Virginia Society of Anesthesiologists


Student Articles from the ASA Conference in Chicago, October 2016

 Perioperative Surgical Home from the Viewpoint of a Student

            At the first ASA meeting that we attended three years ago, we were introduced to the concept of the perioperative surgical home.  The Virginia Society of Anesthesiologists has afforded us the opportunity to attend multiple ASA Annual Meetings where we have seen this concept evolve into clinical practice. The ASA defines the perioperative surgical home as “a patient-centered and physician-led multidisciplinary and team-based system of coordinated care that guides the patient throughout the entire surgical experience”. This practice model attempts to improve patient care and continuity of care, optimize patient status before surgery, and limits costs, unnecessary testing, prolonged hospital stays, and cancellations. The ultimate goal of the perioperative surgical home is to improve the quality of care for patients and perioperative efficiency in a medical system that is already very taxed. By having anesthesiologists involved in each step of the perioperative period, patients will not only have more continuity but will also be more informed throughout their perioperative experience.

This practice model has clear benefits for patients, as well as furthering the specialty of anesthesiology as a whole.  Being able to utilize medical knowledge and skills beyond the operating room will help to preserve the need and value of anesthesiologists.  As a specialty, anesthesiology combines aspects of internal medicine and surgery. Therefore, this would seem to be the perfect cornerstone for improving patient care during pre-operative, intra-operative, and post-operative periods.

The principals of the perioperative surgical home have now made it to many academic centers.  Some anesthesiology departments have been retitled as “anesthesiology and perioperative medicine” in order to incorporate a growing scope of practice.  This illustrates that the evolution of the perioperative surgical home has become a feature of both private hospitals and academic centers. On the interview trail, there have been residency programs that have instituted month long rotations in perioperative care and pre-operative clinics. The pre-operative clinics serve to optimize patients before surgery, and the perioperative care mainly serves as a consult service for patients before and after surgery to ensure that best possible care is being given surrounding the intra-operative period.

As students who have had the privilege to be exposed to the concept of the perioperative surgical home, it has been an eye-opening opportunity to see the growth and progress of this model.  Actively learning about the expanding role of anesthesiologists within the model of the perioperative surgical home is necessary in order to ensure the advancement of our future profession.
By: Meghan Greenfield, VSA- MSC President, and Tara Secor, VSA- MSC Vice President

Impressions of the Chicago ASA Annual Meeting from New VSA Student Delegates

            I arrived in Chicago bright and early on Friday morning and took the L-train from O’Hare into the city. As this was my first visit to the Windy City, I enjoyed watching as Chicago’s outlying suburbs slowing transformed in to the great skyscrapers of the iconic city skyline. With plenty of time before the evening’s events, I set off to explore. The mild weather and light breeze made for an enjoyable walk to Millennium Park where I experienced the famous Cloud Gate sculpture, (aka The Bean). The unique curve and reflective surface results in captivating distorted perspectives of the surrounding skyline that change with each new vantage point. After exploring the surround area a bit further I return to the hotel for the evenings welcome reception.

The networking opportunities, even for medical students, one can take advantage of are immense. The first evenings meet and greet gave me the opportunity to speak with anesthesiology residents and interested medical students from across North America. I even saw some individuals who came from Columbia and Israel.

The most critical of these networking events, the Residency and Fellowship Program Meet and Greet, brought together interested students and the residents and faculty of programs from across the country. This event gave me the unique advantage of extra time with program directors, faculty and residents.

I have to thank Dr. Tiouririne, Mr. Andrew Mann and the leaders and members of the VSA for providing me the opportunity to travel and participate in the National ASA meeting.

By: Matt Riley, VSA-MSC Delegate for UVA

           This was my first time attending the ASA meeting and it was truly an eye opening experience. I was initially overwhelmed by the sheer size of the convention center and the seemingly endless aisles of booths. I was able to explore a variety of new technologies on the forefront of the technical advancement of patient care. Additionally, I learned a great deal about financial management of student loans for the future and the perioperative surgical home through the medical student lectures. Furthermore, I had the incredible opportunity to meet with residency program directors and department chairs from across the country. During my downtime, I was able to explore the beautiful city of Chicago and enjoy some of the local cuisine.

