Anesthesiology 2013: A Global Event

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July 1, 2013 Volume 77, Number 7
Anesthesiology 2013: A Global Event Audrée A. Bendo, M.D., Chair Committee on Annual Meeting Oversight

Alexander A. Hannenberg, M.D. ASA Past President (2010)

With this year’s theme, “Global Partners in Quality Outcomes and Patient Safety,” the ANESTHESIOLOGYTM 2013 annual meeting will present worldwide perspectives on the latest science and most advanced technology in anesthesiology by inviting preeminent national and international specialty leaders to share their knowledge and expertise.

For some time, ASA’s annual meeting has been the world’s largest anesthesiology-related event. It’s held in a rotating series of the United States’ most appealing cities and attracts physicians and scientists from more than 90 countries. In recent years, nearly a third of the registrants came from locations outside the U.S. The program is evolving to be more attractive to foreign attendees and to provide opportunities for inter-national exchange of ideas. ASA members will find oppor-tunities to learn about the practice of our specialty elsewhere, both in our educational programming and in social settings during the meeting. We have added several international speakers to Refresher Course Lectures, Panels and Workshops.

Our meetings are typically attended by dozens of national anesthesiology society presidents from every continent. There is a keen interest in having these leaders share their experiences and ideas. This year, ASA President John M. Zerwas, M.D. will host fellow presidents to address topics relevant across borders. In the past, this group has discussed portability of continuing education credits for international attendees at CME events.

On Saturday morning, October 12, Adrian Gelb, M.D. will moderate an international panel co-sponsored by ASA and the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists called “Drug Shortages, Safety & Solutions – A Global Perspective.” Arnold J. Berry, M.D. (U.S.) will discuss drug shortages; Dr. Fauzia Kahn (Pakistan) will talk about drug quality; Dr. Haydn Perndt (Australia) will ask whether ether is still an option; and Dr. Alan F. Merry (New Zealand) will talk about medication errors and the increased vigilance forced by drug shortages. Each of these topics relates to ongoing challenges in the practice of anesthesiology and should stimulate a lively discussion.

On Sunday afternoon, October 13, Benjamin Drenger, M.D. (Israel) will lead an Israeli panel titled “Changing Perspective – Thoughts From Another Country,” which will examine both administrative and clinical issues important to anesthesiologists from an international perspective. Dr. Drenger will talk about the anesthesiologist’s role in perioperative risk reduction and outcome improvement; Charles Weissman, M.D. (Israel) will discuss anesthesiology in a socialized medicine environment; Sharon Einav, M.D. (Israel) will provide a new perspective on bench biomarkers S100B and neuron specific enolase (NSE) as bedside decision tools; Idit Matot, M.D. (Israel) will talk about teamwork and women.

ASA and the European Society of Anaesthesiology will co-sponsor a session on Monday morning, October 14, called “Harmonizing Anaesthesiology as a Specialty in Europe.” Eberhard F. Kochs, M.D. (Germany) will discuss harmonizing standards, education and specialist training with the goal of mutual recognition throughout Europe; Andreas Hoeft, M.D. (Belgium) will talk about how to organize international research in the various countries in Europe; Stefan De Hert, M.D. (Belgium) will provide ideas on how to organize international scientific exchange between the various countries in Europe; Daniela Filipescu, M.D. (Romania) will discuss the impact of international practice guidelines for low-income countries.

On Monday afternoon, October 14, K.A. Kelly McQueen, M.D., M.P.H., will lead a Lifebox “Train the Trainers” workshop titled “Teaching Safe Anesthesia Practices in Developing Countries.”

The ANESTHESIOLOGYTM 2013 annual meeting will also feature three special invitation international focus groups:

  • Disaster Response (Saturday afternoon, October 12): Led by Dr. McQueen, ASA Chair of the Committee on Global Humanitarian Outreach, and Michael J. Murray, M.D., Ph.D., this focus group on disaster preparedness will address the value of partnerships among medical organi-zations and with government in achieving readiness.
  • Registries (Sunday afternoon, October 13): Richard P. Dutton, M.D., M.B.A., Executive Director, Anesthesia Quality Institute, will lead a discussion with colleagues focusing on what data on anesthesia outcomes can be reasonably shared between nations.
  • Graduate Medical Education (Tuesday afternoon, October 15): This discussion will be led by Neal H. Cohen, M.D., Immediate Past Chair of the ACGME Residency Review Committee for Anesthesiology, Associate Dean, University of California at San Francisco. The opportunities, barriers and logistics of cross-border training opportunities for residents will be the subject of this talk.

  •  The clear purpose of this programming is to reinforce the value of our annual meeting for both ASA members and international attendees. We seek to ensure that it remains the global meeting place for anesthesiologists each year. To enhance the experience of our international attendees, we will introduce international registration and interpreter services to the annual meeting in 2013.

    The annual meeting website once again includes a dedicated page for international attendees: ASA has engaged ESA Voyages to facilitate overseas travel to the ANESTHESIOLOGYTM 2013 annual meeting. This group is capable of supporting every aspect of international attendance, from travel arrangements to visa applications and tourism. In 2013, all roads lead to San Francisco.

    Audrée A. Bendo, M.D., M.S. is Distinguished Professor and Executive Vice Chair, Department of Anesthesiology, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York.

    Alexander A. Hannenberg, M.D. is Associate Chair, Department of Anesthesiology, Newton Wellesley Hospital, Newton, Massachusetts. He was ASA President in 2010.