Resident Review  |   May 2015
A Call to Action
Author Affiliations
  • Shane V. Cherry, M.D.
    ASA Resident Component Governing Council
    Secretary
Article Information
Education / CPD / Respiratory System / Quality Improvement / Resident Review
Resident Review   |   May 2015
A Call to Action
ASA Monitor 05 2015, Vol.79, 60-61.
ASA Monitor 05 2015, Vol.79, 60-61.
“Control your own destiny or someone else will.” – Jack Welch
We, as anesthesiology residents, have chosen a truly great profession. As the patient’s advocate during surgery, we safeguard our patients through one of the most physiologically and emotionally taxing experiences a person can endure. We’ve studied hard and endured countless hours of exams, all while working more hours per week than the average person realizes.
But that’s exactly where the problem lies – most people don’t understand who is taking care of them once they go under anesthesia. According to one survey conducted by ASA, six out of 10 Americans don’t know that anesthesiologists are medical doctors. A separate study conducted by the Florida Society of Anesthesiologists in 2013 revealed that 92 percent of participants would want a physician anesthesiologist directing their care if given a choice, with 87 percent responding they agree with the statement that “Giving anesthesia to patients is a complicated and difficult job that should only be performed directly by or under the supervision of a trained physician.” It is imperative that we, as a profession, do a better job of educating people who we are as perioperative physicians and what that means for patient safety. This educational challenge includes not only the patients we interact with on a daily basis, but also our elected officials. You see, legislators are ordinary people too, and most are equally unsure about what benefits a physician anesthesiologist can provide over alternative anesthesia care providers.
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