Residents' Review: Resident Opportunities in ASRA

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July 1, 2013 Volume 77, Number 7
Residents' Review: Resident Opportunities in ASRA Julie H.Y. Huang, M.D., M.B.A., Chair ASRA Resident Section Committee

The American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine (ASRA) is one of the largest subspecialty organizations in the field of anesthesiology. ASRA’s mission is to advance the science and practice of regional anesthesia and pain medicine. Approaches to pain management have evolved dramatically over recent years. It is now widely accepted that the etiology of pain is multifactorial and the best approach is multidisciplinary, with incorporation of strategies from the fields of anesthesiology, neurology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and psychiatry.

The ASRA Resident/Fellow Section Component (RSC) was founded in 1995 to encourage resident interest in regional anesthesia and pain medicine. The ASRA RSC is very active in planning and implementing an educational program for both the Fall Pain and Spring Regional Anesthesiology and Acute Pain Medicine meetings. The educational programs include a resident-fellow forum, resident-fellow boot camp and problem-based learning discussions. The RSC also hosts an annual fellowship program director’s reception at which residents and fellows who are interested in pursuing a fellowship in pain medicine and/or regional anesthesia are able to meet with current fellowship directors. Starting this fall, we will work toward providing our inaugural job fair for all residents and fellows during this meeting, with aims of bringing opportunities for future academic and private practice openings in chronic pain, regional anesthesiology and acute pain medicine to our ASRA members.

The RSC welcomes and encourages residents and fellows in your department who are interested in regional anesthesia and pain management to join ASRA and become active within the RSC. The next Fall ASRA Pain Meeting is November 21-25, 2013 in Phoenix, Arizona. Our Resident and Fellow Educational Program will begin on Friday afternoon with several key practice management sessions. Topics will include evaluating an employment contract; the art of negotiation; pain medicine fellowship and potential modifications to training; and varying perspectives of pain fellowship alumni on academic medicine and private practice. During this session, we will present resident abstract awards and conclude the evening with our always-highly-attended wine and cheese reception, which will provide current residents and fellows the opportunity to meet with current fellowship program directors for chronic pain as well as regional anesthesia and acute pain medicine.

The program will continue through Saturday with a continental breakfast and interactive lectures featuring ABA board-style questions on topics related to pain mechanisms, acute pain and regional anesthesia, and neurologic complications. Saturday will also feature our highly anticipated inaugural job fair.

Expert speakers will be featured in a practice management panel discussing billing and reimbursement. Additionally, Richard Rosenquist, M.D. will discuss the impact of the Affordable Care Act on the field, followed by an exciting plenary debate on the long-term efficacy and cost-effectiveness of pain interventions. Our program will conclude with our highly regarded interactive workshops with live models. This is a unique opportunity for learning the spectrum of both fluoroscopic- and ultrasound-guided pain procedures directly from pain medicine experts. Discussing and simulating how various leaders in the field perform these procedures is very rewarding!

In addition to the Resident and Fellow Educational Program, Steven Cohen, M.D. and the Scientific and Education Planning Committee have also planned a remarkable conference program. These offerings aim to guide your future paths in the field with crucial information not typically provided during your training and provide the opportunity to interface with well-recognized leaders in the field. The current abstract deadline for this fall meeting is July 23. We hope you will join us!

The RSC has grown dramatically over the past several years and currently plays a large role within ASRA. In addition to the development and management of the resident educational sessions, the RSC also provides the unique opportunity for resident members to work with some of the leading pain and regional faculty experts in contributing to the quarterly ASRA newsletter publication.

For all ASRA resident members interested in becoming actively involved in the committee, the ASRA RSC sends out requests for nominations typically at the end of each year to fill available positions that officially commence at the conclusion of the spring meeting. Program directors and current ASRA faculty members can submit nominations for residents or fellows interested in joining this committee to the ASRA president. Applications typically request a letter of recommendation from a faculty member or program director, current curriculum vitae, personal statement and position for which the nominee is interested in applying. Further details on officer positions in the RSC may be reviewed at

Resident membership within ASRA has increased more than 81 percent over the past four years, and this growth can largely be attributed to the activities of the ASRA RSC. Help spread the details of our meeting date and exciting program information to your program’s residents and fellows. We hope that everyone interested in regional anesthesia and acute and chronic pain management will take this excellent opportunity to become involved with ASRA!

Further information regarding membership and the ASRA Resident/Fellow Section component may be located at

Julie H.Y. Huang, M.D., M.B.A. is an Interventional Pain Medicine Fellow at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston. She completed her anesthesiology residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore.