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April 1, 2013 Volume 77, Number 4
FAER Report: John R. Moyers, M.D. – The Face of FAER Educational Grants Charles W. Otto, M.D., F.C.C.M.

Alan D. Sessler, M.D.



After more than two decades of service, John R. Moyers, M.D., has stepped down as chair of the FAER Education Study Section. Throughout his career, John’s contributions to anesthesiology have extended across the entire range of professional activities at the local, regional, national and international levels. He is an outstanding physician, educator and colleague. FAER is extremely indebted to John for his loyal dedication to a fair and complete review process for education grant proposals.

Dr. Moyers has been an integral part of FAER’s education grants since their inception in 1990 when the FAER Board of Directors created the education grant program. These educational grants joined FAER’s existing grant opportunities in basic science and clinical research.

As the ASA Committee on Research was serving as the study section for reviewing basic and clinical science proposals for funding, FAER needed to establish a study section to review the education grant proposals. Dr. Moyers, who was chair of the ASA Section on Education at the time, agreed to chair the new study section. Members of the first FAER Education Study Section included Arnold Berry, M.D., M.P.H.; Robert Caplan, M.D.; Sheila Muldoon, M.D.; Michael Roizen, M.D.; and Anne Ronai, M.D.

Although the members of the study section have changed over the years, John has remained a unifying presence, having reviewed every educational grant proposal submitted in the past 22 years. His expertise will be difficult to replace and his humble diligence in leading the educational review process will be missed.

Under John’s leadership, the first FAER education grant was awarded to Kevin B. Gerold, D.O., J.D., M.A., who studied “Computer-Based Instruction in Anesthesiology.” In the first five years of the program, 19 grants were awarded. In 1997, the Research in Education Grant program was established, focused on developing innovative techniques for educating anesthesiologists. The program has grown incrementally ever since. In 2012, FAER awarded the highest number of Research in Education Grants in a single year – seven grants totaling $700,000.

For those who know him, John’s dedicated service to FAER is not surprising. A true gentleman, John is a third-generation physician, trained at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, and a second-generation anesthesiologist at the University of Iowa Hospitals. His career has been the epitome of a successful academic with a distinguished record of service.

Prior to his leadership on the FAER Education Study Section, John had already served on several ASA committees, starting in 1980. He was vice chair for the ASA Section on Education from 1987-89, and was Chair of the Section on Education and Research from 1989-95. In addition, he has also served as chair of other ASA committees: Regional Refresher Courses, Annual Meeting Refresher Courses, Annual Meeting Scientific Papers, and Information Management. He has served as Delegate and Director from Iowa since 1995.

Internationally, John has been dedicated to the work of the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists, serving in leadership roles on the Executive Committee from 1992 to 2008, as deputy secretary, secretary and vice president. He has also been very active in the Anesthesia Foundation, where he was secretary for 10 years and now serves as president.

John was particularly influential in developing the grant and low-interest loan program for residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The Anesthesia Foundation, with support from ASA, was the only national medical organization to provide financial support to displaced trainees.

His colleagues consider him a humble, diligent and effective contributor to any task assigned. A former colleague of his remarked that John has “a real heart for physician education” and “enjoyed mentoring young physicians whether they be residents or faculty, and spent significant time giving of himself.” When asked to describe John, his long-time friend and colleague William “Bill” Owens, M.D., referred to the adage, “The world is divided into people who do things and people who get the credit.”

“John is a doer,” Owens said. “He has been a ‘go-to’ kind of person who gets things done behind the scenes, never asking for recognition. I always found John good at focusing on opportunities and not on the past. His actions, indeed, speak far better than any words can describe.”

John’s avid interests in stamp collecting, cycling and golf continue to sustain his family and personal life. His ever-present smile and quick, dry wit are enduringly entertaining. Another colleague described him as humble, loyal and quietly dynamic. He represents the embodiment of all that is good about academic anesthesiology. FAER again extends gratitude to John for all his years of service.



Charles W. Otto, M.D., F.C.C.M. is Professor of Anesthesiology, University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson.

Alan D. Sessler, M.D. is President Emeritus, FAER, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. He is a member of the FAER Executive Committee.



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