort I experienced as a leader over the past two years reflected a growth process for the AUA, with the key recognition and functional implementation of the concept that our mission is not only to honor the contributions of the past, but to shape the contours of the future. We are now fully committed to the idea that it is not sufficient for us merely to celebrate excellence in academic anesthesiology—we must also actively and vigorously promote it.

This ethos informs the 2024 AUA Annual Meeting, with the theme of “Shaping the Future.” We will hear from and interact with scholars and leaders throughout the translational spectrum and across the domains of research, education, and leadership. Our upcoming program promises to be intellectually invigorating and enjoyable, from lectures on consciousness, the microbiome, and primatology; to a discussion of the opioid crisis by the Deputy Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the NIH; to stimulating panels organized by our Scientific, Educational, and Leadership Advisory Boards; to an engaging social event at the Saint Louis Art Museum. During our awards ceremony, we will have the pleasure of celebrating the impressive accomplishments of both current and future academic anesthesiologists. I and the other AUA leaders look forward to welcoming you to Washington University in St. Louis for this meeting of the minds. Our 70th annual conference marks the beginning of a new era for the AUA and I would like to express my appreciation to all who have contributed to the planning of this event as well as to all who have contributed to the ongoing evolution of the AUA. I am truly proud of our past and excited about our future.