May 2014 Volume 78 Number 5
Committee News

Collaboration and Commitment, the Hallmarks of the Committee on Residents and Medical Students


Basem B. Abdelmalak, M.D., Chair
Committee on Residents and Medical Students


Suzanne Karan, M.D.
Chair, Committee on Residents and Medical Students


Even more impressive than the immense variety of committees and thousands of active volunteers who work for ASA is the fact that all these varied committees and individuals are able to work so collaboratively toward the common goals of the society and specialty. Nowhere is this collaborative spirit more evident than within the Committee on Residents and Medical Students (CRMS). Formally, the mission of the CRMS is:


"To advocate for the future of our specialty, by seeking to attract and assist high-quality medical students in pursuing careers in anesthesiology, and by providing leadership and guidance to anesthesiology residents and subspecialty fellows in focused initiatives within the ASA."


Unmentioned in our mission statement is the remarkable collegiality that exists between ASA’s residents and medical students and the dedication and involvement that participants exhibit both during their appointments and long afterward. Over and over we have witnessed participation at the beginning of a career that leads to commitments to ASA and volunteerism that will last a lifetime.


The CRMS includes former ASA medical student and resident component delegates and leaders who are ideally situated to help this committee serve as a liaison between the Resident and Medical Student components and ASA. These members also provide historical context so that issues at large may be discussed within a larger scope of knowledge of past considerations. At the forefront of our agenda is the issue of retaining current, and recruiting previous, resident members as ongoing active ASA members and advocates for our patients and specialty.


This past year featured notable innovations in ASA annual meeting programming and communications regarding medical student and resident activities. At the conclusion of the ASA annual meeting in 2012, there was a smooth leadership transition between former chair Stephen J. Kimatian, M.D. and current chair Basem B. Abdelmalak, M.D. The first order of business was to heed suggestions from ASA leadership to restructure the 2013 meeting schedule to make it more amenable for medical student and resident/fellow participants to attend key events in addition to introducing specifically tailored sessions. Student and resident participants appreciated the ease of registration, the recommendations regarding which sessions to attend based on level of training, the streamlined schedule with sessions created specifically to meet their needs, the general welcome and networking reception and the attention they received from the ASA staff, namely Rachel Rusch and Robert Kociolek. For the medical students, their schedule included the second annual program director “meet and greet” and the basic airway management workshop hosted by Manuel Pardo, M.D. and the UC San Francisco anesthesiology department. The residents and fellows’ schedule included a grassroots session, a resident research forum, a variety of expert talks focused on patient safety-related topics such as the basics of the anesthesia machine (Dean Connors, M.D.), perioperative care of the morbidly obese (Stephanie Jones, M.D.), global anesthesiology humanitarianism (Nicole Weiss, M.D.) and oral board preparation (Roy Soto, M.D.). Practice management sessions focused on how to prepare for your first “attending” position (Erica Stein, M.D.), CV and interview tips (Lars Helgeson, M.D.) and employment contracts (Judy Semo, J.D.).


Based on the positive feedback from last year’s conference, the committee is already planning for ANESTHESIOLOGY™ 2014 with continued social activities and practice management sessions, written board preparation sessions, a panel about models of anesthesiology practice, focused subspecialty updates and future directions (ambulatory and obstetric anesthesia). In addition, networking opportunities will be explored with the young physicians’ group under the leadership of Joshua Lumbley, M.D. The committee is also exploring video recording of the highly regarded resident conferences to be published on the ASA website as a year-long reference for other members and residency programs.


The CRMS continues to organize staff anesthesiologist involvement and leadership of the resident component’s sponsored airway workshop at the annual meeting of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA). Moreover, our leadership is working to finalize the ongoing project “The Medical Students Guide to Anesthesiology” to be published online.


Different committee members have volunteered to lead some of the committee’s initiatives. Michael Lewis, M.D., who is also an ASA Political Action Committee member and activist, is leading a CRMS advocacy task force to increase the engagement of student/resident members. Moreover, Sandra Kinsella, M.D. is leading an effort to reach out to different medical schools to put an organizational framework in place to attract, coordinate and encourage medical student participation. Finally, Kathy Schlecht, D.O. is conducting a survey among different component state societies to identify the degree of organized activities and initiatives offered to residents and medical students by different societies to gauge the current state and perhaps develop a best practice model based on the responses received.


All the above has been accomplished with ongoing communication and consultation with the Resident and Medical Student components and their leadership. Additional efforts initiated to improve this communication include assigning two members of the CRMS to each component to oversee activities and mentor as needed, including component governing council meetings during the March and August Board of Directors meetings in Chicago and their events at the annual meeting, as well as their respective house of delegates. Moreover, the CRMS is supporting efforts to re-vamp existing webpages, which aligns with the current focus and systematic review and update of the ASA website by the 2014 Ad Hoc Committee on Website Oversight, chaired by Kenneth Elmassian, D.O. That committee has engaged in the process of defining the project scope and developing technology plans.