It was particularly great to attend the VSA luncheon to hear updates from the society and future direction. I wanted to sincerely thank the Virginia Society of Anesthesiologists for the opportunity to attend the conference and for their continued support of future anesthesiologists throughout the state.

By: Cameron Sumner, VSA- MSC Alternate Delegate for VCU

An Update from Future Anesthesiologists at the ASA- Medical Student Component Delegate Meeting

            Every year, the medical student component (MSC) of our American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) grows and evolves, building on the presence and involvement of the country’s future anesthetists. This year, the governing council of the ASA-MSC was proud to produce for the first time since our advent, an entire day of medical student programming.

With the instrumental support and coordination of MSC mentor Dr. Basem Abdelmalak and ASA staff members Carolyn Mersching and Sloane Grubb, we were able to develop and present a panel of inspirational and informative educational sessions for the medical students arriving from all over the country and abroad. That’s right – this year’s meeting attracted students from as far as Canada and Ireland.

Following up “sold-out” clinical skills workshops at both Northwestern University and the University of Chicago, medical students were enlightened to the ins and outs of loan management. From there, students filled the room for a primer on the perioperative surgical home model, a look into the life of an anesthesiologist, and an instructive session on scoring the residency of their dreams.

What followed, to no one’s surprise, was the highlight of the day: the Residency and Fellowship Programs Meet and Greet. Over 500 medical students eagerly waited for the event, arriving early and filling the hall. Upon their release, students and programs kept up a roaring buzz of conversation that energized the room and continued on for hours. We thank the nearly one hundred residency programs that donated their time, residents, and program directors for the deafening success that this year’s Meet & Greet became.

Students unwound after a demanding day with this year’s Medical Student Night Out, enjoying not only the stories from each other’s discussions with residencies, but also celebrating with the city of Chicago over the Chicago Cubs win and entrance to the World Series for the first time in seventy-one years!

The final day of ASA Annual 2016 for the students began with the Outstanding Student Chapter Awards, given out to those schools with anesthesia interest groups that exceeded expectations with their innovative events and strong involvement. Commendations are due to Des Moines University, Oregon Health & Science University, University of Pittsburgh, and University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio for being powerful role models schools around the nation can look up to and follow.

Lastly, an exciting House of Delegates Meeting started off with elections for next year’s ASA-MSC Governing Council. Not a single election went uncontested and when the dust cleared, we were left with an extraordinary set of student leaders.

Congratulations to Esi Dickson (Chair-Elect), Caitlin Curcuru (Secretary), Amol Utrankar (Alternate Delegate to the AMA-MSS), Michael Wentzel (Member-At-Large), and Christopher Li (Senior Advisor), our new ASA-MSC Governing Council members!

A number of speakers came to motivate our delegates that Sunday morning. I was deeply appreciative to be given the opportunity to illuminate for the group the true strength that their voice can have on legislation both at a local level with their state societies and at a national level at the ASA Legislative Summit (May 15-17, 2017 in Washington, D.C), furthering the purpose of our ASA in progressing the practice of anesthesia and protecting our future patients. Dr. David Zvara of UNC Chapel Hill then instilled a sense of awe for the practice of anesthesia into the students, quelling doubts over the future of the field and replacing it with vigor to advance the profession to undiscovered heights. Building on this, Dr. George Williams of UT Health Science Center at Houston educated us all on the history of the scope of practice conflict and the necessity of physician anesthesiologists, not just for us aspiring anesthetists, but also for the field of healthcare itself. He brought electricity to the room, galvanizing students to advocate for the sanctity of our profession and the safety of our patients.

At the front of a room now full of stimulated and ambitious young students, Ada Garner, as her first act as newly anointed ASA-MSC Chair, recognized outgoing Governing Council members Ciera Ward, Mena Abdelmalak, John Crowley, Christine McLaughlin, and myself for our efforts and dedication to the ASA-MSC over the past year. And with that, the 2016 ASA-MSC Annual Meeting came to a resounding close.

By: Christopher J. Li, Advisor of the ASA-MSC, VSA- MSC Delegate