SubSpecialties  |   January 2014
What Is AUA?
Author Affiliations
  • Thomas J.J. Blanck, M.D., Ph.D.
    Association of University Anesthesiologists
    President-Elect
Article Information
Education / CPD / Practice Management / SubSpecialties
SubSpecialties   |   January 2014
What Is AUA?
ASA Monitor 01 2014, Vol.78, 50-51.
ASA Monitor 01 2014, Vol.78, 50-51.
The Association of University Anesthesiologists (AUA) was formed in 1953 to foster the growth of research and the exchange of new ideas for those in the academic community. The AUA’s mission is the advancement of the art and science of anesthesiology by:
Who are members, how does one become a member, and how do we go about accomplishing our mission?
Prior to answering those questions, we would like to reflect on the founding of AUA. The association evolved from the discussions of four principle figures in academic anesthesia: Drs. Austin Lamont and Robert Dripps at the University of Pennsylvania, Harry Beecher, M.D. at Harvard, and Emmanuel Papper, M.D. at Columbia. An interesting and provocative summary of the activities surrounding the formation of AUA can be found in Dr. Papper’s recollection of activities of the early 1950s that culminated in the formation of AUA.1  While the motivation of the founders was largely to coalesce an academic community and develop an informal mechanism for the presentation of research and exchange of ideas, the real impetus of forming a separate university group was driven by economic concerns, and concerns about potential constraints placed upon university anesthesiologists by the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) and ASA. The American Medical Association had developed the HESS report in 1950.2  It was interpreted by ASA and the ABA that any anesthesiologist who was paid by salary was unethical. This was of obvious concern to many university anesthesiologists and led to passionate exchange between the four original AUA founders. Ultimately, along with four other university anesthesiologists, they decided to form an organization for the presentation of research and allow for the discussion of educational practices and administrative issues related to university anesthesiology. The organization, which first met on May 9, 1953, in Philadelphia, was named the Association of University Anesthetists, later to be changed to the Association of University Anesthesiologists.3  The next meeting was held in Boston in 1954, hosted by Dr. Beecher, the Dorr Professor of Anesthesia Research, and consisted of 36 members.
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