Looking forward, graduate medical education is undergoing a dynamic transformation as a result of changes being imposed by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). While many training programs are experiencing these changes currently, anesthesiology is part of the second phase of implementation, as these will be initiated in summer 2014. As many of the CRMS members are academic anesthesiologists who currently serve as program directors, vice chairs and chairs, this group has been actively communicating with medical students and residents to assuage fears of “change” and to dispel rumors about unintended consequences. Not to mention some of these very members are also members of the ASA Committee on Academic Anesthesiology and part of the leadership of the Society for Education in Anesthesia – and thus the vital role of this body to connect different parties involved with residents and their education. In fact, working together on the CRMS allows academic leaders another venue to collaborate and network in an effort to offer innovative approaches to attracting and training the next round of anesthesiology clinicians, educators, leaders and advocates.



Committee News


Mentoring: Preparing for Our Future


Joel Musee, M.D., Ph.D.


Jerome Adams M.D., M.P.H., Chair
Committee on Professional Diversity


Elizabeth Rebello, M.D., Director
ASA Mentoring Program


The Committee on Professional Diversity announces its annual call for proposals for the ASA Mentoring Program. The goal of the program is to foster diversity within ASA through mentorship. The program provides funding up to $5,000 to mentor/mentee pairs who submit a project of mutual interest. The project may be oriented to scientific or clinical research, or an educational, political advocacy or organized medicine endeavor.


Joel Musee, M.D., 2013 award recipient and CA-2 resident at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, described his experience:


“I am incredibly grateful for the support of the ASA Committee on Professional Diversity, and my mentor Dr. Jesse Ehrenfeld’s unrelenting support and personal commitment to increasing diversity. My connection with the ASA Committee on Professional Diversity has allowed me to become more involved in ASA and witness the conception of policy at this past year’s ASA annual meeting – policy that is especially pertinent to those of us still in training in an ever-changing landscape. Furthermore, with support from Dr. Ehrenfeld, my home department and Committee on Professional Diversity Chair Dr. Adams, I applied for and was selected to become a member of the ACGME Resident Review Committee. I hope to bring a fresh perspective to this position while evaluating anesthesiology residency programs across the country.


It is apparent to me that this is what ASA and the Committee on Professional Diversity had in mind with the conception of such mentor-mentee partnerships – to foster support for young anesthesiologists like me who are seeking leadership opportunities within our specialty. I am extremely grateful to ASA and my home department – Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Department of Anesthesiology – and I encourage other ASA members of a diverse background to apply to this program. I truly feel it has had a positive impact on my career and my involvement in organized medicine and advocacy for our profession.”


The matched mentee/mentor pair should submit the application form, their individual curriculum vitae and a one- to two-page description of their project to the ASA Committee on Professional Diversity no later than June 30, 2014. The submission should include the following:


1. A detailed description of the project’s objective, along with an explanation of how it will enhance the professional growth and leadership potential of the mentee.

2. A designation of the length of time, required equipment/supplies, travel, meetings and requested funding; also include information on co-funding provided by the home institution of record in support of the project chosen by the mentee/mentor, if any.

3. Potential barriers and success factors.


Mentors should be well-established clinicians, educators and researchers, and current ASA leaders who have a particular interest in and passion for mentoring a rising medical student, anesthesia resident/fellow, junior faculty member or new graduate in private practice. The mentor will provide time, one-on-one guidance, direction and counsel to the mentee on a mutually agreed-upon project. The one- to three-year project must have the goal of enhancing the professional career, leadership potential and active involvement of the mentee within ASA.


Mentees should be ASA members of diverse racial, ethnic or gender backgrounds who are interested in gaining experience in leadership and exposure to research, education or political advocacy opportunities within ASA. Mentees may be medical students, anesthesia residents/fellows, junior faculty members or new graduates in private practice. In addition to working on their chosen project and maintaining regular interaction with their mentors, mentees are expected to:


A. Join their state component society and, if possible, attend at least one local meeting annually; volunteering for active involvement within component activities and local political action committees (PACs) and the ASAPAC is encouraged.

B. Self-nominate for at least one ASA or subspecialty society committee and actively participate if selected.

C. Submit an educational, clinical or research abstract or poster at an ASA or subspecialty society meeting within 12 months of project completion.

D. Along with their mentor, briefly present their project at the annual ASA Committee on Professional Diversity meeting.


The application form can be found at Completed materials should be submitted to


The committee will review all submissions and notify the matched pairs of potential funding status and support of the project by August 31, 2014. Funds will be distributed after the ANESTHESIOLOGYTM 2014 annual meeting. A one-page written update of the progress of the project is due June 30, 2015.

Basem B. Abdelmalak, M.D. is Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, Departments of General Anesthesiology and Outcomes Research, Director, Center for Sedation and Director, Anesthesia for Bronchoscopic Surgery, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Cleveland.


Suzanne Karan, M.D. is Vice Chair for Education, Residency Program Director, Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, Director, Anesthesiology Respiratory Physiology Laboratory, University of Rochester School of Medicine, Rochester, New York.


Joel Musee, M.D., Ph.D. is a PGY-2 resident, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Department of Anesthesiology, Nashville.


Jerome Adams, M.D., M.P.H. is Assistant Professor of Anesthesia, Indiana University School of Medicine, and Chair, Wishard Hospital Pharmacy and Therapeutics, Indianapolis.


Elizabeth Rebello, M.D. is Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston.


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